The Erin Mountain Trail is within the Barachois Pond Provincial Park. You will drive on the Trans Canada Highway (TCH) between exits 460 and 490. The park entry is on the east side of the road. A narrow road takes you down into a valley containing Barachois Pond and Erin Mountain. Your first view of the mountain is a little daunting! The trail head is in the park amongst camping sites. Just park near the trail sign. Make sure you have lots of water with you and energy snacks. It can be quite windy when you reach the summit so have appropriate clothing.
The first part of the trail is easily walked with alot of boardwalks that are well maintained. You will come to a lower lookout that has a well appreciated bench. The view of the valley below is quite rewarding. This was where we found the first moose tracks.
From this point on the trail becomes much more challenging. The climb is steep and the trail is quite narrow in places. Much of the trail is covered with rocks that are fist sized and larger, making for rough footing. In the most difficult sections stairs and railing have been installed. Quite frequently you will come across moose tracks and moose scat(droppings). Envision piles of large brown marbles. The moose obviously use the trails when it is convenient!
The summit is 340 meters and provides a 360° view that includes Bay St. George, Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the top of the Long Range Mountains.
A "hiker" can do this in under 2 hours we were told at the park entry. There is a beach and swimming area in the park that you will have passed on the way in. You may want to partake in a swim as a reward for a good climb on a warm day.
(click photos to enlarge, click caption for mapped location)
Hikes of Western Newfoundland by Katie Broadhurst and Alexandra Fortin is an excellent guide if you like to do trails. The book covers Western and Central Newfoundland as far east as Twillingate. They don't cover every trail, that's almost impossible. You'll find information on a good range of trails that you should consider.
You start with the area map where they show the trails that are covered by the book. The pages about each trail include GPS co-ordinates of the trailhead and a good map of the trail. They also tell you the level of difficulty and distances.
We bought a copy ahead of our June 2015 trip to scout out the trails we wanted to do ahead of time. The book is available on Amazon and you can purchase it through this link.
Before you head to Newfoundland, you may want to consider one or more of the great field guides that are available. We have done short reviews of the following:
Newfoundland books available from Amazon.ca (Canada)
Newfoundland books available from Amazon.com (USA)