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Boney Shore Walking Trail

(click here to find location on the map)

When you get off the Labrador ferry at Blanc Sablon, Quebec, follow the road up the hill to Highway 138. Turn right (east) and follow 138 to the Labrador border. The highway number changes to Route 510, which is also the Trans Labrador Highway. It’s only 80 km to Red Bay, but plan on a 1.5 hour drive. The road is paved but currently (2016) most of it is in pretty rough shape. You will come down a steep hill to enter Red Bay. Towards the bottom there is a road to your right. The sign for the trails (includes the Tracey Hill Trail) are at the highway but you will drive along a gravel lane for a bit till you come to the trail head.

The trail is an off shoot of the Tracey Hill Trail. If climbing stairs is not for you stay on the lower path that will take you to the beach. It is mainly a gravel path, easy to walk, but it does get more difficult if you walk close to the rocky shore.

The Boney Shore Trail follows the shoreline of Red Bay Harbour. When you get to the end of it you have reached the “Boney Shore”. Whale carcasses, discarded by the Basque working on Saddle Island, would wash ashore at this location. The trail gives you a wonderful view of the harbour and Saddle Island.

Initially we were not sure if we were seeing driftwood or bones among the growth, but once you got the hang of it there were bones everywhere. Most of these will date back to the mid to late 1500’s. Not until the 1970’s, when it was confirmed that Red Bay had been a Basque whaling station, did the abundance of whale bones in this small area make sense.

While the whale bones are neat to see, the beach here has lots more to offer. Various bird species can be seen in and out of the water. The views of Red Bay and Saddle Island are great from here. Last but not least there is usually an iceberg to be seen in the spring and early summer.

Red Bay Attractions & Services:

Red Bay is home to a UNESCO world heritage site. There is also a whale museum at the town hall. There are several excellent trails. If you like to take pictures, you’ll love Red Bay.

BNL is a convenience store that will cover your basic grocery needs. The closest well stocked grocery store is in L’Anse-au-Loup. There is a liquor store at the atv dealer in L’Anse-au-Loup. There is also a fully stocked lumber yard in L’Anse-au-Loup. If you’d like to go in the other direction, there is an amazing store called Mona’s Place in Lodge Bay. They call it Labrador’s Walmart.

Whaler’s Station is another must see in Red Bay. They have one of our favourite restaurants in Newfoundland and Labrador. They also have an excellent gift shop. If you want a Labrador t-shirt or ball hat, you’ll find it here. If you’d like hand-made crafts, go into the lower level of the National Historic Site building across the parking lot.