GROS MORNE FALL ITINERARIES
Gros Morne National Park, secluded, and pristine, where time provides a moment to inhale a sea of blazing reds, yellows, and orange hues illuminating the rugged sprawling landscape; where there’s space to listen to a story, learn to tuft a moose hide, and dance a jig.
Let us take the stress out of planning your much-needed fall getaway. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or delicious meals with a view – this selection of fall itineraries has got you covered for your trip to Gros Morne National Park
Iconic Gros Morne in Full Fall Colour
September to October — 3 days, 2 nights
Visit the iconic five natural wonders that have earned Gros Morne National Park its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation as they flaunt their the colours of fall.
Day 1 – Tablelands
Start the day exploring Route 431 also known as Gros Morne – South. Pick up a park pass at the Discovery Center, a great place to learn about the Tablelands, or check out the Miawpukek exhibition about a Mi’Kmaw community on Newfoundland’s south coast.
The Tablelands is one of a few places in the world where the striking rusty-orange rocks that make up the Earth’s mantle can be seen. Take the Tablelands Hike across the serpentine barrens that follows the base of this mountain (4 km return).
Lunch suggestions: Seaside Restaurant, Trout River or one of the many waterfront cafes or restaurants, Woody Point
The Green Gardens trail (9 km return) beckons with lush seaside meadows and sea stacks. Occasionally, local sheep wander onto the trail to take advantage of these meadows, so don’t be startled to catch them grazing. Once back in the vehicle, take the road to Route 430 and head for Rocky Harbour or Norris Point where you’ll overnight.
Day 2 – The Mountain
Rise early, pack a lunch, and have a hearty breakfast to prepare yourself to hike Gros Morne Mountain. To hike the entire mountain* (17 km return), plan for a full day. Or, for a shorter hike that offers views of Bonne Bay south opt to hike to the base (9 km return) then spend the afternoon browsing artisans shops.
*Dogs are not permitted on the Gros Morne Mountain Summit.
Unwind like a local at an Anchor Pub Kitchen Party* – a Newfoundland tradition – featuring live entertainment and pub food, located in the Ocean View Hotel.
*Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday nights until September 25th.
Pamper your tired body and rejuvenate your mind at Neddie’s Spa, located in Neddies Harbour Inn, or soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi hot tub overlooking the ocean or relax in the sauna at Shallow Bay Motel.
Day 3 – Fjords
Take the 2 hour cruise along the landlocked Western Brook Pond Fjord with BonTours — a Canadian Signature Experience. Be sure to book in advance* and allow 45 minutes to walk the 3 km from the parking lot to the pond.
*Contact BonTours at 1-888-458-2016 for tour departure times.
After the tour head to the Green Point Geological Site to check out the extraordinary cliff face — a world geological benchmark. This spot is best viewed at low tide.
Slow Down and Explore
Scenic roads meandering by coastal cliffs and fjords, warm smiles from locals, and a National Park to experience the changing of the seasons, all to yourself. With the space and the time to think and reflect, Gros Morne has the colorful people, places and experiences to leave a lasting impression.
Day 1 – Settling In
As you get settled-in, get up, grab a coffee, and get going, head to the northern part of Gros Morne to hike in (5km return) to the Western Brook Pond Boat Tour, where you pass through the costal low-lands with tuckamore forests before reaching the spectacular glacier-carved fjord. After the tour be sure to check out the trails around Parks Canada Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse, with the exhibit closed you’ll have all the amazing views to yourself!
Day 2 – The Mountain
Gros Morne Mountain – 17km
One of the most popular hikes in the park, and most difficult and for good reason! There are two options, as easy hike to the base and back to the car park 9km, or the full trip. Depending on the weather, and if there’s snow on the top, the hike to the base, with panoramic views, waterfalls, and jutting cliffs might just about right.
