Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve is located around 200 km southwest of St. John’s in what is known as the Eastern Hyper-Oceanic Barrens. Along the way there, its possible to visit historic Placentia, in addition to other sites and then travel south for about 60 km to reach Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve.

When visiting Cape St. Mary
’s Ecological Reserve, visitors can speak with the naturalists at the Interpretive Centre who will eagerly provide a wealth of information on the the ecological reserve. Learn about the countless seabirds who can be found on the cliffs and on bird rock a towering seastack that virtually comes alive during the spring and summer months as gannets vie for space in order to nest and raise their young. Take advantage of the informative brochure that will provide information on the plants and animals that you may be able to spot.

On the cliffs, a medley of other seabirds can be found
common and thick-billed murres, kittiwakes, eagles, cormorants, seagulls, ravens, black guillemots, and much more. And casting an eye out to the water, one might spot humpback, fin or minke whales.

The cliffs themselves are examples of geological splendour. Part of the precambrian rocks of the Big Head formation, the cliffs offer a home for nesting seabirds. In other respects, they are a feast for the eye as they rise precipitously and gracefully above Placentia Bay.

Alongside these rich elements of the ecology of Cape St. Mary
’s is the plant life. As part of the Eastern Hyper-oceanic Barrens, the plants consist of mosses such as Moss campion, lichens, and other arctic-alpine plants such as alpine azalea carpet the landscape. Periodically, wild iris flowers periodically provide a splash of purple. In various spots, one will also see areas of balsam fir tuckamore trees.

Come fall in love with Cape St. Mary
’s! Feel the the roar of the wind. Listen to the riotous sounds of the birds overhead. Contemplate and be soothed by the fog as it settles peacefully over the landscape. Under an azure sky, walk the trails, drinking in the wildflowers. Spy an eagle sitting regally on the cliff's edge. Bid good day to one of the many sheep who graze the cliffs.

Even if you're a part of this place for only a few hours, it'll be with you for the rest of your life!



Access to the Reserve and Interpretation Centre, including the gift shop and washrooms, is free of charge.

Guided tours may be available from May to September or early October and are free of charge. Please contact (709) 277 1666 to book ahead.

The Reserve is open year-round.  The interpretive centre is open from May to October, which coincides with the birds breeding season.

The reserve can be accessed for research purposes year-round. There are no fees involved in obtaining a scientific research, educational tour, or commercial operator permit.