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FOGO ISLAND NEWFOUNDLAND - BRIMSTONE HEAD TRAIL HIKE

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Brimstone Head is one of the four corners of the earth according to the satirical Canadian Flat Earth Society. Where is Brimstone Head? The rocky promontory is located on Fogo Island, 15 kilometers off the northeast coast of Newfoundland.

Brimstone Head Trail map
Brimstone Head Trail map
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Where are the four corners of the earth? A sign on the Brimstone Trail summit claims that they are at Papua New Guinea, the Bermuda Triangle and the Greek island of Hydra, as well as Fogo NL.

Town of Fogo residents are happy that the Flat Earth Society's claim draws tourists to climb Brimstone Head.

Getting to Fogo

Some visitors travel to Fogo Island on the ferry from Farewell, on the mainland, to Stag Harbour. (The ferry crossing time is 40 minutes.) They then drive along route 333 to the community of Fogo.

We traveled to Fogo on a cruise around Newfoundland with Adventure Canada. It was a short walk from the pier where our ship docked to the Lions Club building in Brimstone Head Park, at the base of the rocky bluff.

Every year, on the second weekend of August, thousands of Newfoundland traditional music lovers come here for the Brimstone Head Folk Festival (2018 dates: August 12, 13 and 14).

Trail length

One of seven hiking trails on Fogo Island, Brimstone Head Trail is not a long one. It is only 0.7 km in length.

Hiking Brimstone Head Trail on Fogo Island
Hiking Brimstone Head Trail on Fogo Island
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

But the elevation is steep. Sturdy wooden steps and boardwalks, built and maintained mostly by volunteers, make it easier to ascend the high gradients between the rocky paths.

How long does it take to hike up Brimstone Head? The round trip takes about one hour.

Volcanic landmark

From a distance, the rounded promontory resembles an upside-down cupcake dominating the community.

Flat Earth Society warning sign
Flat Earth Society warning sign
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Paul Dean, the geology resource person on our Adventure Canada cruise, accompanied us on our walk. He explained that the area around Fogo is comprised of very hard volcanic rock, created 420 million years ago in a dramatic Pompei-like explosion.

Newfoundland humor

As we started our hike, a sign advised us about the risks of climbing Brimstone Head: "Warning. You are nearing the edge of the flat earth. One false step could be your last. Number of people lost to date: 0."

A typical example of Newfoundland humor, it brought smiles to our faces and gave us a minute to catch our breath.

Panoramic views

During the climb, we frequently stopped and looked back down our route to enjoy the scenic panorama. Below us, we viewed our Adventure Canada ship docked in Seal Cove and the bridge across Fogo Harbour joining the two sides of the community.

Four Corners of the Flat Earth sign at trail summit
Four Corners of the Flat Earth sign at trail summit
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

From the wooden platform at the summit, we gazed at a fishing boat cruising by offshore icebergs. Locals told us that, on a clear day, you can see islands in Notre Dame Bay and further west to Twillingate.

How far is Fogo from ?

A sign on the platform displayed the distances between Brimstone Head and the other corners of the flat earth.

Another sign stated that the distance between Brimstone Head to Toronto was 2,088 kilometers. Even more interesting, was the fact that the distance between Fogo, NL, and London, England, (3,906 kilometers) was far closer than Fogo Island to Vancouver (4,925 kilometers).

Invigorated by our hike up to the top of Brimstone Head, we were eager to descend and continue our tour of Fogo.


TRAVEL INFORMATION

Town of Fogo Island

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

Adventure Canada

More things to see & do on Adventure Canada Newfoundland Circumnavigation cruises:

Newfoundland Wildflowers and Granite - Southwest Coast Garia Bay Hike

Tablelands Hiking Trail - Gros Morne National Park Newfoundland

Norstead Newfoundland - How the Vikings Lived and Built Ships

Francois Newfoundland - How to Get There and What to See and Do

St. John's Newfoundland - Pre/Post Cruise Tours