Why visit Newfoundland during the Fall?
We’ll be honest, it’s unlikely that the icebergs and humpback whales Newfoundland has become known for will be a part of your Fall vacation to Newfoundland. They certainly make Newfoundland special, but they are not what makes Newfoundland unique. That would be the Newfoundlanders themselves and the dramatic landscape they call home. We can guarantee that Newfoundland charm, hospitality and countless accents are always in full force no matter what time of the year you visit. Fall offers an added bonus of berries, ripe for the picking, stunning sunsets and world-class trails shared with fewer people.
Use this guide to better plan your Fall trip to Trinity, Newfoundland and the Bonavista Peninsula.
ACTIVITIES IN SEPTEMBER
With the exception of the two activities in the below section, the majority of activities, shops and restaurants continue operating as they did in July and August.
Closures after Labour Day Weekend
The Ryan Premises National Historic Site closes in Bonavista
Rising Tide Theatre finishes both Dinner Theatre and the Trinity Pageant performances on Labour Day Weekend, however, continues with evening performances through the month of September.
Wildlife during September and October
By late August the puffins will have departed from their colonies to resume living on the ocean. Humpback whales typically finish feeding on capelin by late August, but a scattered few still hang on. Icebergs are more typical during the Spring months and have rarely been spotted during the fall. If seeing one of these 3 things is essential to your trip to Newfoundland this may not be the time for you to visit. If you are interested in various types of wildlife, the Bonavista Peninsula still has lots to offer. In addition to wildlife, the stunning geology of the Bonavista Peninsula is worth a trip out. While we can never guarantee day-to-day sightings, these logs from Sea of Whales Adventures’ 2017 Fall trips should provide an idea of what nature has to offer.
A Sei Whale!
Posted on September 9, 2017
Great trips today with 1 humpback whale, 1 sei whale, 6 Bluefin tuna, 1 ocean sunfish, bald eagles, puffins, and arctic terns.
Finally White Sided Dolphins!
Posted on September 14, 2017
A beautiful day on the water today with 1 humpback whale, 12 white sided dolphins, bald eagles, gannets, and arctic terns. This is our first sighting of the white sided dolphins this season. These are the ones that form super pods!
Fabulous Fall Day
Posted on September 16, 2017
A fabulous fall day out there with 6 sperm whales, 1 humpback whale, 30-50 white sided dolphins, bald eagles, and arctic terns.
The First Superpod of the Season!
Posted on September 17, 2017
Had our first super pod today! Hung out with around 200 white sided dolphins, 1 minke whale, a bald eagle, double crested cormorants, and arctic terns.
Beautiful Calm Day
Posted on September 22, 2017
A beautiful calm day on the water with 6 harbour porpoises, bald eagles, arctic terns and red necked phalaropes.
A Super Superpod
Posted on September 25, 2017
A super pod of 1000+ white sided dolphins today with blue fin tuna, bald eagles, arctic terns, gannets, and northern fulmars.
A Lovely Day
Posted on October 9, 2017
A lovely day on the water with 2 minke whales, double crested cormorants, red necked phalaropes, and bald eagles.
Dolphins Great and Small
Posted on October 10, 2017
What a day out there with 12 Orcas (the largest dolphins), 40-50 white beaked dolphins (some of the smallest dolphins), 1 sei whale, gannets, and murres.
Posted on October 11, 2017
A wonderful warm day out there with a minke whale, gannets, murres, and bald eagles.
SEPTEMBER FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
Bonavista Biennale FLOE – August 17th to September 15th
An exhibition of contemporary artwork by Indigenous, Canadian and International artists, situated in outport communities along the rugged North Atlantic coastline.
Learn More on the Bonavista Biennale website.
BonRexton Grandfondo (cycling event) – September 7th 2019
The BonRexton Granfondo is a celebration of Newfoundland and Labrador’s unique culture, cuisine and topography.
