The Labrador Pioneer Footpath

DISTANCE (round-trip)

40 mi (65km)

DIFFICULTY

TIME

2-3 days

SOLITUDE

Historic Path Along Labrador's Rocky Shoreline

Before the construction of the Labrador Straits Highway in the 1950s and the invention of automobiles and telephones, these traditional walking routes that hugged the shores of the Labrador Straits were the only means of contact for residents of this remote coastal area when sea travel wasn’t possible.


The trail begins in the cove of L’Anse Au Clair and weaves through sandy beaches, layers of rock and meadows strewn with windswept wildflowers. The rocky shoreline changes to prehistoric rock formations, then to pillowy soft moss beds in vibrant shades of green.


If you have the extra energy, there are a few chances to scramble up the rocky plateau for views of the sea. Keep a lookout for dolphins and seals and in the spring and early summer you may even see icebergs as big as houses slowly drifting in the cold, turbulent waters.

When to go

The best time of year to attempt this hike is during the spring, fall or summer. Iceberg season is from late May to early June.

Getting there

The trailhead is located just beyond two graveyards heading northeast out of L’Anse Au Clair. It is marked by a sign that warns ATV drivers to be careful of hikers.

Know before you go

  • The footpath is rarely used and some signposts are missing, but as long as you keep the ocean to your right and the ridge line to your left you’ll be fine.
  • Two antique abandoned sleds can be found along the way, evidence of the history of the footpath.
  • This path is being extended and will be 110km when it is complete.

For more information:

  • More info about this page on Labrador Coastal Drive
  • This path is being extended and will be 110km when it is complete.

Rocky bluffs along the Labrador Pioneer Footpath. Courtesy of TripAdvisor

About the author

Kelly Dunning

Kelly Dunning is a Canadian freelance writer and digital nomad with a love of hiking, nature, art, culture, literature and adventure. She and her English boyfriend Lee run Global-Goose.com, a site packed full with travel guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel.

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