Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to the hotel in St. John's. Check-in is 2:00 p.m. Meet your Group Leader between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the hotel to register and get your welcome packet; or pick up your package at the front desk if you arrive after 5:00 p.m.
Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant at 6:00 p.m. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Evening: The group leader will lead group introductions and review the itinerary. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars or explore the area around the hotel, right on the harbor.
Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles over 2 hours on sidewalks and pavement, some busy streets and uneven terrain. Some standing.
Breakfast: Full buffet breakfast at the hotel: fruit with yogurt dip, Danish, muffins, croissants, white/wheat toast, cheeses, toast, scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, hash browns, coffee/tea/juice.
Morning: Begin your visit to St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, with a guided walk of the city. This colorful city, born of its sheltered harbor, was a busy port 40 years before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth. Although it is a small city, St. John's has a warm, vibrant spirit and boasts numerous historical sites, a unique culture, and natural beauty. Walk along Water Street, the oldest street in North America.
Lunch: Box lunch in Bannerman Park(weather permitting).
Afternoon: Visit "The Rooms" for an introduction to the people of Newfoundland. A unique blend of art gallery, archives and museum; its controversial design mirrors the colorful "fishing rooms" where families came together to process their catch. This is a wonderful opportunity to be exposed to local culture and craft as well as traditional and modern looks at life in Newfoundland and Labrador as it houses the largest collection of artefact's and specimens - from the First Nations, Vikings, French, and English.
Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore the many dining options available in St. John's.
Activity note: Hike at Signal Hill about 2.5 miles on with some large elevation gains on a developed trail, lots of stairs.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We board the coach this morning on our way to Port Union. Visit Signal Hill for sweeping views overlooking the Atlantic. Signal Hill was the site of St. John’s harbour defences from the 17th century to the Second World War and where Guglielmo Marconi received the world’s first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901. Then transfer to Port Union. Approximately 4 - 5 hours with rest stops en route.
Lunch: Box lunch en route.
Afternoon: Arrive to Port Union in time unpack and settle in before dinner. Welcome and orientation to Port Union, the only "union-built town" in North America. Located on the rugged shores of Trinity Bay, Port Union is a small community making a big effort to restore its heritage buildings and celebrate its unique contribution to the history of Newfoundland. Port Union was created in a flurry of construction starting in 1916. It was to be William Ford Coaker and the members of the Fishermen's Protective Union's "capital" as they built a new type of commercial and economic footing for Newfoundland's fishermen
Dinner: Dinner at the Inn.
Activity note: Daily walks on mostly developed trails, 2 – 6 hours with rest stops along the way and picnic lunches. Today's hike to Murphy's Cove on the Lodge's Point is on a 7.5 km/4.7 mile looped trail. Trail is narrow with hilly terrain and can sometimes be wet after a rainfall. Rated as easy to moderate. Approx 3 - 4 hours.
Breakfast: Breakfast is served at the hotel between 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Morning: Depart from hotel for Hike to Murphy's Cove/Lodge's Pond trail, Port Union. This looped trail has a variety of headlands that provide viewing platforms where surrounding communities, whales, seabirds and fishing vessels can be photographed. The halfway point provides a lookout where users can view the Green Island Lighthouse, one of the last remaining manned lighthouses in Newfoundland. The trail follows the coastline offering great photo opportunities. Local guides will talk about the area and how the trails were once used by hunters and berry pickers. Look for fossils along the trail.
Lunch: Lunch in Port Union.
Afternoon: This afternoon you will learn about historic Port Union and why it is the "Only Union Built Town" in North America. Learn about Sir William Coaker who in the early 1900's organized a union of fishermen, built a town, formed a large Trading Company, became a politician with his own union party and fought the merchants of the day. Visit his home, now a museum, see some of the newly restored buildings, walk around the shipyard park, where more than 30 schooners were built, walk along the waterfront boardwalk and at low tide view 550 million year old fossils.
Dinner: Dinner in Port Union catered by a local group.
Evening: Evening trip to Cape Bonavista to view puffins and possibly whales and enjoy some spectacular scenery.
Activity note: The trail from British Harbour to New Bonaventure is 8 kms/5 miles. Approximately 3 - 4 hours. From British Harbour to Kerley's Harbour (6 kms/3.8 miles) the trail is rated as moderate - difficult. The remaining hike from Kerley’s Harbour to New Bonaventure (2 kms/1.25 miles) is rated as easy - moderate.
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning: Travel by sea from New Bonaventure to the enchanting and long-abandoned communities of Kerley's Harbour and Ireland's Eye. Cross the sound and cruise through the fjord entrance to the deserted community of British Harbour, first settled, in the 1800's. Your guide and skipper is a fisherman born in Kerley's Harbour who will regale us with tales of the life of these communities.
Lunch: Box lunch.
