Activities and experiences

Castle Hill National Historic Site

Stroll the ruins of a once-embattled stone fort, immerse yourself in a site where European empires once battled for control of a continent, and discover stunning vistas stretching over a picturesque Atlantic harbour.


a stone building with a cannon in front of it

Explore the visitor centre

Discover stories of this historic hill.

an individual in a red sweater, listens to an earphone while sitting overlooking an oceanside town

Take an audio tour

Explore the remains of the stone fort and hiking trails at your own pace via this audio guide.

two children running up a set of outdoor stairs.

Cannonball scavenger hunt

Explore the remnants of a 17th century stone fort while searching for cannonballs. Great family activity.

an individual in a red sweater climbing a set of wooden stairs in the forest

Hike with historic views

Stroll along several hiking trails all of which boast captivating views and panoramic scenery.

Welcome to Castle Hill National Historic Site


00:01.17-00:02.94 : I grew up here in the Placentia area.

00:03.20-00:04.97 : I couldn’t have been much more than 7 years old.

00:05.88-00:08.38 : I think they were doing the excavations here at the time.

00:08.89-00:12.20 : I remember running down the old French trail for everything I could give.

00:14.13-00:17.03: I have lots of favourite spots at Castle Hill.

00:17.03-00:21.04: Like Gallardin, Fort Royal and the Detached Redoubt.

00:22.09-00:26.08 : I like cresting the top and seeing that “ta-da” moment

00:26.08-00:30.00 : especially if we’ve got fog rolling in over the town. That’s quite nice.

00:39.15-00:45.20 : One of the benefits of Castle Hill’s location is the proximity to the Marine Atlantic ferry

00:45.20-00:48.05 : in Argentia, which is about seven minutes away.

00:48.15-00:53.18: What surprises Castle Hill visitors are the forts.

00:53.18-00:56.21: They don’t expect the forts to be here.

00:57.05-01:00.09 : Castle Hill has several main themes actually

01:00.09-01:07.11 : Of course it’s all about the military history, the fortifications and how they were built.

01:07.11-01:11.04 : When it was Fort Royal under the French and Castle Hill under the English.

01:11.04-01:16.13 : Fort Royal was constructed by the French. It was begun in 1693

01:16.13-01:21.05 : and by 1701-1702 it was more or less complete.

01:21.05-01:28.07 : And with the Treaty of Utrecht, Fort Royal was signed over to the English, along with Plaisance.

01:28.07-01:33.00 : You get into the history of the fishery, because these are the reasons why these fortifications were built.

01:33.00-01:37.03 : The events that transpired here affected events that happened in Europe

01:37.03-01:42.09 : And these events actually ultimately affected the story of Canada.

01:42.20-01:47.10: The French influence in the region can still be felt.

01:47.10-01:54.22: French is spoken, and the street names are in both French and English.

01:55.07-01:58.00: My family is from the Gaspé region.

01:58.00-02:04.17: There are cliffs, the sea, the waves—even the weather!

02:04.17-02:10.23: There is a lot here that is very similar and speaks to me in many ways.

02:11.15-02.14.16 : My favourite artifacts here at Castle Hill would be the coins.

02.14.16-02.19.00 : Because it wasn’t just soldiers and forts, it was a full-fledged community here.

02.19.13-02.26.03 : We give people a chance to turn off the world and just experience the moment.

02.26.05-02.31.05 : The region is very unique in that it’s still got a lot of hidden gems.

02.31.05-02.34.05 : You can visit Placentia which has a lot of great amenities.

02.34.12-02.39.20 : You can also carry on down south, visit Cape St. Mary’s—it’s an ecological reserve.

02:40.11-02.45.10: I had an opportunity to visit many spots in Newfoundland.

02:45.10-02:53.21: The difference, and what makes Castle Hill and the region unique, is the French aspect.

02:53.21-02:56.02: Newfoundlanders are very, very welcoming.

02:56.02-02:59.18: If you want to have someone who feels like family.

02:59.18-03:02.12: Come to Placentia in Newfoundland.

Things to do

Dogs on leash Dog walking
Hiking Hiking
Notice board Interpretive trail
Lookout Lookout
Museum Museum
Photo Opportunity Photography
Picnic area Picnicking

Services and amenities

Accessible Facilities Accessible services
Bus parking Bus parking
Gift Shop Gift shop
Information Information
Lookout Lookout
Parking Parking
Picnic area Picnic area
Restrooms Restrooms
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