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The final push to the summit on the Alexander Murray Trail

Hiking the Alexander Murray Trail in King’s Point

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The Alexander Murray Trail, named for Sir Alexander Murray – the first person to ever produce a geological map of Newfoundland, is located in the small community of King’s Point, Newfoundland. It’s not a spot on the radar of many BUT if you’re driving the Trans-Canada Highway northeast of Deer Lake, then it’s worth making the three to four hour stop to hike the Alexander Murray trail.

Location map

                         

The Alexander Murray trail is a great hike

The trail is a study in stair construction and design. There are 2,200 stairs in total – both going up and coming down that you’ll have to hike. Despite the fact that you may be winded doing this – you may even be cursing at times, the stairs make the hiking a whole lot easier.

The trail is incredibly well marked. At various locations there are signs indicating the distance and how long you can expect it to take to the next signed area. For those of you, who worry about getting lost, fear not.

The first of the 2,200 stairs occurs within 5 minutes of the start of the trail
The first of the 2,200 stairs occurs within 5 minutes of the start of the trail
Looking down one of the steep sets of stairs
Looking down one of the steep sets of stairs
Heading for Corner Brook Gorge
Heading for Corner Brook Gorge

Look for wildlife

There is the chance to see wildlife, though the best we could so was the grouse pictured below.

You do hike through an area called Moose Barrens, where you’ll spot plenty of moose poop, but unfortunately for us not a single moose. Mind you, it was hot on the day we did it, so any moose in the area were probably taking a siesta.

The only wildlife we saw on the trail
The only wildlife we saw on the trail
The trail through the Moose Barrens area
The trail through the Moose Barrens area

Side trip to Corner Brook Falls and Corner Brook Gorge

The whole Alexander Murray Trail is eight kilometres long. It’s primarily a loop with minimal backtracking required. There’s a side trip well worth doing to Corner Brook Gorge and Corner Brook Falls.

It requires a descent of over 200 stairs – which is easy enough – but then you have to ascend those stairs to the main trail and continue on to the summit.

Do it, especially on a hot day as it’s cool at the bottom. And the pool at the base of the falls certainly looks inviting too.

Corner Brook Falls in Corner Brook Gorge
Corner Brook Falls in Corner Brook Gorge
The pool at the bottom of the falls looks very inviting on a hot summer day
The pool at the bottom of the falls looks very inviting on a hot summer day

Once you’re back to the main trail, these are the stairs you can look forward to climbing.

Hiking the Alexander Murray Trail near King's Point, Newfoundland
My friend Judy thinking enough already with these stairs
Hiking the Alexander Murray Trail near King's Point, Newfoundland
The final push to the summit
Hiking the Alexander Murray Trail near King's Point, Newfoundland
Lookouts on the summit of the trail offer stellar views

Beautiful views from the summit

The summit, called HayPook offers 360 degree views. Look down the Southwest Arm of Green Bay, where you can spot icebergs this year. You’ll also see the Gaff Topsails, a geological feature known as drumlins on the southwestern horizon.

The descent from the summit is via a combination of stairs and dirt trail. It passes two waterfalls – Roswell’s and Gull Brook Falls as well as a campsite with a couple of tent platforms.

Generally, the descent is very pleasant with the stairs well-spaced. There is one bridge that is washed out where you have to remove shoes to wade across – at least when we did it.

Lookout out to the Southwest Arm of Green Bay
Lookout out to the Southwest Arm of Green Bay
Icebergs can be seen on the horizon
Icebergs can be seen on the horizon
Looking west from the summit
Looking west from the summit
Looking back to Gull Brook Falls and the stairs
Looking back to Gull Brook Falls and the stairs
Wildflowers are common in wetter areas
Wildflowers are common in wetter areas
The one section of trail where you need to remove your boots
The one section of trail where you need to remove your boots

Once you’re back at the Moose Barrens it’s a quick 30 minute hike back to the parking lot.

Precise time and distance signs can frequently be seen on the trail
Precise time and distance signs can frequently be seen on the trail

Useful information about the hiking trail

The trail is 8 km round-trip with an elevation gain of 335 m (1,100 feet).

Expect it to take 3-5 hours depending on what sort of shape you’re in.

The trail is free to hike though donations for trail maintenance are gratefully accepted.

During business hours at the Visitor Center you can purchase drinks and snacks – as well as quilts and jam.

Before or after your hike, drive into town and eat at By the Sea Inn and Café. You can also spend the night.

Don’t forget the 10 hiking essentials.

Finding the trail

The trail starts by the entrance of the town of King’s Point at the Visitor Center in central Newfoundland, just 12 kilometres off the Trans-Canada Highway via Highway 391. The trail is located approximately 132 kilometres northeast of Deer Lake.

Further reading on hiking in Newfoundland 

Visit the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism website for more help with planning your vacation.

Click on the photo to bookmark to Pinterest.

The Alexander Murray hike in Newfoundland - one of the best in the province - but beware - 2200 stairs to the top!

***Thank you to Adventure Central Newfoundland for making this trip possible.***

 

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