The cold wind whips across the top of snow-covered Signal Hill as we step out of our truck. Winter is a very different experience at Signal Hill National Historic Site than during the summer, but certainly no less beautiful. Here, a fresh blanket of snow covers the ground around a path that heads to Cabot Tower.
As of January 1st 2017, Signal Hill National Historic Site is free with a Discovery Pass from Parks Canada to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Although the Visitors Interpretation Centre and Cabot Tower are not open in the winter (open May-October) you can still explore the grounds and experience the stunning panoramic views of St. John’s, the Narrows and possibly even sight some icebergs in the Atlantic Ocean.
The trails are not safe to hike in the winter, as they are covered in ice and snow, and can be very dangerous with the high winds that come off the ocean. Visitors can park at the Visitor’s Interpretation Centre and take the 500m walk to the Queens Battery, but it is not recommended to take the hill down from the top of Signal Hill as you could slip and fall.
With panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean crashing into the rugged coastline where it meets the city skyline, a visit to this site in winter should be on anyone’s list. Getting a chance to see Signal Hill blanketed in snow offers a serene and peaceful sense over this iconic landmark. Very few people make the trek up here on a cold and blustery day, so you will likely find yourself alone to enjoy the scenery.