Entries by Steve

Mountain Biking Gros Morne

Gros Morne Naitonal Park and the surrounding region is know for its hiking trails, and while Parks Canada does not have any specifically designed bike trails, the communities of Rocky Harbour and Norris Point do have specific mountain bike trails. 

“Dr. D’s”, a hand built downhill is a local favorite, and with a recent up-track put in, is shore to increase its use. A nice tour around Eastern Arm Trails (shared use with ATV) can get the legs going, and the most recent, machine built, cross country flow trail in Norris Point, “Neddies Harbour Traverse”, is sure to get some use in 2024 and beyond.

With the Gros Morne Trail network tied with the Greater Corner Brook Trail Network, and Pasadena, it’s worth while to bring your bike to Newfoundland.

Long Range Traverse

Hiking the Long Range Traverse

 
 
 

The Long Range Traverse located in western Newfoundland, takes you across 3 freshwater fjords over 4 days in Gros Morne National park, including 10 Mile Pond and Western Brook Pond. During the 38 km trek you will cross rivers, traverse a series of hills and deep valleys with a mix of low shrubs (tuckamore), bog, rock outcrops, streams and lakes. The Long Range Traverse is not a trail, it is a back-country route, which is generally wet, rough, remote and inaccessible.

We go through the trip breaking it up into four days, although groups do it shorter, longer, or some add on the North Rim Traverse, taking a bit more time to enjoy the backcountry of Newfoundland.

 
 
 
Western Brook Pond

 

Western Brook Pond
 
 
 

Weather can be extreme with highs reaching 30°C+, and lows near 0°C, therefore preparing for the trip we strongly advise that you take the appropriate, high quality clothing (NO COTTON), boots, backpack and sleeping bag.  For more information, please take the time to look at our equipment list. Please note the black flies and mosquitoes can be extremely annoying throughout the  summer so it would be wise to pack a bug net/jacket.

Finally, drinking water.  Please bring your own method of water treatment – chemical or mechanical.  Giardia is common in fresh water ponds in western Newfoundland… it won’t ruin your trip as it takes a few weeks to really kick in.  There is plenty of fresh water along the route with numerous ponds and brooks (can make navigating difficult in the fog!).

 
 
 

DAY 1 – THE BEGINNING

 
 
 

10km, 500 meter climb

 
 
 
The adventure starts at the Western Brook Pond boat tour parking lot, located 27km north of Rocky Harbour. The Long Range Traverse begins with a short 3km hike into Western Brook Pond, where we board a boat for the Bon Tours Western Brook Pond boat tour (its a one way trip!).
 
 
 
Western Brook Pond Boat Tour

 

Western Brook Pond Boat Tour
 
 
 

After getting dropped at the eastern end of the pond and its Jurassic Park like micro climate, we start the ascent of the gorge (4km and 400 meters) to the parks most recognizable view – Western Brook Pond.  It’s a tough climb to say the least, where people often have to use their hands to grip, boulders, roots, whatever they can, to hoist themselves up… to say it’s a trail would be misleading.  If it’s raining, you would be hard pressed to not get your feet wet, as you’re often walking in river beds.

Depending on time, weather, and how the group feels, we either camp overlooking western brook pond (5 km, and 150 meters) or continue on to Little Island Pond (6.5 km) and supper!  Supper consists of pasta and rice mixtures with dehydrated assortment of vegetables, sauces, and spices…. and we don’t forget desert either!

 
 
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Western Brook Pond Camp

 

Western Brook Pond Camp
 
 
 

DAY 2 – WESTERN BROOK POND VIEW TO HARDINGS POND

 
 
 

11km

 
 
 

We usually aim for an 8- 8:30 a.m start, meaning we are up bright and early at 7:00 am. Breakfast consists of hot cereal mixed with dehydrated fruit (mango, strawberry, banana), and hot tea or coffee.  (Coffee tastes so much better in the back-country!). We will caution, although the big climb -and what most people describe as the hardest part- is behind us, some people find day 2 harder, perhaps when the sun’s out and it’s hot, or residual tiredness carrying over from the exertion on day 1.

