Things To Do

The Baccalieu Trail


The long finger of the Avalon Peninsula between Trinity and Conception Bays, the Baccalieu Trail is one of Newfoundland's most picturesque areas.


The name 'Baccalieu' is derived either from the Portuguese bacalhauSpanish bacalao or the Basquebaccalos, all meaning "codfish". Early Portuguese maps dating before Columbus' voyage indicate an island east of the Azores named Terra do Bacalhau which may have been the whole island of Newfoundland. Modern Baccalieu Island was known to Europeans by that name since at least 1556, when it was drawn on the Gastaldi map as "Bacalaos".[1]


No trip to Newfoundland would be complete without "going out round the bay" to an outport.  An outport is a small isolated coastal community and is unique to Newfoundland.  They are some of the oldest European settlements in Canada to this day, many of them having been established by Portuguese, Spanish, Basque, French, and English fishermen and whalers in the 1500s-1800s. Typically, they feature small wooden houses and associated outbuildings and fishing stages clustered around the water's edge. The pattern of small isolated settlements resulted from actions of the Parliament of England to make permanent settlement of Newfoundland illegal. Seventeenth century English fishermen and fish merchants wished to avoid competition from a local population gaining control of the most productive fishing locations as the New England colonies had done in the Gulf of Maine. The questionable legal status of Newfoundland's clandestine settlements discouraged the type of infrastructure investments found in the Maritime Provinces.  


This year, National Geographic named the Avalon Peninsula as the very top of 99 coastal tourism destinations in the world, beating out popular seaside travel spots in Wales, New Zealand, Hawaii, Italy, Australia and other provinces within Canada


The Baccalieu Trail Region consists of about seventy outport communities.  Use the 'Traveller's Diary" to bump into the most colourful people and interesting places. These isolated communities are found along along 240 km of coastline on a peninsula that forms the north side of Conception Bay and the south side of Trinity Bay on the Avalon Peninsula, including Cupids, established in 1610, the Bristol’s Hope Plantation established at Harbour Grace in 1618, and Carbonear settled in 1631.




The trail makes a great driving route and Carbonear is a perfect jump off point for exploring the area.  A quaint seaside community that is everything its name suggests, delivering amazing seascapes and coastal hiking trails.  


"... Newfoundland is a special place. It's a gift to travelers, willing to look.




Carbonear is among the oldest settlements in North America. The harbour was named by migratory fishermen before John Guy and the other settlers arrived in Cupids in 1610, to establish the first English settlement in Canada. The settlers mention Carbonear by name in their letters and journals.

Origin of Name - Carbonear

The name Carbonear may be French or Spanish. Some people think that the name comes from a Spanish word, “carbonera”, which can mean either “wood prepared for burning into charcoal”, “charcoal kiln”, or “woman who makes or sells charcoal”. If Carbonear is a French name, it might come from the French word “Carbonnier”, which is a family name from Picardy and Normandy in France. It might also come from “La Carbonnière”, which is a place-name in Normandy.

Carbonear - Newfoundland and Labrador Route 70 Coordinates: 47.7359° N, 53.2288° W

The Town Of Carbonear, seated like a jewel in a peaceful valley, is one of the oldest towns in Canada. It was first mentioned by Fishing Admirals in 1550 and was first settled by Nicholas Guy in 1630. The town's rich cultural history includes pirates, battles. the legendary Irish Princess, Sheila Na Gerira, and a prosperous fishery.

As you enter the town, you can see Carbonear Island, the site of a number of battles, located at the mouth of the harbour. In 1812 Mr. H.C. Watts requested three guns to protect the town from American privateers. Two of the guns can be seen today on Harbour Rock Hill. Heritage Structures, Museums, and monuments add to the historic feel of the town.

As one of the largest towns on the Baccalieu Trail, Carbonear has many Baccalieu Trail regional services including the Trinity Conception Square Shopping Centre, the Regional community Centre, the regional hospital, and regional Campuses of the College of the the North Atlantic and Keyin College.

The Rorke Premises, which is a rare existing example of a merchant fishery premises in Newfoundland, have been renovated to include an Interpretation Centre. The Rorke Stores, which were constructed entirely of wood, were build in the 1870s and remained in use until the 1970s. they form an integral part of the mercantile history of the community, as well as the fishing heritage of the fishing heritage of the region.

Across the street from the Rorke merchant store houses stands Rorke's Stone Jug, the oldest existing building on Water Street in Carbonear and the only building of its kind in the community, as it is of stone construction. Members of the family say the present structure was built in 1863 and that the slabs of the of stone were cut at Kelly's Island. There were living quarters above the ground floor.

The Conception Bay Regional Community Centre house the 384 seat Princess Sheila Na Geira theatre which features concerts and theatricals many weekends. The theatre is the official home of the annual Kiwanis Music Festival. The Community Centre also houses the council offices and the public library.

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