The weather forecast called for clouds and rain, but when we arrived the skies were clear with a nice breeze coming off the water.
We started our hike right away. We took a moment to stop at the picnic shelter, overlooking the terrain for a quick snack.
The park offered two trails to explore. We decided to hike the longer Port Joli Loop. The trail featured more coastline. We hiked along the trail for about another kilometre until we got to the trailhead. I noted the colourful warning sign of bear activity in the area.
We stopped for a drink of water at the observation deck at Boyds Cove. We checked our GPS and continued on. We were told that the trail had been re-aligned, but we didn't know where exactly the work was done. We finally arrived at the shoreline, where the trail moved onto the beach stones. The ocean waves were fairly active. You could see how the stone formations had been shaped by previous storms surges. This area looked very rugged.
We continued along to the other side of Port Joli Head and up to the old foundations. The area was once a sheep farm about 100 years ago with up to 1000 sheep. But the harsh landscape made that task difficult.
After a short break at the foundation, we continued along the trail, but noticed something in the distance. We saw a large black bear feeding on seaweed at one of the many beach areas. We saw that the trail would take us right on top of the bear. Suddenly the bear charged towards us then veered 90 degrees into the patch of coastal forest.
We later learned that the bear did a "bluff charge" - in short it was more scared of us. We decided to reverse track and not complete the loop. That will be for another day. That was my very first encounter with a black bear and it was awesome!
Take a look at the GPS track file to learn more about the hike.
More early history of the area can be found on the Parks Canada website.