The sights and sounds of Western Brook Pond are an amazing experience to wake up to, and as we crest a ridge and lose it’s view, we look south to the interior of the Long Range Mountains. It’s a 5.5 km walk by glacially carved ponds, alpine meadows, streams, and granite outcrops until our first river crossing (10th km), where there will be no bridge for help!

 
 
 
LRT - Hardings Pond

 

Heading towards Hardings Pond
 
 
 

Despite being up on the alpine plateau, we will still see (and hike) plenty of rolling hills as we continue on to Hardings Pond, another 3.5km  (13.5km) which requires a good 150 meter climb until we descend to the pond, where we skirt the westerly end before a short climb to our camping spot for the night (16km).  The groups pace, fatigue and time of day all come into play on deciding where the group stays, and whether or not we can continue on to potential camp sites #2 (17km) .

 
 
 

DAY 3 – HARDINGS POND TO 10 MILE POND

 
 
 

10km

 
 
 

Day 3!  We start bright and early again with the option of a 5km return hike to Bakers Brook Pond view Point!  The decision will be solely up to the guide, and based upon group pace, fatigue and timing.

 
 
 
Bakers Brook Pond

 

Bakers Brook Pond
 
 
 

Guests take note of the changing landscape as it becomes more harsh, changing from lightly forested alpine pastures, to rocky ridges, and exposed granite… the hills become shorter and steeper.  We make our last river crossing after 5 km at Green Island Pond (22km), just after the Parks Canada Campsite, and continue onto our campsite overlooking 10 mile pond (24.5km) – it makes for amazing sunsets!!

 
 
 

DAY 4 – 10 MILE TO FINISH!

 
 
 

At last, the final day!  At this point, people are often planning their post trip meals, thinking of hots showers and warm beds… but don’t let your thoughts get to far from you as we still have another 10km to cover, a full day of hiking, where we get to see Gros Morne Mountain – the second highest point in Newfoundland – Ferry Gulch hanging valley, and Bonne Bay.

 
 
 
10 Mile Pond
 
 
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It’s common for guests to get a felling of wanting to be done, especially after 4 days of hiking in buggy hot weather, or cold rainy weather, however, we treat the final day as we did the previous three, taking lots of breaks, having a lunch and taking our time. If we get out early, great! However, most of the time we finish up around 4:00 p.m.

Finally I should note depending on the time of year, early July mostly, there can be significant amounts of snow on the trail.

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Gros Morne Mountain

Gros Morne is the second highest peak on the island of Newfoundland, exceeded only by Lewis Hill. Often capped with clouds, or clothed in fog or snow, the mountain’s mystery is reflected in its name: Gros Morne… big lone mountain. 

This 806 m high flat-topped mountain is a slice of Arctic tundra far south of its usual range. The habitat is a heaven for rock ptarmigan, Arctic hare, and woodland caribou. Around the summit, there are views of a spectacular glacial-carved landscape: the deep fjord arms of Bonne Bay and the U-shaped trough of Ten Mile Pond. 

Hiking the Mountain

One of the most popular hikes in Newfoundland, and for good reason; there are two distinct ways to experience the big lone mountain depending on your desires, fitness level, and weather 

To the Base and Back

Distance: 9km – moderate. Open year-round

A mountain is more than its summit, and depending on the person, and the day, a stroll to the base of Gros Morne, might be the right decision!

The 4.5 km climb, takes you past views of the mountain punctuated by numerous waterfalls before opening up to views of Bonne Bay and a cluster of small ponds at the base of the mountain, at an elevation of 320 m. Make your way back down the same path to the Parking lot for a 9km round trip.

Whole Mountain

Distance: 17km – difficult. Trail Closed May 1st – Last Friday in June

Taking on the entire hike is a full-day affair and requires planning appropriately. 

After leaving the base, the trail takes you up a very steep boulder gully to the summit of the mountain (500-meter climb, which takes an hour or more to cover ~1km). The summit of the mountain can be a very harsh place, so be prepared for rapid temperature changes, lack of water, high wind, and blistering sun. This is the most challenging part of the hike and is not recommended for small children

After the summit, there can be a sense of accomplishment, but don’t let your guard down yet!  With nearly 10km left to hike, and the descent thru ferry gulch being no easy task, pace yourself, and rest as you need it. 

Planning & Safety

Before You Head Out

It is very important to be well prepared before undertaking this hike. This is not an easy hike!!

