Dungeon Provincial Park
Located on the Bonavista Peninsula, on Newfoundland's east coast is Dungeon Provincial Park. There is a small trail that runs from the road through a large pasture (watch your step) to the sheer cliffs that line the shores of the Bonavista Bay. The rugged shoreline features many sea stacks, sea caves, whales, icebergs, and a great view of the lighthouse at Cape Bonavista, which is a provincial historic site.
But, the most intriguing feature of this park is a large crater in the ground with two adjacent sea caves, that lead into the ocean.
This unique landmark is known as, the "Dungeon," it is a striking example of the power of the North Atlantic ocean. Over the past 10,000 years, the pounding of the tides has lead to coastal erosion all along the ancient rugged coastline. The waves eventually produce sea caves in the sedimentary rock. As the caves got deeper and deeper, they eventually carved out an area that could no longer support the overhead rock. With the collapse of the sea cave's roof, the "Dungeon" was formed. This unique is also known as a 'blow-hole' or 'gloup'. In time, the roof of the two sea caves will unfortunately collapse, forming a sea stack. From the viewing deck, the "Dungeon" appears like two large sapphire eyes, gleaming in the sun.
It is quite difficult to put your camera down in this beautiful place, there is so many photographic opportunities. The rugged ancient coastline, the many different angles of the "Dungeon," Cape Bonavista Lighthouse in the distance, farm animals can be spotted in the pastures, early in the season whales and icebergs can be spotted in the nearby waters.
This place is not a hike that will test your limits, it is more a tourist attraction. Regardless, this place is quite intriguing to explore and a definite must-see. If you add the trails around Cape Bonavista, you can extend your visit immensely. The nearby town of Bonavista, is one of Newfoundland's most historic communities and the people are very friendly and happy to tell you their life stories. There are numerous national and provincial historic sites in this town.
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