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 now a tourist attraction, drawing people from all over the world. 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.
Alexander Murray Trail summary
- You will climb 2,200 stairs if you hike the full Alexander Murray Trail.
- The trail is 8 km round-trip with an elevation gain of 335 m or 1,100 feet.
- Allow 3 – 5 hours, depending on your hiking speed and how long you spend by the falls.
- I’d rate the hike as moderate. Kids 8 and up should be able to do it if they’re regular hikers.
- Enjoy three waterfalls over the length of the trail.
- You do not have to pay to hike, but donations are welcome and are used for trail maintenance.
- 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.
Location map of the trail
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.
Look for wildlife on the hike
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.
Hike 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.
Once you’re back to the main trail, these are the stairs you can look forward to climbing.
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.
Once you’re back at the Moose Barrens it’s a quick 30-minute hike back to the parking lot.
Finding the Alexander Murray trail
The trail starts by the entrance of the town of King’s Point at the Visitor Center in central Newfoundland, just 12 km off the Trans-Canada Highway via Highway 391. The trail is located approximately 132 km northeast of Deer Lake.
More sights to see in King’s Point
Before of after your hike, visit King’s Point Pottery Gallery, awarded the number 1 craft shop in Atlantic Canada and Newfoundland’s top shopping destination from 2013 till COVID hit in 2020. It features up to 365 craftspeople and artists.
The King’s Point Whale Pavilion is another worthwhile stop if you’re in the area between June 27th and September 5th. You’ll find the world’s largest reconstruction of a humpback whale.
Further reading on hiking in Newfoundland
- East Coast Trail Hiking Guide
- Hiking the Skerwink Trail near Trinity, Newfoundland
- Hiking the Long Range Traverse in Newfoundland
- A Hike to the Summit of Gros Morne Mountain
Visit the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism website for more help with planning your vacation.
Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.
***Thank you to Adventure Central Newfoundland for making this trip possible.***