  • There is no food, shelter, or water available on the mountain. Be prepared for changes in weather as well as cooler and windier conditions on the mountain.
  • The complete trail is 17km long, a seven to eight hour hike at a leisurely pace. To fully enjoy the wildlife and spectacular scenery along this trail, be sure to allow yourself enough time
  • Check weather and trail conditions
  • Pick up your Park Pass prior to hiking the mountain.

We recommend:

  • Water (at least 3 litres of water per person) since none is available on the mountain.
  • Warm clothing and a windbreaker or warm coat (waterproof gear recommended) to counter the wind and unpredictable weather.
  • Sturdy broken-in footwear.
  • Sunscreen, Hat for warmth and/or sun
  • Please stay on the trail, both for your safety and to reduce your effect on fragile environments.
  • Carry out all of your garbage. Buried trash is still trash.
  • We recommend that visitors do not take their dogs to the summit of Gros Morne Mountain as there are risks to both dogs and wildlife. The hike to the summit can be incredibly challenging for dogs, as the rocks can cut their feet and there is a lack of access to water. The presence of dogs on the mountain can also disturb the unique wildlife that call Gros Morne mountain home – such as the Arctic hare, caribou and rock ptarmigan. Although we discourage visitors from taking dogs to the summit of Gros Morne Mountain, they are permitted if they are under physical control with a leash.
  • Leave everything as you find it. Do not pick plants or collect rocks, fossils, or anything else (other than litter!) This will ensure that others can also enjoy the features of this trail.
  • Do not build fire pits, shelters, or rock cairns.

 

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The Tablelands

In the heart of Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, lies an otherworldly landscape that defies expectations and reveals a glimpse into the Earth’s ancient past. The Tablelands, a geological wonder only seen a few places on the planet, showcases a rare phenomenon where a portion of the Earth’s mantle has been thrust up through the crust. This extraordinary natural site, forged over half a billion years, stands as a testament to the remarkable forces of geology and offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness the Earth’s inner soul exposed like never before.

There are a number of ways to enjoy the Tablelands, regardless of the season

Parks Canada Guided Interpretive Walk
Tablelands Trail (2h) June 1 – 30, 10:00 am Sun. Tues, Thurs, Sat. July 1 – Sept 3, everyday.
As you step onto the Tablelands, you find yourself immersed in a landscape that appears more akin to Mars than Newfoundland. Parks Canada guides will help you explore this bizarre and beautiful landscape, the glacially carved valleys and the unique plants and vegetation that call the Tablelands their home! This two-hour guided hike will prepare you to better understand the world significant geology of Gros Morne as you explore the park.

Parks Canada Guided Tour App
Looking to do the Tablelands walk at your own pace, on your schedule? Parks Canada has created a free app, or pick up a device at the Discovery Centre – included in your park pass – and hit the trails!

Download the app through App Store or Google Play.

Self- Guided Day Hikes

You can enjoy both marked and off-trail experiences in the Tablelands, whether your looking for a quick stroll or full day adventure. Map of the Tablelands $3 map or $5 waterproof map. Available at the Discovery Centre and the Visitor Centre.

Tablelands Hiking Trail – 4km return easy
Walk the old roadbed as it skirts the base of the Tablelands; You will see unusual plants and rocks as you enjoy broad panoramic views. The trail ends in the glacially carved Winter House Brook Canyon.

Trout River Pond Trail – 14km return, moderate.
Hike the path less traveled along the shore of Trout River Pond fjord, and into the heart of the Tablelands taking in Elephant Head and its contrasting granite cliffs.
Lookout Trail – 5km return – moderate
Enjoy the steady climb to one of the best panoramic vistas in the park. From the platform atop Partridgeberry Hill, enjoy the spectacular view of Bonne Bay, Gros Morne Mountain, and the Tablelands.

Drive Scenic Route 431
The road between Woody Point and Trout River is truly one of the most spectacular you’ll see.  What strikes you most is the contrast of colour between the mountains that tower above you. One side is lush green; the other, a brilliant, amber colour – all divided, it would seem, by the yellow line of the highway.

