The Forgotten Paths of Carbonear

Colby Sharpe (left) and Autumn Lambert (right) on the Crockers Cove Cart Path
Colby Sharpe (left) and Autumn Lambert (right) on the Crockers Cove Cart Path

This summer the Carbonear Green Team, Autumn Lambert and Colby Sharpe, are identifying and mapping historically significant cart paths in the community. Before cars became our main mode of transport, these paths and trails were an important way for residents to travel.

Autumn and Colby have identified six paths, including the Railway cart path and Battery Rock cart path. You can explore a storymap of the Crocker Cove Cart Path online here.

Autumn Lambert grew up in Carbonear and is familiar with many of these paths. In this post, Autumn shares what she’s learned mapping the old paths and trails of Carbonear.

Crocker’s Cove Cart Path

The Crocker’s Cove Cart Path was interesting for us to map for many reasons. I was around the area a lot growing up. My friends and I always referred to this path as “Cat Ears” because the two rocks on top of the cliff resemble cat ears. I had assumed everyone referred to the path by this name, but to my surprise only the younger generation was familiar with that name.

Colby and I both know the area well, we both grew up using the trail without ever knowing it was a cart path. Walking it again with a different perspective and understanding what the path was used for was a fascinating experience for the both of us.

Railway Cart Path

The Railway is already a well known path in the community, however not many people realize it is one of the original cart paths of Carbonear. When the railway closed down, the tracks were still maintained and in place. People around the town would use the railway tracks to move their personal items and goods using carts they would place on the track. The path itself passes along many attractions and sights regarding the railway and the Town of Carbonear, and has definitely been one of the more interesting ones we have walked. It has been a great learning experience as well.

Battery Rock Cart Path

The Battery Rock path is also known around the community because of the big rock that sits at the top of the hill. Colby and I were both familiar with the rock and the path around it, since we grew up using it.

There are many stories that Colby and I have heard about the history of this rock and why it is so well known. One story details how people used to mine around the rock for batteries, and after successful mining, it was named Battery Rock. Another story claims that it could have been used as a lookout for signals or warnings, since this rock has a great view of the harbour and Carbonear Island. Being able to map the paths that wrap around it and to hear all the different stories that we are able to share with the community is an amazing experience for us.

Town of Carbonear. Photo courtesy of Autumn Lambert and Colby Sharpe.

Impact of this Project

Mapping these paths has definitely been a great learning experience for us. We have gained incredible knowledge on the uses of these paths and stories connected to the paths. We hope that once we post storymaps of all the paths, people in the community will reach out and share personal stories about their families’ uses for these paths years ago. We are both very excited to see all these stories come together to create accessible history for our community.

Learn more about the Green Team Program here. You can also follow Conservations Corps NL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

1 reply added

  1. Forgotten paths December 28, 2020 Reply

    Also, another great project might be “forgotten lanes”. Many of these lanes, I knew of on the Southside growing up were relatively short and are long gone. I remember them fondly.

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