Mistaken Point, a 17 – kilometre stretch of Newfoundland coastline that bears some of the oldest recognizable traces of life on Earth, inscribled as a UNESCO World Hertige Site July 17, 2016.

Known as a rich fossil site that spans the early Ediacaran Period, a time when multicellular life was transitioning from microscopic to macrosopic forms.   Its the moment when life got big!

To view fossils in the Reserve visitors must take a guided tour.

Please call ahead to ensure availability and avoid disappointment

*Space on interpretive tours is limited*

  • Interpretive tours are generally offered daily at 1pm (early May to mid October) and begin at the Edge of Avalon Interpretive Centre in Portugal Cove South (located on Route 10, the Irish Loop Drive – a 2 hour drive south of St. John’s).
  • Time involved is 3 ½ – 4 hours.
  • From the Centre it is a 30 minute drive along a gravel road to reach the trail where the hike begins.
  • The tour involves a 30 min (2km one way) hike to the fossile beds
  • Return time is approximately 4:30 pm at the Edge of Avalon Interpretive Centre, Portugal Cove South.
  • Trail is rated as a moderate hiking trail. There are a few small hills and inclines. The overall distance (6 km) may pose the greatest challenge for some.
  • Sections of the trail are muddy, wet and often slippery. Hikers are advised to use caution in these areas.
  • Proper hiking footwear and rainwear are recommended.
  • Sandals are not permitted
  • There is a small river crossing with stepping stones to walk on.
  • It is a good idea to bring water and a snack
  • Dogs are not permitted on guided tours.
  • Please note there are no facilities in the Reserve once the tour commences.
  • To confirm a reservation, all tour participants must arrive at the Edge of Avalon Interpretive Centre prior to 1pm on the day of the tour.
  • All guided tours are offered free-of-charge through Parks and Natural Areas Division by trained Park Interpretation Technicians.
  • The Edge of Avalon Interpretive Centre is owned and operated by a not-for-profit community organization, Mistaken Point Cape Race Heritage Inc., and admission to view exhibits at the Centre or take a guided tour of the exhibits is by donation.  Arrive early  (12:15) and take the guided tour of the exhibits with an orienation to the Edge of Avalon Heritage Coast before embarking on your tour to the fossil site.

For more information and to make a reservation please contact:

Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Parks and Natural Areas Division
Department of Environment and Conservation
c/o Edge of Avalon Interpretive Centre
Portugal Cove South, Newfoundland
Phone: (709) 438-1011