With roads hugging rugged coastlines throughout one hundred and thirty beautiful kilometres, BonRexton Granfondo riders will roll through small communities which boast hundreds of years steeped in seafaring history as well as modern cultural innovations. Riders pass towns revitalized by breweries, coffee shops, artist studios and world-class tourism amenities.
This ride is fully supported, with a roveing mechanic and multiple first aid patrolling the course throughout the day. Riders will finish off at the school for a reception, followed later on by drinks at the Brewery.
Visit the BonRexton GrandFondo website for details on the race and registration.
Trinity’s Fort to Forge 10km Run – September 16th
If you travel to race, September is the perfect time to visit Trinity, which hosts a 10km coastal run from the Fort Point Lighthouse to the Green Family Forge. The money raised from registration is usually split between two organizations. In 2018 YAC (Young Adults with Cancer) and the Trinity Fire Department were the recipients of the funds raised.
Roots Rants and Roars Culinary Festival – September 20th and 21st 2019
This 2-day culinary festival takes place in Elliston and almost always sells out, so book your tickets and accommodations early. The festival is comprised of 3 events.
The King of Cod
This event, hosted on Friday evening, challenges Newfoundland Chefs to create an inspiring dish from the Newfoundland staple of Cod Fish. Festival-goers vote on their favourite dish, which they sample while being entertained by some of Newfoundland’s best bands.
The Food Hike
Some of Canada’s Top Chefs fly to Newfoundland to participate in this daytime event. Participants walk along sandy beaches, rocky cliffs and quaint root cellars, stopping every half kilometre to be served Newfoundland inspired dishes by one of these top chefs. Each chef is usually accompanied by a Newfoundland musician to provide a soundtrack to the moment.
Canadian and Newfoundland Chefs team up to create a multi-course meal (usually 7 courses or so) on the final night of the festival. Harvest style tables and plating bring festival-goers, both friends and strangers, together to share in a special evening.
Take advantage of shoulder season rates
Shoulder season rates and packages take effect at the Artisan Inn beginning October 1st.
A number of activities and businesses begin to shut down for the season between the first weekend of October and Canadian Thanksgiving(The 2nd Sunday of October). Despite this, there is still plenty to do during a visit to the area. Guests booked at the Artisan Inn during this time will receive a multi-day itinerary with detailed driving directions, featuring places open for dining, activities still ongoing, locations of hiking trails and scenic spots to visit.
There are also businesses in Trinity that only run during the early part of October. Learn about these businesses and activities at the bottom of this page.
ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS OPEN DURING THE FULL MONTH OF OCTOBER
These are activities you can partake in no matter what week in October you are visiting. Some may only be operating on certain days of the week or require advanced notice of your interest. We recommend you contact each business that interests you directly for additional information.
Check out what travel Blogger Candice Walsh has to say about staying at the Artisan Inn in late October
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT TRINITY IN THE FALL
HIKE DISCOVERY SELF-GUIDED HIKES
The shoulder season means you will be sharing the trails with fewer fellow travellers. For more details on the below trails visit our Hiking section.
Skerwink Trail – Moderate to Difficult
Approximately 2 hours
Gun Hill Trail – Easy to Moderate
2km Lower Trail loop, 1km Upper Trail
Approximately 1-2 hours for both
Fox Island Trail – Moderate
Approximately 2 hours
Murphy’s Cove Trail – Moderate
Approximately 3 hours
Cape Shore Trail – Easy
Approximately 1.5 hours one-way
Lighthouse Trail – Easy
3.5km outside loop
1.7km inside loop
Approximately 1.5 hours Outside Loop, 45 minutes Inside Loop
Klondike Trail – Easy
3.0 km 1 way
Approximately 1 hour – 1 way
Ales For Trails: Skerwink Trail Run Event
Typically the first weekend of November
This event is organized by Hike Discovery and proceeds go towards our area’s trails. The event had a successful first year in 2017, during the first weekend of November, and participants could choose between running the Skerwink Trail or walking the Fox Island Trail. Beer at the Port Rexton Brewery, trail swag, lunch, dinner and an evening party are included with participant registration. This event sold out with a waiting list of over 100 people. For information regarding the event in 2018, follow the Hike Discovery Facebook Page or visit their website at www.hikediscovery.com
Rugged Beauty Boat Tours
Explore resettled communities with captain Bruce Miller, who lived through it all. The tour begins in New Bonaventure, 25 minutes from the Artisan Inn, and takes you by boat to see the Random Passage film set, British Harbour and Ireland’s Eye. You will even stop by Bruce’s cabin for a cup of tea mid-trip. This tour is focused on culture and modern history. Bruce will depart if the weather is agreeable and enough passengers are interested. It is always best to call ahead so Bruce can better schedule his tours.
