Day Trip

“Hip yer partner Sally Thibeau
Hip yer partner Sally Brown
Fogo Twillingate Moreton’s Harbour
All around the circle…”

Twillingate to Fogo

The Newfoundland “anthem”, I’se the b’y, has immortalized the triangle of Twillingate, Fogo, Morton’s Harbour – All Around The Circle. Much has been happening on Fogo during the past four years, making this a day trip from Twillingate or an overnight stay en-route that is a lovely addition to any itinerary. Through the work of the Shorefast Foundation skills and traditions are being preserved such as boat (punt) building, theatre and art.

Getting There

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Starting in Twillingate, retrace your steps to Route 340 out of town and stay on this route for about 22 kms, turn left onto Route 331 for another 19 kms and then left onto Route 335 (watch for the sign that says “Stoneville/Port Albert”). This route takes you to the ferry terminal at Farewell for the ferry to Change Islands and Fogo.

Newfoundland Pony on Change Islands

Newfoundland Pony

Check the ferry schedule in advance. Allow about an hour for the drive to the ferry terminal and another hour and a quarter on the ferry. You’ll want to get to the terminal at least a half hour before departure in summer because the line-up can get long.

Along the route the ferry makes a stop at Change Islands, a scenic island with a few hundred citizens and lots of opportunities for the avid photographer. Change Islands is known for its Newfoundland Pony Refuge – a breeding program aimed at countering the threatening extinction of this native species.

Tilting, Fogo, Joe Batt’s Arm

Don’t underestimate the driving times from the ferry once landed at Stag Harbour. The first community is Seldom and Little Seldom. The main centres on Fogo are the town of Fogo (23 kms from ferry), the community of Tilting (about 32 kms from ferry) and Joe Batt’s Arm (25 kms from ferry; 14 kms from town of Fogo). Tilting is a heritage district that takes pride in its Irish roots – Irish flags, Gaelic names and green clover leaves are dead giveaways! Visit such attractions as the Lane House Museum, the old Post Office, the Dwyer Premises, the Old Irish Cemetery and beautiful Sandy Cove Beach.

A landmark in the town of Fogo is also one of the four corners of the earth, according to the Flat Earth Society: Brimstone Head, accessible after a short, steep hike that delivers astounding vistas.

Helicopter in Fogo

A helicopter visits.

Our day trip to Fogo took us from the ferry terminal at Stag Harbour to the town of Fogo for an hour’s hike and meander up Brimstone Head. From there we headed to Joe Batt’s Arm for lunch at Nicole’s Café, a gastronomical landmark in the region. In fact, the day we visited, the restaurant was surprised by a large Transport Canada helicopter that first tried to land in front of the cafe and finally perched on the hill behind. Shortly thereafter, a flight crew in flight suits walked in for lunch – apparently breaking for a meal during a training flight in the region…

The afternoon continued with a tour of the island, stopping at a few historic buildings that are being re-purposed as art galleries, artists’ retreats or studios. One such was the St. Simons Anglican Church which now serves as a potter’s studio where artist Julie deRouche was creating the “World’s Largest Cod” which is now displayed as a mural in the Fogo Island Film House. No one was there when we visited, but the doors were open with a sign inviting us in. We browsed around – transported into the world of clay and art.

Barr'd Islands Church Renovation

Barr'd Islands Church

Another local church, Barr’d Islands Church, was being renovated by the Shorefast Foundation, apparently to be used as head quarters for the foundation.

We stopped at a third church, previously a United Church, that currently serves as an art gallery. Unfortunately it was closed at the time, but the view from the front steps alone, made the visit worthwhile.

When planning a trip in summer, check out festivals on Fogo and the theatre schedule.