Most tourism brochures for Newfoundland and Labrador mention the Baccalieu Trail, but few tourists get to see Baccalieu Island except from a great distance — but two area residents have set out to change that.
Mary Lou Riggs and her sister-in-law Marion Hyde both from Red Head Cove, the community closest to the island, said when they realized the island wasn't even included in most of the ads, they wanted to get more people out to visit.
"I picked up a map one year, and they had everything there and everything was Baccalieu, except they never even had Baccalieu Island put on the map," said Riggs.
Planning first to build a trail over the boggy area by piling rock and gravel on top of pallets, Riggs and Hyde started fundraising and organizing events to raise money to boost the tourism appeal of the island three years ago.
"Me and Marion, we had a flea market and we had a dance, so we raised around $3,000," said Riggs.
"We spent a full winter bumming pallets off everybody."
Riggs said they managed to get provincial grants over the last two years to help pay for some of the labour costs involved in the project, but added the work is worth the effort.
"Every time we comes out, it just blows us away and we come out just about every day just to sit here," she said.
As it stands, the trail comes with a swimming hole and a cook house. There are plans for a museum built as a lighthouse, as well as a mini golf course.
Riggs said the best asset of the trail — the coastline itself — is already there.