Any hiking or history buff would love the Burgoyne’s Cove hike. I heard about this spot from a few friends who live near the area. I found all the information I needed on Hidden Newfoundland. A great site for people exploring Newfoundland who enjoy abandoned and historical sites!
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- Approximately 2.3 km out and back trail
- Moderate to Hard hike
- Very steep in sections
- Rocky path leading to muddy grass
Location of Burgoyne’s Cove Hike
Located within Trinity Bay, Burgoyne’s Cove is home to a B-36 Peacemaker crash site.
This location is definitely “out of the way” with minimal cell service, but there are several signs as you are driving along. With a vehicle that can travel on gravel roads, you can drive right up to the trail entrance.
My advice is to have a picture/screenshot of the map or review the route before heading this way. You will pass by a slate quarry and there are several signs that will indicate you are on the correct path.
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The Burgoyne’s Cove Hike
The trail itself is a moderate-hard hike but takes only about 20 minutes to reach the area of the crash. It is uphill for quite a bit and the trail is not well maintained. Water and proper hiking gear is a must.
When you break out of this wooded trail into a large open space at the top of a hill you will start to see parts of the B-36 Peacemaker aircraft. Near the end of the hike, you will see much larger pieces of the aircraft which puts into perspective the tragedy that occurred here.
At the very end of the trail, there is a beautiful monument for the people who were lost that day in the tragic accident. Using a propeller from the aircraft attached to a block, the names of all the men lost are placed there for hikers to see. Even on some of the pieces of aircraft, you will find plaques holding information.
This is where I bring in the history of this tragedy,
The B-36 Peacemaker Crash
All my information is either from the website Hidden Newfoundland or information I gained from the hike itself.
In 1953, the B-36 Peacemaker aircraft from Canary Islands with General Richard E. Ellsworth and his 22 crew members tragically crashed into the mountain in Burgoyne’s Cove. There were no survivors. They depended on sextons and weather forecasts to navigate in order to fly in secrecy which ultimately led to their crash.
This aircraft was designed to drop bombs on Nazi Germany during World War II and was on a mission to test the security levels in North America. On their route a low-pressure system caused them to deviate and fly too low.
Civilians in the area seen the fire from the crash and hiked through the rough Newfoundland snow to the mountain summit. According to Hidden Newfoundland, people traveled to Random Island where they contacted the RCMP in the town of Clarenville. The Canadian Air Forces based in Gander deployed two planes for a rescue mission, however unfortunately there had been no survivors.
The tragedy continues as a B-29 Superfortress was sent from Stephenville to locate the aircraft which had been reported missing. They could not locate the missing aircraft and on their way to return to base this aircraft never made it back. The aircraft was never found.
Although the history of this hike is not a positive one, we can appreciate the effort to preserve this moment of history. The site of the crash and the memorial for those that lose their lives that day is reason enough to make your way to Burgoyne’s Cove and hike to the summit.