Day 72: Butterpot Provincial Park to St. John’s C.A. Pippy Park Campground

St. John's

St. John’s, population 100 646, is the provincial capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. Sir Humphrey Gilbert declared Newfoundland an English colony in 1583. The generally accepted story for its name is that John Cabot became the first European to sail into the harbour, on June 24, 1497, the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. Others believe that the name came from Basque fishermen. The bay of St. John’s is similar to the Bay of Pasaia in Basque Country. The Bay of Pasaia is home to a town called San Juan, which translates to “St. John” in English.

St. John’s Harbour is a geographical oddity. A small inlet leads into an expansive harbour, sheltering the boats in port from the often angry Atlantic Ocean.

Traditionally, St. John’s economy has focused on fishing but this has changed within the last two decades. Presently, St. John’s economy is being spurred on by oil and gas being extracted offshore.

The city itself is focused around the St. John’s Harbour and Water Street, North America’s oldest street. From the harbour and Water Street, St. John’s rises in elevation. Houses in the city are painted a unique array of colours that are sure to leave an impression.

Don’t leave St. John’s without hiking up to Signal Hill, the site of the final battle of the Seven Years’ War. In 1762 the French surrendered to the British here.

Coloured flags were the primary mode of communication between the boats and signalmen from the 1600s until the mid 1900s. Cabot Tower was built in 1897, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s discovery of Newfoundland. Today, Signal Hill is a National Historic Site. Enjoy some of the hiking trails through the area. To get there, head northeast down Duckworth Street until it turns into Signal Hill Road and continue following it towards Signal Hill.

If you enjoy a cold pint, you owe it to yourself to head to Quidi Vidi Brewery. It is located in an old fish processing plant. They offer daily sampling tours of the brewery. It is located just north of downtown.

To celebrate your arrival in St. John’s, head to George Street. It is believed that George Street has more bars and pubs per square foot than any street in North America. The small street is only open to vehicle traffic from 8 AM until noon, allowing the bars to re-stock their supply. George Street is busiest on weekends.

Your destination for the evening is C.A. Pippy Park. This large park located north of downtown St. John’s is home to a campground, the Newfoundland Freshwater Resource Centre and the Fluvarium. It gives visitors an introduction to the freshwater ecology of Newfoundland.

If you want a roof over your head check out Foggy Rock Hostel or City Hostel.

St. John’s International Airport is easily accessible from downtown St. John’s.

Kilometre Log
0.0Leave Butter Pot Provincial Park heading south on
Daniels Road.
2.6Turn left onto HWY 1.
13.1Intersection of HWY 1 & HWY 61.
16.4Thomas Pond.
20.7Paddys Pond.
24.5Cross HWY 2 / Harbour Arterial Road.
27.5Intersection of HWY 1 & HWY 60.
32.1Intersection of HWY 1 & HWY 50.
34.1Enter Pippy Park.
34.5Intersection of HWY 1 & Team Gushue HWY.
37.5Take Exit 46 on your right off of the highway onto
Allandale Road.
39.1Turn right onto Nagles Place.
39.8Enter C.A. Pippy Park Camgpround.

View Larger Map