The Flat Rock River Trail is located just twenty minutes outside of St. John’s and is a great short hike with some amazing ocean views and some amazing photo opportunities. The trail begins from the edge of route 20 just a few hundred feet south of Flat Rock River, and follows the waters edge for just over half a kilometer before reaching the sea. The rocky trail follows the river, which features several small and medium sized drops and one large waterfall. It also has a number of neat “cannonball holes”, which are large circular holes that have worn into the rock over the millennia. Later in the season there are plenty of blueberries to be found along the trail as well, making for a great snack!
As you get closer to the ocean the granite and slates begin to give way to dark red sandstone conglomerates and the erosive power of the ocean waves become clearly visible. Sandstone erodes much more quickly than most other rocks and the coastline here is like a natural sculpture shaped by some giant unseen hand. From here you can get some great views of the ocean and of the “Beamer” a nearby headland popular with rock climbers.
The trail is very rocky in some areas and requires a bit of scrambling and climbing in a few places but it is mainly dry. It could be tricky in rainy weather and depending on water levels; you may or may not be able to cross the river at the bottom. This is a great short hike with some views that are well worth the extra difficulty.
Flat Rock is located 20 km. from downtown St. John's, drive north out of St. John's on Torbay Road (route 20) for approximately 18 km. The trail head is located on the side of the road, just south of the river.
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