Day 3 – Recover and Relax
Bakers Brook Falls – 10km
Learning to pace yourself maybe one of the most important lessons while hiking in Gros Morne. Start the day by grabbing a coffee in Norris Point, check out one of the community trails, or try out kayaking or a zodiac tour of Bonne Bay. After grabbing lunch, head to the mostly flat / boardwalk, Bakers Brook Falls, with the trail to yourself you can enjoy a leisurely stroll, breathe the cool air, and marvel at the cascading waterfall
Day 4 – The Earth’s Mantle
Heading to the south side of the park via Bonne Tours Water Taxi (Norris Point to Woody Point), or take an hours drive, getting to Woody Point, you can peruse the local shops, grab a snack and tea, and take-in the artistic offerings, before heading to Parks Canada Discover Center (open to Oct 11th). After delving into the significance of the Martian like landscape, head to the Lookout Trail (6km return), and take-in the panoramic views of southern arm, and the tablelands.
Day 5 – Trout River
Rounding out your experience on the south-side of the park, take in Green Gardens costal trail in the morning, before trying out the community trails in Trout River Pond, or experiencing Trout River Pond zodiac tour, a fjord splitting the tablelands, and sheer granite cliffs of elephant head.
Colour your Spirit at Gros Morne Fall Festival
September 23rd – 26th. 4 days 3 nights
Take in the entirety of this lively 4-day celebration of culture or choose the events you want to attend and fill in the rest of your itinerary with the suggestions below. View the Gros Morne Fall Fest & Craft Fair schedule here.
Centered in the seaside community of Cow Head, the Shallow Bay Motel and Cabins makes the perfect home base. From here, walk to many of the Gros Morne Fall Fest events and dine at their onsite Shallow Bay Family Restaurant.
Get to know Cow Head – Thursday September 23rd
Start the day with a hike on the Cow head lighthouse trail (2.5km); The “head” is connected to the rest of the town by a natural isthmus and is where the trailhead is located.
Grab some lunch at the Shallow Bay Motel, and listen to the singer and story teller Daniel Paynes traditional Newfoundland music. Head to the Dr. Henry Payne Community Museum afterwards to take in some craft demonstrations; knitting, darning and mat hooking. The Dr. Henry N. Payne Community Museum & Craft Shop features locally made crafts and artefacts, including the axe head from the double axe murder of 1809.
Beach Walks, Crafts, & Stories – Friday September 24
Start the morning with a crafting workshop, each year, we bring together talented craftspeople and artisans from across the region to provide guidance and instruction for workshop participants. Workshops range from a couple of hours to multi-day affairs, where participants get to create beautiful works to take home with them, along with newly acquired skills and often new friendships!
In the afternoon immerse yourself in recitations and music at the Dr. Henry N. Payne Community Museum & Craft Shop before taking a stroll along the 4 km sandy Shallow Bay Beach, its ideal for watching the sunset, dipping your toes in the refreshing salt water after a workshop or other festival event.
In the evening you can be serenaded by an indigenous singing, or get your blood flowing watching the axe murder story and tales of ghosts.
Heart & Soul: History, Music & Cuisine – Saturday September 25
Take a tour of Cow Head and Summerside with Glenda, Daniel, Jim & Fergus, and the group Rum Ragged, and enjoy picnic overlooking beautiful Shallow Bay afterword, with delicious traditional cuisine provided by Taste of Gros Morne
In the afternoon head to Skivvers Wool & Fibre Craft Studio to take in a demonstration on natural dyeing using locally grown plants, before a fine dining experience at Shallow Bay Motel with Chef Jake Meade (book 709-243-2471).
Explore the Coast – Sunday September 26
When not at the festival, explore one of the nearby Parks Canada sites. Broom Point features a restored traditional fishing premises nestled into a rocky coastline. When at Broom Point, take Steve’s Trail (1 km return) follow in the footprints of a local fisherman to views of the Long Range Mountains and Western Brook Pond Fjord. Or, visit the remnants of the Wreck of the SS Ethie, which ran aground just south of Cow Head during the winter of 1919, or take in a game of golf at the Gros Morne Golf Course
Last, but not least, take a 2 hour cruise along the landlocked Western Brook Pond Fjord with BonTours — a Canadian Signature Experience. Be sure to book in advance* and allow 45 minutes to walk the 3 km from the parking lot to the pond.
*Contact BonTours at 1-888-458-2016 for tour departure times.