Fall Hiking: Trails, Checklists and more!

It's October! Fall is well underway. Often, we start to feel the less motivated to keep active as the cooler weather encroaches and the days shorten. As I talk with fellow outdoor enthusiasts, we all agree that October (even November!) is the best time to adventure and spend time in the woods. There is something in the air, that crisp smell of fallen leaves with a hint of frost, there are no bugs, and the days are the perfect temperature for being active. With this post I hope to inspire you to get Outdoors and On the Go this month by suggesting my top 5 favourite fall hikes and pair that with some helpful tips and advice! Let's go!

Five Fall Hikes I LOVE

  1. Tortoise Mountain Trail in Blow Me Down Provincial Park
    • Although the park is closed, you can park at the gate and it's only a 5-7 min walk to the trailhead. See the Bay of Islands in all its colourful glory!
    • Family friendly, great views.
    • 45 min from Corner Brook. 
  2. Alexander Murray Trail in King's Point
    • This trail keeps popping up on my radar and I have been able to hike it twice this year. Two weeks ago I took my mom here and we loved seeing all the colours and mushrooms along the way.
    • Lots of stairs, worth every step! 
    • 2 hours from Corner Brook.
  3. Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park/Woody Point
    • The Tablelands are accessible all year and why not use the fall to check out the many waterfalls and scout new routes for the ski season?
    • Off trail requires LNT, climb as high as you want.
    • 1 hour, 15 min from Corner Brook
  4. Indian Head Range Trail near Stephenville
    • The colours! Mosses, larch and deciduous trees all in full colour plus views of Bay St. George. 
    • Trail is wet in sections, waterproof footwear required. 
    • 45 min from Corner Brook
  5. Humber Valley Trail 
    • This trail has seen a lot of work this summer - read this to learn about this time last year!. Section status as follows;
      • Ballams Bridge to Wild Cove (Old Man in the Mountain) - open through, new trail around last pond to the Old Man Lookout, reasonably well marked (look for the neon pink/fadded pink paint markers!) and the section down to wild cove is on fire with yellow birch!
      • Wild Cove to Humber Village - open through, but trailhead at Wild Cove is not well marked and very wet. Rest of trail is quite dry and there are many nice lookouts up and down the Humber Valley!
      • Humber Valley Resort section saw minimal work this summer, but the trail is accessible at the resort and has been well flagged and painted just to the summit lookout and back. 

Be Prepared for Adventure

Fall hiking changes the game a bit too; you have to pay attention to when it gets dark, bring more warm layers and be aware of hunting areas. 

Start by reviewing my Gear Checklist for a Day Hike to make sure you have the basics. Then add blaze orange clothing to your fall hiking wardrobe (I always wear a hat) so you can be seen in the woods. My post "Hike Safely During Hunting Season in NL" offers tips for how you can hit the trails and do so safely - a must read in preparation for fall hiking. 

Then take these amazing sunny fall days, and get outdoors and on the go!!

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