Scenic Boat Tour
Wild Gros Morne’s zodiac boat tour provides unsurpassed views deep into the glacier carved Trout River Pond of both the towering Tablelands, and sheer granite North Arm Mountains.

Multimedia Show
Gros Morne: An Earth Odyssey Evening Program: Visitor Centre (1h) July 1 – Sept 3., Sun., Wed. 7:00pm.
Join a zany traveller sent from another galaxy who accepts a mission to learn more about planet Earth by uncovering the reasons for the UNESCO World Heritage designation at Gros Morne National Park. Discover Gros Morne’s unique geology in an out-of-this-world multimedia show!

Visiting the Tablelands is not only an opportunity for personal discovery but also a chance to cultivate a deeper understanding of the Earth’s intricate geological processes. As you explore this ancient landscape, take a moment to reflect on the immense power and beauty that lies within our planet’s core. The Tablelands serve as a reminder of the vastness and complexity of the natural world and the importance of protecting these unique environments for future generations.

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Western Brook Pond

Nestled within the stunning landscapes of Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland lies a natural wonder that captivates the hearts of all who visit. Western Brook Pond, a breathtaking fjord, stands as one of the must-see attractions. Whether you embark on the scenic 6km hike (return) or opt for a mesmerizing boat tour, or venture off the beaten path with a guided hike, Western Brook Pond offers an unforgettable experience that showcases the raw beauty of nature at its finest.

 

Exploring the Hiking Trail: Year-round

Embarking on the 6km return hike to Western Brook Pond is an adventure, and quite accessible to a host of user groups; from cycling to taking a stroller, to making use of Parks Canada off-road wheelchairs, the wide path, with gentle grades allows wide group of people to experience its wonder.   As you venture along the well-marked trail, you’ll find yourself immersed in the park’s pristine wilderness. Towering cliffs, lush forests, and tranquil streams accompany your journey, making the hike an awe-inspiring experience.

As you approach Western Brook Pond, the anticipation builds, and suddenly, you’re rewarded with a view that takes your breath away. The fjords rise dramatically from the emerald waters, showcasing the remarkable forces of nature that shaped this region over thousands of years. Take a moment to soak in the grandeur, and perhaps even indulge in a picnic amidst this natural masterpiece. The serenity and tranquility enveloping Western Brook Pond create a sense of peace and harmony that allows you to reconnect with the essence of nature.

Boat Tour: Mid May thru to Mid October

A Journey Through Time: For those seeking an alternative perspective of Western Brook Pond, the boat tour, offered by Bonne Tours, is an absolute must. Boarding one of the sturdy vessels, you’ll embark on a voyage that takes you through the heart of the fjords. Skilled guides regale you with fascinating stories about the geological history and cultural significance of the area, providing a deeper understanding of this remarkable ecosystem.

As the boat glides along the glassy waters, towering cliffs rise on either side, revealing hidden waterfalls cascading down their rugged faces. The sheer scale of the landscape evokes a sense of awe and wonder, leaving you feeling small in comparison. Be sure to keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that calls this place home, such as eagles soaring overhead or curious seals popping up to say hello.

Backcountry Hike: To the Famous View Point

Meet a professional guide at the dockside, take the shuttle to the end of the pond and then hike to the top of the gorge. The hike is quite difficult, off-trail, with very rocky footing, and strenuous climbs, therefore not for the faint of heart (or everyone!). Through the difficulty comes the reward, once on top you will bask in the magnificent view of the pond, (before having to descend back down!)

For reservations contact Bontours.

Western Brook Pond stands as an extraordinary testament to the power of nature and the immense beauty that can be found within Gros Morne National Park. Whether you choose to embark on the picturesque hike or opt for the captivating boat tour, the experience will leave an indelible mark on your memory. The majesty of the fjords, the serenity of the surroundings, and the harmonious coexistence of land and water make Western Brook Pond an unmissable destination, regardless of the season.

Accommodation

Gros Morne National Park and the surrounding seven communities are in the Park’s South, Central and Northern sections.  Each area has numerous accommodations, including B &B’s, Hotels, Inn’s, Cottages, Hostels, RV Parks, and Parks Canada Campsites.  There is truly something for everyone.

