At the very northern tip of the Avalon Peninsula, routes 80 and 70 connect twice, first at Old Perlican, and again 12 km further at Grates Cove. According to legend, John Cabot first landed here and carved an inscription in a rock, though in the 1960s people posing as historians from Memorial University removed the rock, and its whereabouts remain unknown. But each year residents celebrate “Cabot Rock” festival.
A bit to the south from Grates Cove on Route 70 is Bay de Verde. See nearby Redhead Cove which is named for the colour of the cliffs. Keep a eye out for whales that come near shore. This area of the peninsula was first settled in the late 1600s. This once-isolated community was originally settled colonists trying to avoid French raiders, though it is only 70 km from St. John’s by sea.
Grates Cove Attractions
Baccalieu Island Ecological Reserve
Bay De Verde, Route 70
Season May 01 – Sep 30
Deer Lake, NL, A8A 2A3
Contact Fyzee Shuhood
709-635-4522 Fax 1-709-635-4541
The wrecks of more than a dozen ships lie under the waters that surround the island. Baccalieu Island is an ecological reserve with 11 species of seabirds nesting there, making it the most diverse seabird colony in the province.
The island hosts 3.3 million pairs of Leach’s Storm Petrels, plus thousands of puffins and black-legged kittiwakes and other birds each summer. The foxes that share the island with the birds and the lighthouse keepers rarely go hungry. Visit the Baccalieu Island exhibit in the Heritage House in Bay de Verde. Access to view the seabirds can be done only by boat
Point Verde Lighthouse
P.O. Box 5667
St.John’s, Newfoundland, A1C 5X1
709-772-5183, fax: 772-5369
Built in 1876, there have been many tower changes since then. The present tower is a 12 foot fibreglass structure which was constructed in 1975. The lighthouse has been automated in the last few years.
Grates Cove Hiking Trails
Grates Cove, Route 70
Grates Cove, NL, A0A 2L0
Hiking Trails around National Historic Site Rock Walls, and Interpretation area. Barrens, rugged rocks and ocean views, The Head, Flat Rocks, Wiggy’s Beach, Shaws Mash, The Gulch, The Motion and Molly Ship wreck cross, Cabot Rock & Monument and more