White Head Island Trails
|Distance||4.1 km mapped|
|Estimated Time||2 hours|
|Surface Type||gravel beaches, forested|
|Elevation Change||12 meters|
|Features||beaches, coastal views|
White Head Island is one of several smaller islands off the coast of Grand Manan Island. This small island has a population of less than 200 people. The island has about 5 kilometres of road that circles the northern half of the island. There is also another couple of kilometres of gravel road on the southern shore. The gravel road travels along Battle Beach to access the Long Point Lighthouse and Sandy Cove Beach. From Sandy Cove Beach we followed an ATV trail along the shore and almost got to Langmaid Cove before we ran out of time and had to turn back. There are ATV trails along the way that go through the woods to Marshall Drive, which will take you out to Gull Cove.
White Head Island gets its name from a head of land that juts out near the ferry dock. The head of land is mostly made of white quartzite so is very noticeable from the ferry as you approach the island. If you cross the short isthmus you can park on the left side of the road. From here you can access a beautiful beach and rock hop on the bright white cliffs around the point. A great place to rockhound. Once you get around the point you will see a large white cliff. Climb up on the cliff for amazing views and continue along the mossy green clifftop until you get to a lookout over a white, rocky beach. There are several benches around the point just inside the woods.
Another part of the island we explored was Sheep Head Rock Beach on the north-east corner of the island. At the end of Sheep Rock Lane you will find Sheep Head Rock Beach, a gravel beach full of gravel of many different colors. At the north end of the beach (turn left at the end of Sheep Head Rock Beach) there is an ATV trail that goes through the woods and brings you out to Sheep Head Rock. This ATV Trail can be quite wet. Another option to access Sheep Head Rock is by the beach at low tide.
White Head Island doesn't have much for designated hiking trails (at least not that we found so far) but it is a great place to explore. You can string together beach walks, gravel roads and ATV Trails to circumnavigate the island. Always keep in mind the tides when exploring. They can turn a simple beach walk into a difficult rock scramble if the tides come in at the wrong time. Two thirds of the shoreline has an adjacent road making tides less of an issue. Be extra careful on the southern sections of the island that don't have easy road access.
From the North Head Ferry turn left onto route 776. Drive for 12.5 kilometres and just past Grand Harbour turn left onto Ingalls Head Road. Drive for another 3 kilometres and you will come to Ingalls Head Harbour. Take the sharp right at the harbour and continue to the very end of the road. Here you should see the sign for the ferry on the left along with several painted parking spots to show you where to line up.
This ferry is first come first serve but I don't think it is ever very busy. Showing up 30 minutes before your planned departure time should get you on your planned ferry. For the crossing schedule go to the White Head Island ferry schedule). Note that the ferry doesn't go overnight so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to catch the last ferry back in the evening. There are no accommodations on the island so if you miss the ferry you might have to spend the night in your vehicle.
Trail Last Hiked: October 8, 2022.
Page Last Updated: October 29, 2022.