Below is a list of our most recommended places to stay in and around Gros Morne 

Shallow Bay Motel & Cabins | Cow Head | 1-800-563-1946
Oceanside in Gros Morne National Park; shallowbaymotel.com
Near Gros Morne Theater Festival, Pub, Dining,
year-round with Packages

Fisherman’s Landing Inn | Rocky Harbour | 1-866-458-2711
Located in the heart of Gros Morne; FishermanslandingInn.com
Dining Room, Pub, Seasonal Entertainment

Gros Morne Cabins | Rocky Harbour | 1-888-603-2020
Oceanside in Gros Morne National Park; grosmornecabins.com
1 & 2 Bedroom, Wifi, BBQ’s, Kitchenettes

 

Ocean View Hotel | Rocky Harbour | 1-800-563-9887
Harbourfront in Gros Morne National Park; TheOceanView.ca
Dining Room, Anchor Pub & Seasonal Entertainment

Neddies Harbour Inn | Norris Point | 1-877-458-2929
Waterfront Inn & Cottages in Gros Morne National Park; TheInn.ca
Fine Dining at Black Spruce Restaurant & Spa

Sugar Hill Inn | Norris Point | 1-888-299-2147
Country Inn overlooking Bonne Bay in Gros Morne National Park; SugarHillInn.ca
Fine Dining at Chanterelles Restaurant, Electric Bikes For Rent

Gros Morne Inn | Town of GBS | 1-709-435-7226
O
verlooking Southern Arm in Gros Morne National Park; GrosMorneInn.com
Fine Dining, Hot Tubs & Sauna on-site, year-round packages

Getting off the beaten path in Gros Morne

Off the Beaten Path

Gros Morne is known for hiking, and it boasts some amazing hiking trails including;

Gros Morne Mountain ✓

Tablelands ✓

Western Brook Pond ✓

But, the truth is you’ve only scratched the surface of the trails on offer in Gros Morne National Park! Check out these spectacular experiences that are a little off the beaten path but totally Instagramable.

  • Trout River Pond Trail
    14 km return, 4-5 hours
    The trail begins in the Trout River day-use area and follows the north shore of Trout River Small Pond. The first half takes you through shaded boreal forest, but then the vegetation dwindles to larch scrub and serpentine barrens. Arctic-alpine plants grow here, in the midst of patterned ground, erosion fans, and calcium springs. This trail provides magnificent views of the Narrows where two ponds meet, and of the glacial-carved valley of Trout River Big Pond.
  • Lomond River Trail
    6 km one-way, 2 hours
    Located 16 km from Wiltondale, west on route 431. The start of this trail begins in the parking lot of Stuckless Pond. The trail leads a walk through forest and fen, with spur trails that lead to the Lomond River. The trees here grow taller than anywhere else in the park! Beneath the quiet of the mature forest canopy you’ll find views of the river and its forested slopes.
  • Old Mail Road Trail
    2 km one-way, 1 hour
    This path was once part of the only overland route up the Northern Peninsula. Every winter from 1882 to 1952, mailmen travelled it by dogsled to deliver mail along the coast.

    The trail starts at the Shallow Bay day-use area in Cow Head and follows the old winter mail road along the edge of the campground, and north to the Slants River. The mail road parallels the shoreline in the shelter of dense coastal forest. For a short loop, you can use the boardwalk to cross the dunes at the campground and then return along the beach.

  • Mattie Mitchell Trail
    5 km loop, 0.25 hr
    A short and sweet interpretive trail tells the story of Mattie Mitchell and the Mi’kmaq in Newfoundland. Mattie Mitchell was a renowned Mi’kmaq hunter, guide and prospector. He made an exceptional contribution to the exploration and mapping of the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and to the development of the emerging Newfoundland economy of forestry and mining in the 20th century, earning him recognition as a person of national historic significance.
  • Stanleyville Trail
    4 km return, 2 hrs
    This trail begins at the day-use area playground in Lomond campground. The trail climbs over a ridge and down to a cove at Stanleyville, a small community that was active in the early 1900s. Although abandoned for 80 years, garden plants still grow at Stanleyville! The trail follows the old road through a second-growth forest and past a present-day domestic cutting area.