Afternoon: Visit the “Random Passage” movie site where an expert storyteller will regale you with tales from the movie. The site was constructed in 2000 for the filming of the international TV mini-series "Random Passage" and provides the opportunity to imagine the life of our forebears in a typical fishing outpost in the early 1800's. The site includes various sod roof houses, church, schoolroom, fishing stage & fish flakes, sheep grazing and a traditional vegetable garden.
Dinner: Dinner at Random Passage.
Activity note: Today's hike on the King's Cove Lighthouse Trail is 4.5 kms/2.8 miles.
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning: Hike the King's Cove Lighthouse trail and to Brook Point. The first and last parts of the trail are through meadows known as “Pat Murphy’s Meadow”, and were the inspiration for the famous folk song of that name. Most of the trail is through boreal forest with bogs and ponds. Coastal vegetation consisting of stunted or scrub spruce and fir predominates as you approach the coast. Tuckamore occurs on the coastal cliffs - a thicket of small stunted evergreen trees with gnarled spreading roots, forming closely matted ground-cover or thickets on the barrens and coastal regions. Shrubs of bog and sheep (goo-witty) laurel, Labrador Tea and rhodora grow in and around bogs, open areas and as forest undergrowth. Blackberry earth, irises, sedum, blueberry bushes and bakeapple plants are common. Brook Point is at the end of the trail and provides views of layer upon layer of multi-coloured, 570-million-year-old sedimentary rocks are exposed in these spectacular coastal cliffs.
Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon: This afternoon you will have some free time in Trinity to explore. Trinity has been a viable North Atlantic community for hundreds of years. Its defensible harbor, with abundant room for the ships of the day and shores well suited for outbuildings, wharves and fish-flakes, made it ideal for the early migratory fishery. The preservation of Trinity's cultural and built heritage has made it perhaps the most notable "heritage community" in the province. See a play at the Rising Tide Theatre, one of Newfoundland's best loved professional theatre companies; take a walk, either on your own or on one of the great walking tours offered; visit historic sites or go kayaking.
Dinner: Dinner on your own in Trinity. There is a dinner theatre in Trinity - the cost is $38.00 - please let the Group Leader know in advance if you would like to book a ticket.
Activity note: The Skerwink is a 5.3 km/3.3 mile looped trek. Hilly terrain along high cliffs, it is rated moderate to difficult. About 2 1/2 - 3 hours including rest and photo stops. The Fox Island Trail is 3 kms/1.9 miles. Steep hill to Fox Island. Approximately 1.5 hours.
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning: Depart by bus for Port Rexton to hike the Skerwink Trail - Rated by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of top 35 walks in North America and Europe, this looped trek offers fantastic photo opportunities. Hilly terrain along high cliffs, it is rated moderate to difficult but worth every minute you spend on the trail. This trail is one of the most popular in the area and provides fantastic views of the ocean and sea stacks with magical names like the “music box”.
Lunch: Lunch at Two Whales Cafe in Port Rexton.
Afternoon: Depart by bus for Trinity Bight and walk the Fox Island Trail in Champney’s West. Settled in 1675 by English Fishermen, Fox Island played a significant in the war between the French and English in the mid 1700’s. Fox Island is not technically an island, as it is connected to the mainland by an isthmus. The trail crosses this isthmus and then proceeds to the summit of this prominent headland that juts 35 meters (115 ft) above sea level. Hikers will enjoy exploring this trail with its history and scenery.
Dinner: Dinner will be at the Recreation Building in Port Union and will be a traditional Newfoundland meal.
Activity note: The Klondike Trail is a 5 km (3.1 mile) linear trail; rated easy-moderate.
Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. Breakfast
Morning: Depart for Elliston to see the root cellars; take a walk back in time and enter cellars originally built in the 1850s, many of which are still used today to store root crops. We will also stop to see the famous puffins which have been known to be tame enough to get even 2 or 3 feet away from them.
Lunch: Lunch in Bonavista.
Afternoon: Spend some time independently exploring the Historic Town of Bonavista, the Landfall of John Cabot when he discovered Newfoundland in 1497. Talk with local residents to learn the history of the town and our unique language.
Dinner: For our farewell dinner and evening we will be joined by local residents joining who will share their stories about life in rural Newfoundland. Dinner will be a buffet style meal featuring traditional Newfoundland dishes.
Evening: Following dinner with local residents there will be traditional Newfoundland stories, music and dancing. Try your hand at playing the "ugly sticks" and spoons. Also, participate in a "screech-in" ceremony where you will be made honorary Newfoundlanders. An unforgettable evening of fun and laughter.
Breakfast: Breakfast is served starting at 6:30 a.m.
Morning: Group coach transfer to St. John's departs at 8:00 a.m. Approximate arrival at St. John's airport is 1:00 p.m. We advise not making onward travel arrangements until after 2:30 p.m. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.