Burnt Cape Cabins
P.O. Box 115
Raleigh, NL A0K 4J0

Phone: (709) 452-3521
Email:  bdz@nf.sympatico.ca
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Thursday, October 19, 2017
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Burnt Cape Tours

Tours of Burnt Cape Reserve

Amazing Guided Bus Tour | Cost: $75 per person

Don't miss our tour of Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve.

Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve is one of the most important botanical sites on the island of Newfoundland. You'll experience rare plants as well as possible arctic conditions. Guaranteed, there will be spectacular views, sites and nature at its best.

Amazing Tours of Burnt Cape Reserve

Experience A Newfoundland Day On The Cape.

Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve is one of the most significant botanical sites on the island of Newfoundland. You will see rare plants and experience possible arctic conditions. Guaranteed, there will be spectacular views, sites and nature at its best. Binoculars and appropriate footwear are highly recommended. The hike will last approximately two to three hours.

This special tour starts the third week of June and continues through Labor Day weekend from 9am until 12pm.
Contact us to reserve your tour in advance | Cost: $75 per person

Tour of Burnt Cape Map

Stop 1: Back Cove

Catching capelin with dip nets in Raleigh. Photo: Kathleen TuckerBack Cove presents a great photo opportunity for tourists. You are able to see the Strait of Belle Isle and during a strong nor’easter, you'll experience the sea in all its majesty.

Here on the beaches in front of you is where the capelin 'roll ashore' in June to spawn and die. Local people still gather the fish and dry it on flakes. Years ago, these small fish were used as food for sled dogs, as bait for fishermen, and as fertilizer on potato gardens. To catch them, people use cast nets and dip nets. There's a fine chance that you'll see whales, which are usually present when the capelin are in.

Stop 2: Government Wharf

Photo: Archie MilesRaleigh, Newfoundland was originally a fishing village. All along the shoreline, it was typical to see wharf after wharf - every family built their own wharves and stages. Now, few wharves or stages exist. They disappeared when the fishery changed from salted cod to fresh cod. Fishermen no longer required stages, so they brought their catch to the local government wharf.

Raleigh had its own fish plant, so fish was either processed here - or transported by truck to the fish plant in St. Anthony. Eventually the wharves and stages (left to nature) fell into ruin and were washed away by the sea.

Until the early 1990s, cod was the principle catch. After the cod moratorium (which closed down the cod fishery completely), fishermen began fishing other species in larger boats (crab, shrimp, lumpfish, mackerel, capelin and herring).

Stop 3: Raleigh Historical Society & Pynn's Wharf

Photo: Kathleen TuckerWhat you will see here are replicas of bunkhouses, wharves, stages and flakes. Bunkhouses were used as sleeping quarters for sharemen. The sharemen took their meals at the skipper's house. There were no washers and dryers; clothes were hung on clothes poles.

Many of the sharemen were young men who came from other parts of the island for summer employment, returning home in the fall. Occasionally, some would marry local girls and end up settling in the community.

Stop 4: 'The Neck' & How Raleigh Got Its Name

Photo: Archie MilesRaleigh is a fishing village in Ha Ha Bay. Until the present name, Raleigh was adopted in 1914, it was known as Ha Ha Bay. It is speculated that the name 'Ha Ha' derives from the archaic French word, which means a type of boundary or fence that could not be seen until closely approached. So likely, as the first French migratory fishermen approached from the sea, they would have assumed that Burnt Cape wasn’t connected to the adjacent land. But in fact, it is attached by a small, low isthmus, which is locally called 'the neck'.

This area was known by the French migratory fishermen in the 18th century and probably by Basques fishermen before that, whereas English settlement dates from the mid-1800s when English fishing crews arrived from other parts of Newfoundland.

The first known permanent settlers were William and Sarah Parmiter who were married here in 1871. The story goes that William and Sarah were aboard a sealing vessel that shipwrecked near Raleigh. They were the only survivors and they established a homestead on 'the neck', where descendants still live today.

Located here on 'the neck' is the Parmiter family cemetery. William and Sarah buried five of their six children in this cemetery on the same day; all victims of diphtheria.

The present name of Raleigh was adopted in March 1914. John Elliott (a local resident and minister) went to New York to work. During his time in the States, John heard of Raleigh, North Carolina - he took a liking to the name and upon his return home, he and another resident, Harvey Taylor petitioned Thomas Elliott (John's father) to write a letter to the Colonial Secretary requesting that the community be renamed. And so it was.

Stop 5: The Cape

Photo: Archie MilesIn 2000, Burnt Cape was fully designated an ecological reserve. Prior to this designation, local people and commercial operators availed themselves of its rich limestone deposits.

The Cape is surrounded on three sides by the cold waters from the Strait of Belle Isle. The peninsula has some of the most arctic conditions on the island of Newfoundland. It is this cold climate, together with a unique landscape and calcium-rich soil, which enables plants of a rich and rare variety to grow here.

The 3.6 km/square reserve takes up almost all of the Burnt Cape Peninsula. The Cape is home to more than 300 plant species—about 30 which are considered rare.

In June and July, you will see a rainbow carpet of colour as tiny arctic plants bloom. some of which are growing at their southernmost limits and others at their northernmost. Among the most significant are the Arctic Bladderpod, Alpine Arnica, Dwarf Hawk's Beard, and the Burnt Cape Cinquefoil. This is the only place in the world where this species grows. The Fernald's Braya (a threatened species) also grows here.

Frost Polygons - strange geometric circles or lines of rocks on the surface of the ground, are formed by the intense freeze/thaw cycles.

Visitors to the Cape should be prepared for a chilly time, even in summer. Frost, rain and fog are frequent.

Local sites on the Cape are the 'Big Oven' and the 'Little Oven', which are sea caves (the Cannonholes, perfectly formed circular holes formed by the action of the sea and the Hoo Doos, rock formations formed by erosion).

From the Cape, visitors will see Cape Norman Lighthouse, Pistolet Bay, the coast of Labrador, Belle Isle, whales, icebergs, fishing boats and ships transiting the Straits.