3 Unforgettable Fall Hikes in Gros Morne

Fall Hiking in Gros Morne

Fall Hikes in Gros Morne National Park 

Fall in Gros Morne is pretty spectacular. For many hikers, the autumn is a favourite time to get out and explore the park. Nature puts on a show of colour, the weather is cooler and more comfortable for physical activity, and there’s more peace with fewer people on the trails (and fewer black flies and mosquitos too!)

Here are 3 ideas trails to check out this fall in Gros Morne National Park:

1)     Lomond River Trail

Rating: Moderate
Distance: 8 km one-way
Approximate hiking time: 2 hours

 The start of this trail begins in the parking lot of Stuckless Pond. The trail leads you along the Lomond River through old forest. The trees here grow taller than anywhere else in the park and the forest is home to many species of birds! Beneath the quiet of the mature forest canopy you’ll find views of the river and its forested slopes.

2)     Baker’s Brook Falls Trail

Rating: Moderate
Distance: 10 km return
Approximate hiking time: 2-3 hours

The falls are definitely the main attraction of this trail! Follow the trail downstream to a viewpoint over wide step-like waterfalls cascading over limestone ridges. The trail leads you through balsam fir forest, which is in several stages of regeneration, recovering from the natural effects of winds and insects. The trail head is located in Berry Hill campground.

3)     Gros Morne Mountain Base Trail
Rating: Moderate-Difficult
Distance: 9 km return
Approximate hiking time: 3-4 hours

You don’t have to climb to the top of Gros Morne to enjoy spectacular views! The trail to the base of the mountain winds through forest to a viewing platform. Along the way you’ll encounter frequent stairs and boardwalks and enjoy views of Bonne Bay, the Tablelands, and Gros Morne Mountain.

6 Rainy Day Activities in Gros Morne

Rainy Day Hits

The sun can’t shine every day! If exploring Gros Morne National Park’s natural wonders in the rain isn’t your thing, here are some ideas for rainy day activities the whole family will love.

1) Bonne Bay Aquarium & Research Station
Head to the Norris Point waterfront for a chance to see (and get hands on!) with some of Gros Morne National Park’s sea critters.

The Public Aquarium is part of Grenfell Campus of Memorial University and is home to a wide range of the marine animals and plants that can be found in Bonne Bay. Join a guided tour with one of their knowledgeable interpreters, and get up-close with some of the creatures in the touch tank.

Check their website for hours of operation and admission prices.

2) Discovery Centre
Perched on a hill overlooking Bonne Bay, the Gros Morne Discovery Centre in Woody Point is a must-do to round out your time in the Park, rain or shine! Interactive exhibits and knowledgeable staff help bring the park to life. Learn about the unique geology of the area, plants, marine life, arctic life, and people of the past and present. Take a guided walk or join an activity, watch the park film, or pick up a souvenir from the Tuckamore Shoppe.

Open seasonally. Check their website for hours of operation.

3) Swimming at the Rocky Harbour Recreation Complex
The Recreation Complex in Rocky Harbour includes a 25 metre indoor pool with a shallow bay, a leisure harbour, a whirlpool, and a variety of scheduled supervised activities including open swim and adult swim times. Kids under age 6 must be accompanied in the water by an adult during open swim.

Check out the pool’s website for the current schedule and fees.

4) Henry N. Payne Museum & Craft Shop

  • Learn about local history with a stop at the Dr. Henry N. Payne Museum in Cow Head. The longest-running museum on the West Coast of Newfoundland, the exhibitions include an intriguing col­lection of artifacts including the axe used in the local double axe murder of 1809 and stories including the lives outport women.

Locally handcrafted items are also for sale!

5) Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse

Located in Rocky Harbour, this century old lighthouse once served as a beacon to safely guide fishermen and sailing vessels into Bonne Bay. Now it’s home to interpretive exhibits about the heritage of the area. Learn about what life used to be like through historical photos, audio recordings of local folk songs and lightkeepers logbooks. Take a seat at the kitchen table and chat with one of the park guides to learn about the lightkeepers’ families and more!

Open seasonally. Check their website for hours of operation.

6) Gros Morne Wildlife Museum
Get up close to Newfoundland’s wildlife! Gros Morne Wildlife Museum houses over 100 full-size Newfoundland animals in realistic scenes. See animals like moose, puffins and a polar bear up close in a safe setting.

