Trinity Loop has lived a few lives by now. Starting off as a unique feat of railway engineering to pass a slope too steep for normal rail lines, “The Loop” around a pond was built as part of the Bonavista branch line in 1911 to lessen the grade so that the railway could connect the town of Trinity to the rest of the island for travel and trade.
It ran till 1984, when the Bonavista line closed, and with some community agitating, the loop was turned over to the town of Trinity rather than being pulled up and sold as scrap. It ran as a popular amusement park for some years, but dwindling interest caused it’s closure in 2004.
There was discussion of reopening it which essentially ended when Hurricane Igor decimated the grounds and remaining track in 2010.
Popular amongst a certain type of traveler who seeks out the unique, odd and possibly even a bit creepy, the site lives on in Instagram photos each summer. Sadly, I’ve heard it was also a popular site for illegal dumping in the area, and that some of the mattresses and appliances at the original cabins may be from later trash violaters trying to get out of dumping fees.
Clearly Trinity Loop was a going concern in its day, and the site has a lot to look at as you voyage past the railcars and food vending areas, down the track to take in the abandoned Ferris wheel (so cool!), on to the cabins and finally the barn, museum and petting zoo.
It’s in its swan song now, and the next few summers will probably be the last opportunity to see it in all it’s weird glory.
Slowly being reclaimed by the hillside and the needs of the area, gives an even more interesting feel, as there is now a woodlot to the side of the parking lot area, and when I pulled in last weekend a fairly freshly killed moose skull was there to greet me. Birds nests are popping up in the ruins, and I saw the first bee of summer flying above a wooden deck so rotted it rippled like flowing water.
A rural treat, the Trinity Loop experience is well fleshed out these days with the opening of Port Rexton Brewing, a sweet place to have a pint in the tap room or pick up a growler to drink at The Loop while you explore, which is exactly what I did. Oh My Cheeses had a booth in the corner of the brewery, selling delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, and there will be a food truck parked outside in the summer.
I don’t need to tell you about the amazing dining experiences in the Bonavista area, from Bonavista Social Clubs’ deadly moose burgers and pizza to Boreal Diners “locavore chic,” but for a more old school vibe, nothing beats the Galley in Port Rexton. Burger platters, fish and chips, and all the other “golden foods” that you would expect at a bay diner are reasonably priced and served with a smile, while vintage country and western softly lilts from the radio.
If you want to spend the weekend, Trinity Cabins are affordable and charming. If more beer sampling time is on your agenda, Sherwood Suites of Port Rexton is walking distance to the brewery. How responsible of you!