Newfoundland Travel Blog - Signal Hill

Updated: Jan 24

Many of us spend years "chasing the dream" in our 9 to 5 jobs. This was certainly the case for me but, after my retirement, I saw that life had more possibilities than previously imagined. As a lover of nature and owner of a small vacation rental in Pouch Cove, I often explore the outdoors, take photos, and share my experiences with guests in order to help them plan their vacation. This is my Signal Hill experience.

Signal Hill's Cabot Tower is situated near grassy cliffs and framed by fluffy white clouds and a deep blue sky.
Cabot Tower, Signal Hill, national historic site

Signal Hill is certainly a popular destination for tourists planning a travel itinerary to eastern Newfoundland. From a height of 167 meters (548 feet), you will be treated to a sweeping view of the open sea, the magnificent coastline, and an amazing bird's eye view of the city of St. John's and St. John's harbor. #signalhill, #cabottower, #newfoundlandtourism, #nationalhistoricsite, #newfoundland

The mighty North Atlantic Ocean diverges onto Newfoundland's rugged coast and floral-covered clifftops.
As you stand on Signal Hill, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Newfoundland's coastline and the vast open sea.

Vast expanse of forest on Newfoundland's coast, with a ship leaving the narrows and whales spraying in the open sea.
From atop Signal Hill, enjoy sweeping views of the coast, ships in the narrows, and whales in the open sea.

Bench seating along a grassy cliff overlooks Signal Hill's boardwalk and the city of St. John's, Newfoundland.
The opposite side of Signal Hill offers an amazing view of the city of St. John's and St. John's harbour.

The enormity of Signal Hill can be best appreciated when viewed from across the harbour from Fort Amherst. #fortamherst

Across from the massive cliffs of Signal Hill, a plethora of floral shrubs grows freely at the edge of the churning ocean.
From across "The Narrows" at Fort Amherst, you can appreciate the enormity of Signal Hill's cliffs.

With its physical elevation and the ability to be seen from a great distance throughout the city, Signal Hill played a pivotal role in facilitating communication between land and sea. Merchant ships approaching the island were distinguished by their company flags flying above their masts and, in response, Signal Hill's flagmen would raise corresponding flags to announce ship arrivals so that town vendors would meet the ships and conduct business.

Cabot Tower, atop Signal Hill, is clearly visible under the cover of thick clouds from this green space at Geo-Vista Park.
Cabot Tower, Signal Hill, can be seen from great distances throughout the city of St. John's.

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, Signal Hill's natural landscape and geographical location made it an ideal place to defend against naval attack during times of war. Canons placed strategically along the massive cliff-tops provided panoramic coverage for maximum protection. #canon, #naturallandscape, #wardefense

The ocean and Cabot Tower can be seen beyond the Battle of Signal Hill informational sign at "Ladies Lookout", Signal Hill.
During World War II, Signal Hill was critical in securing Canada's eastern border.

Signal Hill has six canons of different sizes mounted on a wooden platform atop the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
A row of cliff-top cannons helped to protect Newfoundland's coastline from sea invasion.

Face-to-face with six canons in a grassy field beneath a deep blue sky.
Signal Hill's guns are long silenced but remain on display as a memento of the war and as a tourist attraction.

The canon rests on arc tracking atop a grass covered cliff overlooking the ocean.
Some canons were mounted on a semi-circle arc track so that they could be repositioned to better scope a target.

Canon mounted on a circular arc behind a concrete wall overlooks the Atlantic ocean and the coastline of Fort Amherst.
This canon, on a circular arc for expanded mobility, faces the entrance to St. John's harbour and Fort Amherst.

Small canon mounted behind a brick wall overlooking St. John's harbour at Cabot Tower, Signal Hill.
This muzzleloading land service mortar, atop the brick lookout at Cabot Tower, also protected St. John's harbour.

Row of canons atop the cliffs of Signal Hill overlooking St. John's harbour and the city of St. John's.
Clifftop canons along the Queen's Battery provided a second line of defense from ships entering St. John's harbour.

Facing a canon on a grassy cliff adjacent to the soldier's barracks at the Queen's Battery, Signal Hill.
Canon at the Queen's Battery on Signal Hill is in close proximity to the barracks which housed soldiers manning the guns.