Tuckamore Discoveries Guided Hiking Tours
Jon Joy, the owner and guide of Tuckamore Discoveries, will take you on a guided tour around Spillar’s Cove, near Bonavista, and teaches you about the local flora and fauna. Learn about the local geology and what natural resources people used to cure their ailments.
Bonavista Adventure Tours
Bonavista Adventure Tours will be offering most of their tours until the end of October. Their boat tour and beach boil come to an end in late September, but they are offering a forage and boil up until the end of October.
GEOLOGICAL HIGHLIGHTS AND POINTS OF INTEREST
Detailed driving directions to these sites are provided in our multi-day itinerary
Dungeon Provincial Park
Spillar’s Cove Sea Stack
Tickle Cove Sea Arch
Fort Point Lighthouse and Beach
Horsechops – English Harbour
Elliston Root Cellars
Sealer’s Memorial Statue in Elliston
John Cabot Statue in Bonavista
Port Union Fossils
Bonavita Biennale Exhibit in King’s Cove: Upside Down Trees
DINE AT THE TWINE LOFT RESTAURANT
Dine by candlelight in a restored shed, once used to repair fishermen’s nets. Wrap up in a blanket on the waterside deck for a pre-dinner drink or watch the sunset from the upstairs loft. The Twine Loft is recommended by Where to Eat in Canada and Lonely Planet.
The restaurant is licensed to serve the public so one does not need to be a guest of the inn to make a reservation, however, we will only operate on nights when we have guests of the Artisan Inn booked for dining or there are a minimum of 6 people booked from outside the inn. If you would like to dine with us around this time, whether you are a guest of the inn or not, please contact us as soon as possible to make your reservations to help us know which days we should encourage others to book. Stay and Dine Packages are available for the month of October.
Throughout the Peninsula, a handful of dining establishments stay open for the entire month of October, including: Two Whales Coffee Shop (5 days a week) Fisher’s Loft, Fishing Stage Takeout, Seaport Inn’s Fireside Dining Room, The Galley Restaurant, Shannon’s Pub and Harbour Quarters. Please check with each individual establishment for fall hours. Find a list with operating hours and days here Open Until Trinity Festival Weekend: Early October Restaurant Guide Open during the last 2 weeks of October Restaurants Open During Late October.
PORT REXTON BREWERY
Open 5 days a week in October, the Port Rexton Brewery is one of Newfoundland’s newest and finest microbreweries, located only a 10-minute drive from the Artisan Inn. Please check with the brewery for their schedule.
ADMIRE THE ARCHITECTURE & CHARM OF TRINITY
Walk the white-picket-fence lined streets of Trinity during a time of year with fantastic light and take in the stunning architecture of clapboard saltbox houses. If you are interested in seeing some of the historic sites after they have been closed for the season, let us know and we can do our best to arrange for a private tour of the municipal sites. Even late into October, you will find the doors of the Green Family Forge open on weekdays when the two trained blacksmiths are preparing orders for the Christmas season.
Take a PHOTO TOUR OF TRINITY for more pictures.
