Sunrise and Sunset across the Burin Peninsula

With so many coastlines and so many beautiful panoramic vistas, the visitor to Newfoundland and Labrador has a very good problem: where can one find the best sunrise and sunset? This question will elicit as many answers as there are islands to rise over and inlets to set down in. That said, it is really hard to beat the sunrise over Placentia Bay and the sunset across Fortune Bay.

The best view of the sunrise is from Cook's Lookout Trail. It was also featured in a previous blog post about great hill top hikes as a great sunrise hike. This trail, in the town of Burin, can be found just off the main road. The path has been developed and offers the perfect moderate difficulty hike. It's short enough so you need only start just before pre-dawn. It's clearly marked as not to get lost, but it has enough inclines over rocky terrain to get the blood flowing.

Cooks Lookout Trail

The trail circles around the hill's backside, offering magnificent views of the surrounding communities. At the back of the hill, it meanders upward past bubbling brooks and lily pad filled ponds until the trees and shrubbery give way to rockier terrain.

Pond at Daybreak 

Upon reaching the summit, the lookout offers unparalleled views of the eastern side of the Burin Peninsula. Small towns dot the landscape, and you can bear witness to the region waking up and starting its day. Eastward the sun rises, illuminating islands, coves, harbours, surrounded by brilliant blue water – Placentia Bay in all its majesty.

Sunrise over Placentia Bay
Cooks Lookout

Once you tear your eyes from the scene, head south and then west for a day excursion "around the Boot," as the locals say. Indeed, the Burin Peninsula is Newfoundland's answer to Italy, in terms of shape, and from the heel in Burin, you'll head west to the toe in Fortune. During the day, you can spend some time in the heritage museums of St. Lawrence, Lawn, and Lamaline. The staggering views from the hills and cliffs of the eastern side of the Boot are matched by the gentle beaches of the western side.

Chambers Cove
Lamaline Heritage Museum 

At the end of the day, make your way to the Fortune Head Ecological Reserve. This reserve is the site of 565 million year old fossils (whose story is told at the Fortune Head Interpretation Centre on the wharf in the Town of Fortune). From here, one can see the northern portion of the French Island of Miquelon – together with Saint-Pierre et Miquelon; these islands make up a French Territory. The sun will descend upon the islands, covering Fortune Head in a golden and brilliant light.

View of St. Pierre
Fortune Head Lighthouse 

As you witness this remarkable scene, take a moment to wonder how many of these sunsets have occurred since the creatures that made these fossils still lived. Approximately 206 billion. And it never gets old.

Lighthouse in daytime

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