|Difficulty||Moderate||Features||Cliffs, Waterfalls, Beaches|
|Trail Type||Linear||Trail Markers||Red Markers|
|Distance||5.26 km||Scenery Rating||Beautiful|
|Estimated Time||3 hrs 30 mins||Mainteance Rating||Well Maintained|
|Trail Surface Type||Forested||Cell Phone Reception||Variable|
|Elevation Change||94 meters||GPS file||Available on request|
View Grand Manan - Whale Cove to The Whistle in a larger map
From the Ferry Terminal turn left on Pettes Cove Road (Route 776) towards Grand Harbour. Travel west for 1.2 km and turn right onto Whale Cove Road. After 850 meters you will come to Johnston Lane. Turn right on Johnston Lane and shortly after you will come to a cement Dock. There should be enough space to park just before the dock. The trail starts by crossing the field on the left of the dock just above the beach (see picture to the right). An alternative way to get to the start of the trail is to park at the church across from the Surfside Inn instead of turning onto Whale Cove Road. From here you can walk out Cemetary Lane to access the east side of Whale Cove. You will then have to cross the rocky beach to get to the trail head. Be careful crossing the beach as the large rocks make it difficult to walk.
There are many lanes to cottages that provide access to the trail from Whistle Road but the next main access is on either side of Eel Brook on Whistle Road. To get there turn right onto Whislte Road at Tattons Corner (just after Whale Cove Road). Travel 3.5 km on Whistle Road and you will cross Eel Brook. Just before this there is a small dirt road on your right (see picture to the right). The trail to Eel Brook Beach starts from this road and is marked with blue trail markers. Just past Eel Brook on Whistle Road there is a small parking lot. The trail (old road) to Ashburton Head starts at this parking lot.
After 4.4 km on Whistle Road the road takes a sharp turn to the left. The small access road to the Whistle Lighthouse is on the right just past this turn. The trail can be accessed from the lighthouse just to the right of the helicopter pad across from the lighthouse.
Whale Cove is a crescent shaped beach made up of large rocks. The rocks are photogenic are difficult to walk on. The trail starts by crossing a small field with cottages along the far side of the field. The field provides open views of the bay. Past the field the trail goes into the woods. After a short distance you will come to a small clearing with a bench, lookout and tree filled with colorful buoys. Just past the lookout there is a small trail the turns to the left to access some of the cottages further up the hill. Continue straight for another 150 meters. At this point the trail takes a sharp left and climbs the hill. It looks like the trail continues straight but this is an old section of trail that is no longer used that crosses private properties. If you come to a cottage you have gone too far. After climbing the hill through an area that is quite open you will come to a lane. Turn right on the lane and travel for 150 meters. You should see the trail go into the woods to the left before you start to go down the hill towards another cottage. Further along the trail there are several lookouts that open up to show the rocky cliffs and the beach below. One of the lookouts provides views of a waterfall that falls from the cliffs to the beach below. The trail eventually crosses the stream that feeds the waterfall.
The trail continues along the cliff edge until you come to a bench at a lookout. From the lookout you can see a long stretch of cliffs and a point. The long stretch of cliffs are what's known as the Seven Days Work formation. The point is Ashburton Head. The Seven Days Work cliffs show seven different rock strata. It is said that it took god seven days to create the cliffs instead of the six it took to create the world. The trail continues along the cliff tops along the Seven Days Work formation. There are several small tenting sites at the cliff edge past a private residence. After a short distance there is a trail junction. Going to the right will take you down to Eel Brook Beach while going left takes you to Eel Brook Falls and onward to the Whistle Lighthouse.
The trail down to Eel Brook Beach is steep in places. There is a small knoll part way down to the beach. There is a camping area with a small unique A-frame cabin and outhouse on the knoll along with a platform for tenting. A bench on the knoll overlooking the beach is dedicated to "James E. Parker and June E. Parker who loved to camp on this knoll - Built by Allison Naves". From the knoll the trail drops down some makeshift stairs to a stream that flows through the rocks to the ocean. Eel Brook Beach provides many views of Seven Days Work and Ashburton Head. Part way down the beach the rocks are green with seaweed and algae from being covered with water at high tide.
Continuing from the trail junction to the left will take you through some old fields to a second junction. Continuing straight will take you to Whistle Road while turning right will take you to Eel Brook Falls. Shortly after the junction the trail crosses a stream at the top of Eel Brook Falls. The trail continues past the falls for a short distance then meets an old road. Going left on the old road will take you to Whistle Road. The trail follows the old road to the right for a short distance then leaves the road on the right. The trail has several lookouts on the way to Ashburton Head that look back at Seven Days Work and Eel Brook Beach. Most of Ashburton Head is covered in young trees as a result of a fire that swept through the area in 1985. You can still sees signs of the fire on stumps and logs amount the younger trees. There is a small side trail on the right to the main Ashburton Head Lookout.
The trail continues past Ashburton Head and becomes more treacherous and challenging. There are several steep sections and sections that come close to the cliff edge. You will eventually come to several lookouts that provide views of The Bishop. The Bishop is a rocky pinnacle that forms a point. The trail eventually comes to an access trail that will take you to the grassy top of The Bishop. The trail continues past The Bishop with views back at the rocky coastline. The trail then enters the woods away from the cliff edge and eventually emerges from the woods at the Whistle Lighthouse.
This trail is available in the Heritage Trails of Grand Manan book. The guidebook can be ordered below or purchased on the island at the Whale and Seabird Research Station, Island Arts and Crafts, Grand Isle Pharmacy, Harbour Gifts in Grand Harbour, and the Grand Manan Museum.
Trails on the Island:
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Trail last visited March 31, 2012.
Page Last Updated April 10, 2013.