VISIT TRINITY’S FORGE
Operating Monday – Friday this is the only historic site that remains operating for the entire month of October. At this time the certified blacksmiths are creating products for Christmas craft fairs and to fill online orders from around the world. There is no official charge to visit the forge, however, we encourage visitors to leave a donation that contributes to the Trinity Historical Societies daily operations.
TAKE TIME TO RELAX AT THE ARTISAN INN
The Bonavista Peninsula is a stunning destination. One of the most common complaints we hear upon check out is that guests forgot to schedule the time to do nothing. Even on days of cooler, or even wild weather, curling up with a book in one of our properties can do wonders for the soul. Some rooms and houses even come with their own private libraries. We provide copies of the films The Grand Seduction, Maudie, Random Passage and The Shipping News to guests to watch in their rooms or vacation homes. We also offer directions to many locations where these films were shot. If you love history and are disappointed to be missing the historic sites and museums, consider renting one of our properties built in the 1800s.
Star Gaze with a blanket on the deck
There is very little light pollution in the outport community of Trinity. If you happen to be staying with us on a clear night, make a cup of hot chocolate (provided with your room or vacation home), grab one of our cozy blankets and admire the Milky Way and the constellations of the Northern Hemisphere.
EARLY OCTOBER OPERATIONS
Certain businesses are not mentioned above because they do not operate until the end of October, use the below guide to find out what businesses in Trinity close when. Some businesses close down and re-open for the Trinity Fall Festival. Details regarding the festival can be found at the bottom of this page. This list is only regarding operations in the town of Trinity. There are a number of attractions and businesses in other communities along the Bonavista Peninsula that remain open from early October to Thanksgiving.
Please note that these closure dates are predictions and based on closure dates of 2017. The timing of weekends, weather and new events and festivals can affect private operator’s decisions to extend their season or shorten it. If there is an activity you are interested in around these closure dates please contact them directly to confirm schedules.
Businesses in Trinity that stay open until Mid-October
Dock Marina and Gift Shop
The Dock Marina Restaurant and Gift Shop will likely stay open until the end of the Trinity Fall Festival.
Mirabella Shop will remain open until the end of the Fall Festival in Trinity
Boat tour operators in Trinity continue offering trips until mid-October. They will pull their boats from the water once they feel they can no longer meet the minimum number of passengers necessary to continue operating.
Businesses in Trinity that operate up until the Thanksgiving Weekend
Trinity Historic Sites
All Trinity Municipal and Historic Sites remain open until the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend.
The Stores associated with the historic sites, Trinity Crafts and Lester Garland Gift Shop will operate until the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend. They will close for the following week and re-open for the Trinity Fall Festival Weekend.
Businesses in Trinity that only operate for the first few days of October
Aunt Sarah’s Chocolate
Aunt Sarah’s Chocolate typically stays open for the first few days of October. They will close and re-open for the Trinity Fall Festival Weekend. Be advised that the owners of Aunt Sarah’s do respond to chocolate emergencies! If you know you will want to purchase their chocolate, please let us know in advance and we will do our best to arrange for that to happen.
Trinity Mercantile Coffee Shop
Trinity Mercantile Coffee Shop stays open for the first few days of October. They will close and re-open for the Trinity Fall Festival Weekend.
TRINITY FALL FESTIVAL
Typically the weekend after Thanksgiving
Details will be posted on www.trinityanchor.ca, once a date has been determined.
Even shops that have closed down for the season reopen for this three-day festival. Organized by the Trinity Anchor, this fall festival sees most shops in Trinity re-opening for the weekend allowing visitors to shop, dine and hike. Participating businesses offer a discount or promotion to anyone making a purchase.
Last Year’s participating businesses included
Dock Marina Restaurant and Art’s Gallery
Aunt Sarah’s Chocolates
Lester Garland Gift Shop
Trinity Mercantile Coffee Shop
Newfoundland Craft Pop Up at the Parish Hall