Signal Hill

Retrace historic moments of this landmark hill, the site of wartime defenses and where the first transatlantic wireless signal was received.

A trip up Signal Hill offers more than just the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. Here you can learn about key moments in global and local history and see rock forms that are hundreds of millions of years old. The hill overlooks the city of St John's and is home to a tower, underground museum and military installations.

Hike up to the late 19th-century Cabot Tower, where inventor Guglielmo Marconi received the world’s first wireless message. Visit the tower’s museum to discover more about this historic moment and then go up to the observation platform on the top floor.

Further down the hill is the visitor center where there are exhibits that detail Signal Hill’s history as a key part of the defense of St. John’s. Learn about the city's role against Nazi Germany and during French attacks in the 17th century. Then walk around the hill to find some of the old concrete bunkers and gun turrets from World War II.

Make even more fascinating discoveries by going underground at the Johnson Geo Centre. The museum has been carved into Signal Hill’s rock and presents an exploration of the geological history of the Earth. There are also exhibits on the future of space exploration.

Signal Hill hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year, but its calendar is fullest in the warm summer months. The Signal Hill Tattoo in July and August is a popular spectacle where military performers put on a show dedicated to the area's military history. For the full calendar of events, visit the pages dedicated to Signal Hill on the Parks Canada website.

Signal Hill is situated just 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from St. John’s town center. Although you can visit at any time of year, the visitor center and Cabot Tower close for several months during the winter and spring. 

If you feel like going for a hike, there are several short trails on the hill. The North Head Trail is the most difficult, while the wheelchair accessible Lookout Trail has excellent views of St. John’s.


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