Sunday, August 25, 2013

Leg 2: Joy's Point to O'Rourke's Road

Friday, August 23, 2013
Finally, we get back to this after weeks occupied by visiting family and then sailing.  At this rate it would take us an entire year to complete the distance from Holyrood to St. John's.  Please, don't let that happen!!

The walk begins at the picnic table on Northside Road and parallels the road with the ocean close on the left side.  We pass the Catholic church, a defunct fish plant, remnants of a very old cemetery, houses with attractive gardens and a couple of small coves where people come to catch capelin or have bonfires.  As we approach the main beach the trail is covered by a boardwalk which the town built about 10 years ago.  I wonder are there others between here and town.

A mural covers a concrete retaining wall.

Here is a glance back to the Marine Institute's Ocean Base, a new building constructed just a few years ago in a style meant to reflect traditional rural architecture.  The mouth of the harbour is seen in the background here as you look north.

The long curve of Holyrood's main beach is the first location along the Conception Bay Highway (coming from St. John's) where it is possible to pull in and enjoy the ocean.

The Town of Holyrood has built benches, erected story-boards and maintains flowerbeds for the enjoyment of visitors and residents.  This a favourite spot for dog-walkers and picnickers.  Two restaurants bracket the beach and rumour has it a third is reopening after being closed for many years.

A short distance past the end of the beach we cross Maher's River, with the marina on the seaside and a pretty spot of undeveloped land upstream.

The trail intersects with Sir Alfred Walsh Drive and we walk behind what passes for Holyrood's business district, including a bank, some fast food restaurants and a fine grocery store.  It dives into a wooded section with fencing and Private Property signs on the left (ocean) side. The fenced section belongs to the fuel storage facility, the old Golden Eagle Refinery property.  Not scenic, but we all need to have our share of the facilities necessary to supply today's world I guess.

This bush had the most beautiful red berries but I have no idea what it is.  Not chokecherries or chuckley pears.

Home (Healey's Cove) is still visible across the harbour.  

Towards the end of today's leg we arrive at the Marina Shores housing subdivision. The developers received permission to realign the T'Railway and today I came to understand the concept.  Instead of the trail paralleling a street, which would have resulted in multiple intersections, it appears to be routed to run behind the building lots, creating better separation from houses.  Spindly maple trees have been planted on a berm along the trail.  This could work.


Distance:  ~5 km, one-way only

Time:  1 hour, 20 minutes

Litter:  Bad along Northside Road, including lots of construction material, i.e. house wrap, and also behind the fast food restaurants.  

Trail condition:  Reasonable.  The boardwalk keeps motorized vehicles away from the beach area.  ATV gouges between the harbour and Marina Shores.

Scenic Rating:  *** at beginning, takes a hit when beside the oil tanks.

Fellow walkers:   About 6-8, all female and all with dogs.  2-3 ATVs.