I have a summer bucket list, a list of local things I am hoping to check out this summer. It’s part of my mission to experience more of my beautiful province. For years I have wanted to visit the fossils of Mistaken Point, so of course it made the list! If you are staying in St. John’s or surrounding areas you need to add visiting Mistaken Point to your travel bucket list.
Mistaken Point Tour
Apparently Mistaken Point gets it’s name from the sheer number of boats that have sadly met their demise in the area. Mistaken Point is only accessible by booking a tour, you can read more about that here. Visiting Mistaken Point involves a 2 hour drive south of St. John’s, then 20 minutes on a side road that is half paved and half gravel and a 6km easy hike return.
Mistaken Point Fossils
Mistaken Point is the location of thousands of fossils that are aged 540 – 580 million years old. They are known as soft bodied fossils (ediacara biota) that lived long before humans and dinosaurs. The site is both a World Heritage and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are two main areas that you view the fossils. You cannot wear your shoes on the areas so you are given booties to walk on them. You have to carry the booties to the site so bring a back pack.
One suggestion I would make is to bring a small towel, two extra pairs of socks (one in your backpack and leave one in the car) and leave a pair of shoes in your car. If it rains you will thank me. I would have loved to switch my socks after I had the booties on because my feet were soaked. I did have an extra pair of shoes and socks in the car which I was grateful for not having to drive back two hours with soaking wet feet. Also, bring a poncho, they are a dollar and small enough to stuff in your backpack. It could be the best dollar you have ever spent! Even if the forecast doesn’t call for rain bring it anyways. This is Newfoundland and our weather is unpredictable.
The hike, which is 6km return, was fairly easy the toughest part is at one point you have to scale down a small hill and cross a river which has stepping stones. It was a beautiful and scenic hike and despite the fact that it poured rain the scenery was breathtaking. One moment you were looking at a landscape that looked like Mars and the next the rugged stunning coast.
We had a great time, we learned a lot and experienced the beauty of our home province. If you are visiting or a local definitely check it out.