Come learn about the creatures that inhabit our coastal waters at the Champney’s West Aquarium. With touch tanks, educational exhibits, and related craft activities this is a great place for young explorers and those who wish to learn more about the world under the sea just off our shores. A short drive from Trinity, Champney’s West is home to Hike Discovery's scenic Fox Island trail - far less busy than the popular Skerwink trail, Fox Island offers a variety of landscapes from coastal vistas to beaches for exploring. If you happen to visit during Chamney’s West Days - the community’s annual festival in early August - be sure to catch the riotous cardboard boat races, in which locals attempt a short row in their homemade cardboard boats.
Orcas, humpback, minke, and sperm whales spend the summer feeding off the coast of Newfoundland. Capelin - a small silvery fish (much like a freshwater smelt) are an integral part of the diet of many saltwater species. The capelin, with the whales in pursuit, usually arrive sometime around mid-June and stay through mid-August. From the water, you can get closer to icebergs, seabirds such as puffins and gannets, bald eagles and other sealife.
Kris Prince, of Sea of Whales Adventures, offers a wonderful experience on the water. He and wife Shawna have spent decades following whales in Trinity and Bonavista Bays, and know where to find them. Kris' passion is contagious, and he's one of the locals who will leave an indelible impression.
Depending which way the wind blows, icebergs may coast down the Newfoundland shore, usually arriving in May or early June. Some years they come quite late, some years not at all. All that ice brings a chill air, so pack a warm sweater or fleece, or visit the gift shops to purchase a locally-made hand-knit sweater and mitts.
Check icebergfinder.com to track the bergs
Skerwink Trail has received international acclaim. One of two headlands that comprise the narrow entrance to Trinity Harbour, Skerwink's majestic and steep cliffs offer a great coastal hike. If you're afraid of heights or are travelling with young children, this may not be the hike for you. The hike takes you along steep coastline, past sea stacks, through lichen-covered forest, and stands of tuckamore (a great Newfoundland word for stunted evergreen trees or matted ground cover that may be decades old, but grow low to the ground, usually to guard against strong winds) . The trail starts in nearby Trinity East, a fifteen minute drive from Trinity. Allow two-hours to hike the loop, unless you want to spend more time exploring the inland section of the trail, enjoying the vistas, watching whales feeding in the water, capelin rolling on the beach, nesting bald eagles, or resident foxes. The hike has a few steep sections, but has had significant work done to it in recent years to reduce the impact of high traffic on its boggy sections.
Located right in Trinity, Gun Hill offers panoramic vistas of Trinity Bight, the body of water that stretches from headlands Bonaventure Head to Horse Chops. You can hike take a second hike around the hill to enjoy a different landscape.
The Atlantic Puffin, Newfoundland's Provincial Bird, is a member of the auk family. With a brightly-coloured, parrot-like bill and orange feet, the puffin is a comical looking character. Watching them fly is wholly entertaining, as they have small wings which they flap madly to gain flight. They leap from a cliff to gain momentum and have a hard time getting airborne from the water. They are great divers, though. At Elliston, you can often get close-up with the puffins, often within a few feet of them. From May through September, puffins nest in burrows on the cliffs and offshore islands in Elliston on the Bonavista Peninsula. About a forty minute drive from Trinity, one can visit the Puffin Site on the road from Elliston to Maberly. Puffins are most active in the mornings, so best to start your daytrip here.