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Spotlight: Butter Pot Provincial Park

Roam a rugged landscape carved by glaciers

No artist can surpass the handiwork of Mother Nature, and proof of this lies in the surreal and beautiful landscapes found in Butter Pot Provincial Park in Newfoundland. Located 22 miles south of St. John on the Trans Canada Highway, Butter Pot is the product of millennia of carving, dragging and gouging by glaciers during the wane of the last ice age, 10,000 years ago. The result is a starkly beautiful landscape highlighted by beautifully shaped rocks that were dragged to the area by the mammoth ice sheets.

The park received its name for the prominent rounded hill located within the park, but that’s not the only notable feature. The park occupies more than 7,000 acres of forest, bogs heaths and ponds. Hiking trails lead visitors through the rugged landscapes for some amazing viewpoints, including Conception Bay.

Long before this was a provincial park, early residents visited the area to hunt game, graze animals and pick berries. A fire in 1889 decimated much of the area, leaving vast swaths barren land that only add the park’s eerie beauty.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hiking the Pot

Hikers have lots of choices when it comes to exploring Butter Pot. A climb to the 994-foot-tall Butter Pot Hill rewards adventurers with stunning, panoramic views of the surrounding area. The 4.5-mile-hike up the hill takes approximately 2.5 hours; make sure you bring sturdy sturdy shoes on your journey and be aware of the steep cliffs.

For a more leisurely hike, the Pegwood Pond trail leads explorers through the forest, past Peter’s Pond and to a playground. The total distance is approximately 2 miles and will take about 1.5 hours.

After a busy day of hiking through Butter Pot, drop in on St. John’s for a refreshing beer at one of the many pubs in town. If you haven’t scratched the itch to explore, take a hike through the city, or visit some of the many small communities along the rugged Atlantic Coast.

For More Information

Butter Pot Provincial Park
Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism