A few years ago we did a blog post on our first ever trip to Trinity Loop, an abandoned theme park located a no more than few minutes drive from the hostel.
We want to revisit the Loop as part of our Off the Beaten Track series, to share with you more of it’s past, and more details about its present.
The Trinity Loop is an amazing spot to visit, both for its unique history, and for its modern spook-factor.
Before the theme park was developed, the Trinity Loop referred to the interesting railway that was built by J.P Powell in the early 1900s. In an effort to incorporate the town of Trinity into the Newfoundland Railway, the company had brought on a clever engineer to design a route that could overcome the steep hills surrounding this coastal town. The track was looped around a nearby lake, now called Loop Pond, which allowed the train to slowly reduce elevation.
This particular design became known as the Trinity Loop.
When the railway closed down in the 1980s, the town of Trinity purchased the loop, and sold it to Francis Kelly to restore and develop.
A theme park with restaurant, cabins, and petting zoo was developed in the center of the loop, with the tracks continuing to ring around the perimeter and through the hills, which passengers could enjoy from the working train.
In 2004 the theme park closed down due to dropping attendance, and the property has seen substantial damage since then.
For many that live in the Trinity area, the loop is a site of fond memories of their childhood. It may have been their first ever horse-ride, their first ever job, the location for their first ever date, or perhaps just a symbol of summer.
The loop is a great place to visit when you’re in the Trinity area. It is a quick drive from the hostel, or a fun 10-km bike ride along the coast. The Trinity Loop is a great spot regardless of the weather. On a warm day there is lots to keep you moving due to the expanse of area to explore, and the pond should you need to cool off. On a rainy day there are train carriages to seek shelter, and lots of spooky photos opportunities.
Our favourite time to visit the Trinity Loop is at dusk.
There are great views of the neighbouring town of Dunfield on the drive in, and once there you can enjoy the waning light bouncing off the old rides for some eery pics.
Should you wish to stay longer, there is lots of scrap wood, and plenty of big open areas to have a bonfire. There is apparently also trout-a-plenty to be caught in the pond.
If traveling with kids, I would recommend keeping a close eye on them. Serious damage has been done to the remaining sections of the park, by both nature and vandals, and there are some hazards around including broken glass and loose rock around the riverbed.
Time: Short Stop – 1h
Equipment: Comfortable exploring shoes, and a camera
To Get Here:
The Loop is conveniently marked on Google Maps, so for those with working data, you can just punch Trinity Loop into your phones.
If, like most, your phone has no service in NL, you may want to take note of below:
From the hostel take the 230 toward Clarenville for 3.2kms. Turn left at Route 239 following signs to Trinity and Dunfield.
After 3.5kms take the unmarked road to the right immediately after the small green electrical store called Bartlett’s. This part can be confusing because Route 239 also turns right, and the unmarked road is easy to miss. The main thing to know is if there are still houses, you’ve missed the turn.
From here follow this road until you see a train. The road is bumpy in places, so take it slow, and keep an eye to your left for the lovely view of Dunfield.
When at the Loop I would recommend leaving your car by the boulders. As mentioned there is broken glass around the place and you don’t want a puncture. From here get out and explore!