Nature Newfoundland and Labrador – Celebrating the International Year of the Forests

Hike through the Salmonier Fog Forest – guided by Ian Goudie


Saturday 27 August 2011                 09:00 – 16:00


Note: Moderate to hard hiking – no trails – remote GPS/map routing Rubber boots recommended with light clothing and spare raingear, socks (etc) and lunch in a small pack.

Meeting location: Tree Of Life, St. Catherines, Salmonier

(for details on this off-the-grid sustainability project and directions/map see:


Hike Details

We will depart TOL by 10:00 hiking north out of the Salmonier River valley onto the large dome bogs separating Salmonier valley from Kirks Ridge.  We will follow the dome bogs via air photos east to Backriver Pond to arrive at ‘Lawlor’s Cabin’ by lunch time (est. 2+ hours). Lawlors cabin was built in 1939 by Reverend Scammel, using hand-hewn structural wood and by bringing boards in by horse-back from the ‘Backriver Hills’ area of Salmonier line.

Lunch at Lawlor’s will be 2 -3 hours depending on time of arrival there (estimated at 12:30). Backriver Pond was the site of considerable traditional logging, and was originally dammed to drive the water-wheel mill on Salmonier line. After stop-logs were removed, the head of water took about 5-6 hours to reach the mill at Salmonier Line.

We depart Backriver Pond by 14:30 to return via the old foot trail to Salmonier Line by 16:00. Return liason (2 km) to vehicles at TOL will be pre-arranged.


Features of  Interest

We start our hike in the yellow birch-balsam fir forests of the Salmonier River valley. After some initial orientation to the Tree Of Life sustainability project, there will be some discussion on old-growth forests and traditional logging methods as well as natural regeneration profiles of the native balsam fir forests. Salmonier supports some of the most productive stands of balsam fir on the Avalon Peninsula. Enroute examples of effects of introduced moose on natural regeneration and biodiversity of balsam fir forests will be evidenced. We will intersect the large clear-cut block of Kirk’s Ridge and evidence the current policies for forest harvesting and replanting. Implications for natural forest types and biological diversity will be discussed. The movement of the hike from accessible to inaccessible areas will evidence the pronounced effects of moose in more inaccessible areas.