At Signal Hill, concrete barracks sit atop a grassy cliff under a veil of a deep blue sky.
The barracks at The Queen's Battery housed high ranking soldiers proficient in operation of these clifftop canons.

Canon on a wooden platform overlooking the snow kissed cliffs of St. John's and St. John's harbour.
This canon is situated on a wooden platform at the base of Gibbet Hill overlooking St. John's harbour.

Canon attached to a field cart rests at the base of a small cliff in a grassy field at Gibbet Hill, Signal Hill..
Single canons were mounted to field carts to allow mobility, such as this one at the base of Gibbet Hill.

Visitors to Signal Hill should definitely take a tour of the Queen's Battery barracks to gain a perspective on the life of soldiers protecting the Newfoundland coast during WW2. #barrack, #queensbattery, #signalhill

In the barricks, two twin beds and uniforms were displayed to illustrate the daily life of a serviceman during wartime.
Visitors are invited to explore the barrick interiors to gain a better understanding of life on the battlefield.

During the summer season, you will have the opportunity to witness the firing of the noon day gun from Cabot Tower, Signal Hill. The practice of firing of the noon day gun dates back to 1842 when it was used as a public clock for residents of St. John's and also to help ships orient to their travel distance at sea. #noondaygun, #gun, #signalhill, #tourism

A popular tourist attraction through the summer season is the firing of the noon day gun at Cabot Tower, Signal Hill.
Firing of the noon day gun at Cabot Tower, Signal Hill

Most know that Signal Hill played a vital role in WWI, but few realize that Signal Hill was also a key pioneer in the technology development of the 20th century. The first wireless communication was received here by Marconi in 1901, a huge feat for its time! #wirelesscommunication, #marconi

Marconi informational plaque on a concrete ledge overlooking the ocean at Signal Hill, Newfoundland.
Signal Hill was the site where Marconi received the first transatlantic signal.

Hikers will appreciate the beautiful, rugged, north head trail along the coast of Signal Hill. As with all hiking experiences, preparation is encouraged. Be sure to wear proper clothing and footwear, take adequate hydration and a snack, and advise someone of your itinerary. #northheadtrail, #hiking, #signalhill, #landscape

From atop a cliff, on the north head trail hiking path, enjoy views of mountains, trees, horizon, and vast expanse of ocean.
View from the north head trail, Signal Hill hiking path

As an added delight, visitors to Signal Hill may be treated to views of wildlife. Keep your eyes on the sky and the water for some beautiful encounters with whales, bald eagles, and more. #signalhill, #whale, #bird, #baldeagle

Pair of juvenile bald eagles flying alongside the cliffs of Signal Hill and over the city of St. John's.
Juvenile bald eagles flying over the city of St. John's.

Humpback whale breaking waves and lunging to the right as it completes its breach close to the shore of Signal Hill.
Humpback whale breach close to the shores of Signal Hill, Newfoundland.

Chief, a Newfoundland dog visiting Signal Hill with his owner, is sitting on the ledge overlooking the city of St. John's.
Chief, Newfoundland dog, often visits Signal Hill with his owner and is only too happy to pose for pictures.

Before leaving Signal Hill, be sure to take a moment to visit Cabot Tower's gift shop to select a perfect trinket as a keepsake of your visit to our beautiful province. #cabottower

An expanse of white-colored weeds grows in front of a concrete wall leading to Cabot Tower, Signal Hill.
Cabot Tower's information center and gift shop are a must-see before leaving Signal Hill.

Signal Hill offers a breathtaking view at night as the city lights pierce through the darkness and reflect off the harbourfront.
View of St. John's and St John's harbour from Signal Hill at night.

A trip to Newfoundland's east coast just wouldn't be complete without a visit to Signal Hill. I usually visit there several times a year and, each time, am moved by its natural beauty and rich historical presence. I'm sure you will agree that Signal Hill is a must-see destination to include on your Newfoundland travel itinerary. Please follow my Newfoundland Travel Blog to see my work on some other popular tourist attractions in eastern Newfoundland. I'd be delighted to hear from you so why not contact me today?

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