suspension bridge lamanche newfoundland
Adventure Travel Canada

East Coast Trail: La Manche Suspension Bridge Hike

Last updated on October 24th, 2022

While one of the many trails that are part of the East Coast Trail, the La Manche Suspension Bridge hike is unique and is worth adding to your Irish Loop itinerary. One of two suspension bridges on the island and the only one on the eastern half of Newfoundland, this scenic hike will take you through the forest to reach waterfalls at the bridge and provides beautiful ocean views at the finish. 

Found inside La Manche Provincial Park, the area is good for hiking, camping, swimming, bird watching, and searching for whales and other sea life along the coastline. This guide includes helpful tips for hiking to La Manche Suspension Bridge. 

la manche suspension bridge

History of the Suspension Bridge

Originally built to help the residents of La Manche Village cross the La Manche River, the first suspension bridge was destroyed in 1966 by a storm. In 1999, the new and current 50 m suspension bridge was built by the East Coast Trail Association and opened in 2000. 

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How to Get to La Manche Suspension Bridge? 

Hiking to La Manche Suspension Bridge, you can choose one of several trails in the surrounding area. You can reach the suspension bridge from Tors Cove, St. Michael’s, Bauline East and the La Manche Suspension Bridge Trail outside the provincial park. 

It is 6.4 km to the suspension bridge from Tors Cove, 4 km from St. Michaels, 2 km from Bauline East via the East Coast Trail, and 1.2 km from the La Manche trail. 

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How Long is the La Manche Suspension Bridge Trail? 

La Manche Suspension Bridge Trail is 1.2 km in length in each direction, from the trail start in the parking lot to the bridge. The hike distance is 2.4 km out-and-back and takes about an hour roundtrip. The trail is well-marked at the beginning, finish, and when the path appears to split.

hike-lamanche-village-trail

Hiking to La Manche Suspension Bridge 

A relatively easy hike, the suspension bridge trail is primarily through the forest, with a few rough patches along the path where you need to incline or decline over angled boulders. The hiking trail is open year-round and is enjoyable in any season, although there is no snow removal in winter.

la manche provincial park waterfall

During this 2.4 km, one-hour roundtrip hike, you will pass waterfalls, walk over the bridge, have oceanside views, and, if lucky, spot some of the local wildlife. During my hike, I saw four seals from the suspension bridge. I dressed in layers and would remove or add them throughout the walk as I worked up a sweat.

wild-seals-newfoundland

After hiking to the bridge, you can continue to La Manche village (ruins of an abandoned village within the provincial park) or return to the trail start.

la manche-newfoundland

Driving Directions: St.John’s to La Manche  

To get to La Manche Provincial Park, you will need a vehicle. Here are driving directions from downtown St.John’s to La Manche:

  • Drive on New Gower Street to NL Route 2
  • Exit towards Route 3, following signs for Goulds
  • Turn left onto Route 3 South
  • Continue onto Southern Shore Highway / Route 10 (Irish Loop) South
  • Once on NL Route 2, follow signs for Route 10 (Irish Loop)
  • Drive almost 40 km and turn left on an unnamed road. There will be a sign for La Manche Provincial Park. Drive past the Provincial Park entry, and take the next side road with the sign for the Suspension Bridge Trail.
  • At the end of the road is a small parking lot. Park there. The trailhead is on your right, where the sign is.

La Manche Suspension Bridge Trail 

Address: Unnamed Road, Tors Cove, NL A0A 4A0

hike-la manche-suspension-bridge

La Manche Provincial Park Map

Here is a map that shows you where the bridge is within the provincial park:

Tips for Hiking The East Coast Trail: La Manche Suspension Bridge

  • Pack a water bottle in your day bag to take hiking with you to stay hydrated.
  • While you don’t necessarily need hiking boots, wear shoes with good grip to climb up and down angled boulders along the path in the rough sections.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife. During the suspension bridge hike, you can often spot seals, otters, and bald eagles. 
  • Try not to hike immediately after rainfall; the trail will be muddy, but with proper footwear can still be enjoyed.
  • Finish hiking before dusk, as there are no lights along the suspension bridge trail, and the park is in the wilderness, away from communities.

I hope this information helps you plan your visit to Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail to experience the La Manche Suspension Bridge hike.

Happy travelling!

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