There’s even a scavenger hunt-style challenge that will help you look more closely at the exhibits – you might see things that you never would have noticed otherwise. And you might win a $500 gift certificate for their gift shop!

Located in Rocky Harbour. Check out their website for hours of operation and admission prices.

Preparing to Hike in Gros Morne

Getting Ready For Your Hike in Gros Morne

Changeable weather is a given when you go on adventures on the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean. And it’s part of the mood and personality of Gros Morne National Park. Being prepared for the weather is key to having a safe and good time on our trails. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next hike in Gros Morne.

Know the Trails Before you Go

Parks Canada is the go-to resource for all things hiking in Gros Morne National Park. The trails are rated
according to their difficulty so you can pick the best hike for your physical ability and timeframe.
 

  • Easy trails are flat to gently rolling with an elevation gain of 0-100 meters. 
  • Moderate trails are gently rolling with short steep sections and an elevation gain of 100-500
    meters.
  • Difficult trails are rolling with many steep sections that may continue for long sections. Elevation
    gain is 500+ meters.

Knowing the trail conditions before you head out can go a long way to helping you plan what to bring. Parks Canada updates trail reports as circumstances change. See the latest info here.

Need help planning your hike? There are tour companies in Gros Morne with expertise who would be happy to take you on a guided hike.

Check out www.visitgrosmorne.com/experiences for more info.

General Tips

  • Park passes are required anytime you’re using a trail in park boundaries.
  • Check the weather before you leave and be prepared for changes.
  • Dressing in layers is key to a comfortable hike.
  • Good footwear that’s meant for hiking will give you more stability and grip.
  • Hiking poles are helpful on steep and rugged terrain.
  • Bring water, food, a headlamp, extra clothes and any other essentials including medications and
    spare prescription eyewear.
  • Have a trip plan and share it with somebody – where you’re going, when you’ll be back, and who
    to call if you don’t return.
  • Cell phone coverage is sporadic throughout the park.

What to Pack for a Day Hike

With nearly 30 trails on the map, Gros Morne National Park will never get boring. Here’s what should be in your basic kit:

  • Day Pack
  • Rain jacket and Pants
  • Wool or fleece sweater
  • Water bottle – 2 litres is ideal, especially on hot days and long trails.
  • Lunch and snacks to enjoy on breaks
  • Sunhat, sunglasses and sunblock
  • In cooler weather, a lightweight insulation hat and gloves

What to Pack for a Multi-Day Hike

A multi-day hike in Gros Morne National Park is on many hiker’s bucket lists. It takes a lot of careful planning and this list is just a starting point! In general, you need things that are quick dry and don’t weigh much.

  • Large backpack
  • Small dry sacks to keep your clothes organized and dry
  • Shelter:
    • Sleeping bag in a dry sack. A temperature rating of minimum 0ºC or 32ºF will ensure you’re warm enough in most summer weather
    • Insulated sleeping pad
    • Lightweight, waterproof tent designed for hiking trips
  • Clothing:
    • Sturdy hiking boots
    • Gaiters
    • Sun hat, ideally with a wide brim
    • Lightweight insulated hat & gloves
    • Lightweight insulated underwear – top & bottom
    • Wool or fleece sweaters of varying weights
    • Quick dry long sleeve shirt (ie. Synthetic, not cotton!)
    • Quick dry t-shirt
    • Quick dry wind pants
    • Rain pants and jacket (Gore-Tex or similar fabric)
    • Socks (synthetic or wool)
  • Personal Care Items:
    • Packable, quick dry towel
    • Minimal toiletries (comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
    • Handkerchief
    • Sunglasses, sun block & lip balm
    • Insect repellent and bug jacket or head net if you’re easily bothered by black flies and mosquitoes
    • Medications
    • First Aid Kit including blister treatment
  • Food & Water
    • Water bottle with a holder or a water bladder – easy access will mean you drink more!
    • Water filter or treatment for making stream water safe to drink
    • Small camp stove and fuel (don’t forget the waterproof matches!)
    • Food that will provide you with enough energy to get your through your hike but is also lightweight and can be prepared over a camp stove
    • Minimal, lightweight utensils

If you’re hiking the Long Range Traverse, this video from Parks Canada will help you know what to expect.