Walled Landscape of Grates Cove – Grates Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador - Atlas Obscura

Walled Landscape of Grates Cove

Grates Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador

The stone barriers in this historic fishing village were once used for farming and gardening. 


Stone walls wind across this North Atlantic landscape, sprawling over 150 acres of rocky, windswept earth. Designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995, the Walled Landscape of Grates Cove is what remains of a unique communal land system found in Newfoundland.

Though Grates Cove was historically a fishing village, the local people used these rocky barriers for gardening and farming in between their maritime endeavors. Today, visitors can spend an afternoon hiking through a well-marked trail system and enjoying the lonely vistas. 

With 174 people and three cows, Grates Cove is just a two-hour drive from St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland, yet feels like the ends of the earth. Perched on a bluff above its namesake Atlantic Ocean cove, where on occasion whales gather to feed and sometimes an iceberg lodges, the village is the northernmost point of the Avalon Peninsula and attracts only the most intrepid travelers.

Grates Cove also contains a marker where Italian explorer John Cabot supposedly set foot in 1497 as well as one B&B and one restaurant, both run by an artist couple who also lead foraging expeditions, teach cooking classes, and make a face and body lotion with seaweed they harvest themselves.

Know Before You Go

Beware of driving in the dark or fog due to possible encounters with moose. Best to call the restaurant, Grates Cove Studio, ahead of time to ensure it is open when you want to eat, or bring a picnic and enjoy it on the trail.

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July 18, 2019

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