Round Trip: Kings Point to Eagle Mountain
By Kevin Price
Snowmobiling in Newfoundland is amazing, especially the north western portion of the Island. This is Kevin Price and I wanted to share this trip I recently logged on my new sled…maybe this might catch somebody’s attention to do this same journey I completed.
I set out, leaving Kings Point (NL) and headed north west towards Eagle Mountain which is the beginning of the long-range mountain system. It was early New Year’s Day January 1, 2020 at 7:30 AM when I embarked on my journey. I left Kings Point on my new 2020 Ski Doo Expedition se 900 turbo. This snowmobile is definitely a joy to ride. My first stop on my journey was at the warm up shelter at Gull Pond which is approximately 20 km west of Kings Point. Once at the warm-up shelter it is a common practice for the first person there that day to light in the fire, that way for yourself and anybody else that comes there that day will have a warm place to relax. Once the fire was burning well and all was good I continued on my journey towards the next warm up shelter which was approximately 40 km away, which was behind Birchy Lake on the old TCH. Once again, I was the first person there that day so I started that fire as well. this warm shelter is substantially smaller than the previous one at Gull Pond so it warms up fairly quickly. I did not stay there very long because I had a great distance to travel that day so after 30-45 minutes, I carried on my journey towards Hampton Junction, where I normally fuel up my sled but today being January 1-2020, it was a holiday and everything was closed. I knew this ahead of time. so not sure my fuel mileage on my new sled I made sure I had plenty extra fuel with me. A total of 12 gallons to be exact! After stopping at the fuel station just to confirm their New Year’s hours. which was open regular hours January 2 onward I proceeded on my journey west towards Big Falls. 3-1/2 km before that point there is a bit of an intersection and you veer to the right and that trail takes you north towards Hampton and Taylors Brook Road riding zones.
Approximately 15 km from Hampton junction and 10 km from this intersection point there is another warm up shelter. It is small and cozy but I did not light the fire at the shelter because there was next to no kindling and I did not want to waste it because somebody may need it more importantly than I did. I only stopped at the shelter for a photo op and then I was quickly on my journey once again. The trails were very smooth despite not being groomed yet only because there was low snow conditions which didn’t allow for many bumps to develop. Not to mention it had been snowing very heavy pretty much from the beginning of my journey so there were several inches of fresh powder to absorb any roughness of the trail. 20 or so KM up the trail you’ll come to a little cabin area called Taylor’s Brook which many cabin owners have seasonal cabins there and Terry Cram has Taylor’s Brook accommodations which he rents out to outdoor Enthusiast all year long, including: fishing, ATV riders ,hunters and of course snowmobile enthusiasts which Taylor’s Brook is the beginning of a beautiful snowmobile country. Once you pass Taylors Brook accommodations Eagle Mountain is approximately 50 km in the wilderness and thanks to the Hydro development there is a Hydro line that goes right across the Island of Newfoundland and it carries on from KM 62 onwards up towards Hawkes Bay and beyond which allows for some beautiful scenic snowmobile Tours. It’s approximately 160 km to Hawkes Bay and River of Ponds area which definitely makes for a beautiful snowmobile trip, not to mention you can always go east from Hawkes Bay to Great Harbour Deep where there are beautiful accommodations as well. Danny Cochran Lodge is a very popular snowmobile Destination in the winter but it’s recommended to have a guided tour for safety. There is also a snowmobile lodge at Eagle Mountain (Eagle Mountain Lodge). Once I reached my destination which was near Eagle Mountain at my cabin, there was approximately four feet of snow in that area which made for easy access to my front door but late March and early April there will be 10 or 12 feet of snow in that same location if it’s like previous years. As always when you get in that area of Eagle Mountain in the beginning of the long-range mountain system, it is always snowing and this day was like no any other of course, it was snowing heavily and by morning it had snowed approximately one foot of powder which made for some beautiful trail riding.
Early season like this, you can also ride the trees and some mountains but be very careful because a lot of stumps and rocks are easily mistaken for pillows and a rider could get into some serious trouble if not get injured. so be very cautious with low snow conditions this time of year. Just like every year that I make this journey it never disappoints even though I made this journey solo which can be dangerous if not prepared it was a very beautiful scenic trip which I enjoyed as always. Being that it gets dark early this time of year I did not do a whole lot of night riding by myself because this is no country to get into trouble. Of course, I am carrying plenty of safety equipment both on my sled and on my person in my backpack. I have both regular GPS and my GPS map 66, I have a satellite communicator with in-reach but I am not the one to push the envelope especially when riding alone. I’ve had my share of miss fortunes and accidents over the years as a result, I am more cautious. It’s very peaceful and quiet in that country at night. I hunt, fish, ATV and snowmobile in this country all year long. In my opinion it’s an outdoor enthusiast paradise as it has defined seasons which allows for some beautiful outdoor adventures.
After sleeping in late the next morning on January 2, I start gathering my belongings to make my way slowly back to Kings Point. My plan is to retrace my steps along the way. Once I reached Hampton Junction I stopped for fuel which I burn very little on this 190 km trip. 43 L which is the least amount of gas I’ve ever burned. While at Hampton Junction I had breakfast in the restaurant which serves amazing food with very good prices and excellent service! It’s definitely a Destination for any snowmobiler traveling from either east or west. We always stop at this restaurant everytime no matter what the season and get food and gas. I did not see very many snowmobilers on January 1 on my way to Eagle Mountain but there were plenty on the trails tearing up that new fresh powder the very next day, January 2.
After leaving Hampton Junction, I proceeded east towards Birchy Lake warm-up shack which was approximately 20 km and once there yet again I light in the fire so it would be very warm for the next traveler and at this point I took a short break and got on the trail again headed towards the next warm up shack at Gull Pond. Gladly the fire was already in and it was very warm and cozy thanks to riders who were there before I got there. It is definitely a great snowmobile club network we have across this Island of ours, very respectful and courteous people. Keep in mind, there is no cell signal at Gull Pond shelter. In this shelter there is a menu on the wall for Trailside diner which is a beautiful restaurant bar and hotel located directly beside the trail in Kings Point, approximately 20 km away. You could also pre-order a meal or even book an accommodation. There is cell signal sporadically throughout the trail. Also, just beyond Kings Point is a town of Rattling in Brook which is accessible by snowmobile and it also has accommodations at their cabins called Windemere Cabins and not too much further past Kings Point, there is the Town of Springdale which has all amenities. Once in Kings Point, there are two fuel stations, one of which has supreme gasoline. This fuel station is accessible by snowmobile and it is called Oceanview convenience and
Wilsons Gas stop which has amazing friendly service. There is a second restaurant in Town called By the Sea café which also has accommodations, amazing food and great friendly service which is a great snowmobile destination as well. To say the least, my trip was definitely very memorable but it is always more enjoyable and safer when you travel with many of other snowmobilers, but nonetheless I do enjoy riding alone.
Kings point to Hampton Jct – 100 km approximately.
Kings point to Gull Pond warm up shack is 20 km approximately
Birchy Lake warm up shack to Hampton Jct is 20 km
White Bay warm up shack between Hampton Jct and Hampton is 90 km from eagle mountain.