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Your guide to Twillingate
All About Twillingate
Twillingate is a small town on northeastern Canada’s South Twillingate Island, a remote corner of the Newfoundland and Labrador province where steep grass-covered hills meet dramatic, rocky coves in the Notre Dame Bay. Running alongside Twillingate’s rugged coastline, you will find dozens of hiking trails, such as the French Beach Trail starting at a pebble-covered shoreline, passing discrete coves, and ending at green hilltops with panoramic views of the island. For nearly half of the year, you can spot melting icebergs and a mix of minke and humpback whales migrating across the bay waters from Twillingate’s many nature paths.
As you explore Twillingate, you will see remnants of its past as one of the oldest ports in Newfoundland. The Isles Wooden Boat Museum showcases how cod fishers and residents throughout history crafted boats strong enough to stay afloat in the Atlantic Ocean and Notre Dame Bay. Camouflaged in Twillingate’s terrain, historic root cellars are hidden throughout the area, representing the once-necessary way to store food during cold winters hundreds of years ago. There are more than 230 cellars hidden within the hills, making for an intriguing self-created scavenger hunt during your visit.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Twillingate?
Twillingate has four distinct seasons, but can be overcast and humid. The summer is warm, and it’s one of the rainiest seasons of the year. In July, the town hosts the Fish, Fun, and Folk Festival with arts and crafts stalls, fresh local seafood, and live music. Autumn weather is chilly and crisp, and September is the height of the berry-picking season, with wild blueberries, cloudberries, and partridgeberries among the favorites this time of year.
Winters are freezing and humid, making it a great time to head indoors to one of the island’s historical sites. Consider visiting the Durrell Museum, featuring a polar bear exhibit and hundreds of artifacts, including cod fishing tools and antique sewing machines. Spring can be cool and pleasant, warming up near the end of the season. The best time for spotting icebergs near Twillingate’s coast begins in April and continues into the summer. Some of the best views are from Wild Cove Beach on the east side of South Twillingate Island.
What are the top things to do in Twillingate?
Sleepy Cove Trail to Long Point Lighthouse
A short drive north of Twillingate’s downtown, the Sleepy Cove Trail starts at a hilltop facing the cove’s curved shore, surrounded by dark cliff faces and fluffy balsam firs. As you begin the trail you’ll see old red and yellow machinery once used for copper mining. Follow the 2.6-mile tail to the final ascent to the 19th-century Long Point Lighthouse.
Twillingate Museum and Craft Shop
Housed in a 1915 building, the Twillingate Museum and Craft Shop offers a trip through the town’s history, with rooms filled with relics including old-fashioned stove tops and artifacts from the native Beothuk First Nations who first settled in Newfoundland. The craft shop portion of the museum sells traditionally handmade items like quilts, fishing boat replicas, and knitted clothing.
Top of Twillingate
Just south of town, the 1.6-mile Top of Twillingate Trail follows stretches of wooden boardwalks and meadows toward an 18-foot lookout tower with some of the best views of South Twillingate Island. After reaching the top, you can continue to the elevated Low Mist Pond loop trail.