Week Seven of the Grand Concourse Adventure saw us complete the longest stretch of trail: about 15 kms on the T’Railway, from the town of Paradise, through Mount Pearl, into Bowring Park and down along the Waterford River to the old railway station on Water Street.
Those who’ve been following my adventures on the 125 km of trails in and around St. John’s will recall that I already walked a part of the T’Railway with my family back in April — the stretch from the railway station to Bowring Park. That was about a third of what we covered last Sunday, and we brought along a couple of extra kids besides our own since the Pathfinder Club had to finish their hiking honour with one good, long hike. This was it, though being an old railbed and a mostly urban trail, it’s so gentle and easy that it barely deserves the term “hike.”
It is, however, a good long walk, and with rest stops took us about four hours to complete. We had a mostly sunny but not too warm day for it. The trail begins out near Octagon Pond in the town of Paradise, and winds along past Neil’s Pond.
For the next little while it runs parallel with Topsail Road (even meandering onto the sidewalk at one point), through a tunnel under Kenmount Road, and then into Mount Pearl where you can briefly forget you’re in the city at all. After crossing busy Commonwealth Avenue and just maybe stopping for an ice cream at the Berg’s outlet in the Ultramar station there, you return to a part of the trail feels quiet and secluded from the streets nearby. It really does give the impression that you’re walking through the countryside.
But soon we were crossing Brookfield Road and heading into Bowring Park, passing underneath the footbridge and then heading onto the same section of trail we did a few weeks ago, but in reverse.
By this time the Pathfinders, including my own two, were complaining of sore feet and asking “How much farther is it?” so they may not have fully appreciated the beauty of the Waterford River on a sunny afternoon. They were glad to reach the end of the line just as the old Newfie Bullet would have done many years ago.
As usual, Max was raring to go and seemed completely unfazed by the whole trek.