Fisheries and Land Resources


In addition to viewing the plants (most of which bloom from late spring to July), sightseeing at the Cape can include spotting icebergs, birds, and whales.

Outdoor recreational activities at the Cape include the following:

Because of the vulnerability of the plants, camping, hunting, and trapping are not permitted, and building fires is prohibited.

Motorized vehicles are restricted to the main road through the reserve.


Hiking tours of Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve are available through Burnt Cape Cabins External Link Icon in Raleigh.

Because of the vulnerability of the rare plants, we encourage visitors to the Cape to stay on the road and path, do not step on plant life, and be careful when approaching the coastline and its two-storey-high sheer cliffs-particularly in foggy or windy conditions.

An Interpretive Tour of Burnt Cape

Of particular note as hiking destinations are the coastal areas on the western and northwest shore of the Cape. Fossils and sea caves occur there, including the spectacular arched "Big Oven" at Whale Cove. On the northwest side of the Cape, a smaller cave ("Little Oven") is also much photographed.

The Cape is an excellent place to spot birds that are more commonly found in the Arctic. These include gyrfalcon, and ivory gull.

During the early summer, the favoured breeding habitat is the forest growing in the limestone troughs and in the southern part of the reserve, and the shorter tuckamore. Look for black-capped chickadee, Swainson thrush, yellow-rumped warbler, American robin, white-crowned sparrow, pine grosbeak, and the ground-nesting short-eared owl. The Cape also hosts migrating shorebirds during the late summer, including semi-palmated sandpiper and ruddy turnstone.

Winter can also be a good time to bird watch at the Cape-on the water, when seabirds look for open leads in the ice. Of particular interest is the occasional appearance of ivory gull, a species of special concern (COSEWIC, 2001), on the pack ice. Burnt Cape is one of the few places this species can be seen from land.

The wooded end of the Cape hosts small mammals including masked shrew, meadow vole, and fox, and moose have been known to bed overnight in the Cape's forests or wind-stunted fir. In winter, caribou from the St. Anthony herd appear on the barrens.

Special Caution:
Polar bears occasionally arrive on the Northern Peninsula from Labrador, crossing the pack ice that jams the Strait of Belle Isle in spring and early summer. Visitors to Burnt Cape should exercise particular care at this time. When visiting Burnt Cape, watch for signs of polar bear, refrain from travelling alone, and report sightings of animals or their tracks to an interpreter immediately. The polar bears are live-trapped and returned to Labrador.

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Local residents may hunt seabirds (sea ducks and murres) from the reserve area, as long as they do so according to federal and provincial regulations.

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Scientific Research

See Science & Research for information about how to conduct research in the reserve.

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