Rennie’s River Trail walk?
Quidi Vidi Village (on foot)?
Walk the Battery to Signal Hill?
All in the same weekend…?
Sure! The sun was out, and since it’s Newfoundland and that doesn’t happen all that often, we were off and running (walking. quickly).
Rennie’s River Trail started for us just down Prince Phillip Drive from the University. The trail follows Rennie’s River (somewhat logically), through the woods, on a clearly marked trail, complete with bridges and benches for resting and picnics. If you start where we did, off Prince Phillip, it lets you out by Quidi Vidi Lake, where one can not only spot various bird life, but is also the home of the annual St. John’s Regatta in August. We did the loop of the lake, popped up by the Dominion grocery store (which used to be an ice rink), and made our way back into town.
Our favourite cafe in St. John’s is Coffee Matters, on the corner of Military Road, Kings Bridge Road, and Gower Street. Expansive, with perfect window seating, fresh coffee, and stellar baked treats, you can’t go wrong. Having stopped for a hot cocoa, we decided to make the trek out to Quidi Vidi Village. It sounds really daunting, and when you don’t have a car, it isn’t something you do naturally. But in reality, the village is just steps away from St. John’s center, and a perfect escape from the traffic and noise of downtown. From Kings Bridge Road, take Forest Road until it becomes Quidi Vidi Village Road (you’ll know), and suddenly, you’re in the village.
Although the road passes behind the Queen’s Penitentiary (known simply as ‘the pen’ in St. John’s), it very quickly becomes a picturesque look back in time, houses that haven’t changed in decades surrounded by the harbour, a small brewery, and the recently opened Village Plantation- a collection of studios available for artists, a gallery, and meeting rooms for workshops. Kind of tourist information centre meets a peek into an artist’s life, and a perfect viewing area, all in one. We checked out the art, walked down to the pier, and explored the village. A small park (tiny, miniscule… one bench and a bush) had been establishedwith a perfect view out of the harbour to the ocean, and we snacked while watching the waves crash harder and harder against the rock face, before feeling the first drops of rain and rushing back into the city to dry off.