New Trail to Eastern Point, Portland Creek
On May 5, IAT Chairperson Paul Wylezol and local volunteer Robert Wentzell took advantage of a beautiful spring day to add a new section of trail to Eastern Point, near Portland Creek on the Great Northern Peninsula. The original IATNL route ended near the rocky shoreline, while the new section provides a safe detour around the rocks, for those less nimble on their feet.
Access to Portland Head begins with a short trail through the trees, approximately 100 meters north of the bridge crossing Portland Creek (the river) on Route 430.
A short 5-minute walk brings hikers to a beautiful sandy beach where Portland Creek River enters Portland Creek Cove.
It is the second largest of the trio of sandy beaches on the western side of the lower Northern Peninsula. The largest is at Shallow Bay, while the smallest is at Western Brook. The beach at Portland Creek is approximately 1.5 kilometers long, and is divided into two sections by the river.
During low tide, hikers can walk around the rocky shore to Eastern Point. However during high tide it is easier, safer, and drier to take the trail through the small forest on top of the Point, which begins above of a small grassy rise to the right of the trees.
Volunteer Robert Wentzell carrying gas can on Eastern Point
The trail ends at a height of barren land above the rocky coast, which provides a nice view of Portland Head, named by famed explorer and surveyor James Cook in 1767.
From there hikers can explore the rugged coastline that extends for 2 kilometers north to Cliffy Point.
Unusual rock formations, tidal pools and crashing waves define the area
as do jetsam and other manner of floating debris, both natural and man-made. In 2011, Wylezol discovered a 4-foot length of rib from an old ocean going ship, complete with peg holes and wooden pegs. The piece is believed to be a remnant of the legendary pirate ship that ran aground in Portland Creek in the 18th century.
Traces of the pirates were even found after completing the trail to the Point, lodged between rocks on the shore!
Looking up, the view to the south includes Portland Creek Cove and the snow-covered Flat Hills beyond.
However the most prominent local landmark is the 500ft high Portland Head, which looks like a giant whale headed out to sea.
But watch for the smaller landmarks as well, and be careful not to step on them!!!