This route is a one-day hike, covering a total distance of about 3 kilometers. There are no marked trails. The area is mostly dry, over bare rock and by way of animal trails.
Generally the hiking is easy to moderate. Map and compass may not be necessary; It is always a good idea to carry, at least, basic navigation equipment such as map and compass.
This mountain range is located in the southwestern interior of Newfoundland Island, about 62 kilometers along route 480.
Wildlife viewing opportunities are highly likely. Moose and caribou inhabit these forests and barrens. The rare and elusive Arctic Hare has been seen on the highest mountaintops, including the Annieopsquotch Mountains.
Composed mainly of gabbro and diabase rocks, the summits are dark and imposing. Heavily glaciated during the last ice age, this range has been worn down and rounded by the action of glaciers. Scattered over the landscape are numerous boulders of various sizes that were dropped by the retreating ice.
This hike can be done by a person of average physical fitness and novice level hiking experience. Some basic knowledge of topographic map reading is required, in order to understand the grid reference numbers and compass bearings given in the route guide. A concise explanation of grid reference is usually printed in the right margin of most topographic maps.
The total distance is approximately 3 kilometers and can be done in 3 - 4 hours, depending on the number of stops and side-trips taken. The elevation rises from 360m (1200 ft.) to 510m (1650 ft.) at the summit. The first .5 k is gently undulating over clear open country covered with low shrubs. Altitude is gained rapidly in the last 1 k. There are several small ponds and several boggy wet areas, but most of the route is over dry solid ground. The highway is in view for most of the route described, but navigation equipment such as map and compass is recommended. Before you leave, make sure someone knows your route plan and report back to them upon your return. Animals such as moose, caribou and black bear are known to live in this area. Smaller animals such as fox, beaver and squirrel, as well as a variety of birds, make this area their home. On the mountain top you may spot rock ptarmigan or arctic hare.
•Topographic map needed:
All references to Annieopsquotch Mountains are from Canadian 1:50 000 topographic map: Puddle Pond 12 A/5. A list of map dealers may be available from Natural Resources Canada website: http://maps.nrcan.gc.ca/distrib_centres_e.php
•Gear and equipment suggestions:
A 25 liter day pack should be sufficient to carry all you will need for a day trip. Carry a camera, binoculars, standard first aid kit, snacks or a substantial lunch if you intend to make it a day. A walking staff may be among your list of essential equipment. Depending on the season, the amount of clothing you need will vary. Determine the weather forecast before departure, and act accordingly. During any season, dress for the current weather conditions. However, be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. Carry extra clothing such as wind pants and jacket, even in the summer. At least, light hiking boots are recommended; waterproof boots would be better, some parts of the route may be wet. It is highly recommended that you carry your own drinking water, even if you intend to boil it.
•Minimum environmental impact:
Avoid open fires Leave wildflowers for others to enjoy, Be cautious of wild animals Carry out whatever you carry in.
•Location of Annieopsquotch Mountains:
This mountain range is located in the southwestern interior of Newfoundland Island, east of Bay St. George. The trail head is about 63 kilometers from the Trans Canada Highway along the Burgeo Road, Route 480. The UTM grid reference for the trail head is 469481. The full UTM grid reference is: 446941 meters east, 5348136 meters north, as determined in the field using a popular brand name GPS.
To get to the Annieopsquotch Mountains from Stephenville, take Route 490 to the Trans Canada Highway. Travel east on the TCH to the Burgeo Road, Route 480, intersection. Approximately 63 kilometers from the TCH along the Burgeo Road are the Annieopsquotch Mountains.
As the highway reaches the highlands and takes the ninety-degree turn at the Buchans road intersection, the forest gradually gives way to the open barrens. Drive carefully. Moose and caribou inhabit these forests and barrens, and frequently walk onto the highway. The rare and elusive Arctic Hare has been seen on the highest mountaintops, including the Annieopsquotch Mountains, your destination.
Composed mainly of gabbro and diabase rocks, the dark imposing summits come into view before you reach Lloyds River. Heavily glaciated during the last ice age, this range has been worn down and rounded by the action of glaciers. Scattered over the landscape are numerous boulders of various sizes that were dropped by the retreating ice.
The trail head is about 2 kilometers past the Lloyds River bridge. The highway shoulder is narrow along here, but a gravel-pit on the west side of the road is a convenient place to park, UTM 469481.
The landscape here is mostly open, with scattered boulders and occasional small stands of spruce, fir or tamarack. The ground cover is mostly low shrubs, and as you ascend the mountain ridge, gives way to bare rounded rock-face. Except for some scattered low areas, where it may be wet and boggy, the footing is mostly dry.
One of many viewpoints is the rounded rocky knob at 480478. It is best approached up the side of the valley to the east. Upon leaving the highway, take a compass bearing of 92º to the end of the pond at 476483. From there a caribou trail zig-zags up the slope. Following the caribou trail is the best way up. They’ve been doing this route for centuries!
As the contours become less steep, angle off to the south and southeast to the summit. From here you may see many other interesting features of the Annieopsquotch Mountains. The opportunities are endless.
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