Today marks the first time, to the best of my knowledge, that hikers have included Miner’s Path (Topsail Beach / St. Thomas) and Goat Cove Path (St. Phillips / Portugal Cove) in a ECT Thru Hike.
Most recently this concept was floated by 2017 hiker Craig Steele. Craig’s revised start date is June 30, but he kicked off the 2017 list last year when indicating his intention to do a northbound thru hike, starting at Cappahayden and ending – not at Portugal Cove, but 14 kilometres on at Topsail Beach. Soon after Craig posted, friends of his and others indicated the same intentions.
Earlier today, prior 2016 Thru Hikers Erika Cleroux and her partner and Yoging-Master-In-Tow Luc Sylvestre started in Topsail Beach and headed north, for an overall-southbound thru hike of some 326 kilometers. Erika and Luc had a rough start last year with their tent nearly taking flight as they camped near the ballfield in Pouch Cove on a very windy Night Number 2, but they’ve come back for more… and intend to be the first to include the unofficial northern trails in a complete thru hike.
Good luck to all the trailblazers!