Camping in Gros Morne National Park
A unique open-air geological showcase and a diverse landscape, Gros Morne brings to life Newfoundland’s rural culture and the planet’s history. A postcard-perfect park that will delight every traveler and visitor.
This piece of paradise is located in the easternmost province of Newfoundland’s west coast. Gros Morne sits within the stunning Long Range Mountains. In other words, it is blessed with soaring freshwater fjords, beaches, lighthouses, and charming seaside villages. It’s indeed a gem for wildlife enthusiasts and hiker’s paradise roll into one.
You’ll find lots to keep you occupied here. You can stroll across 500 million years of the Earth’s past in an hour. Cruise on a cliff-lined freshwater fjord. Hike a rare exposed piece of the Earth’s mantle. Or, visit a colorful coastal village. You have all the liberty to explore the park on your own. On the other hand you can take group tours with guided activities, including a boat trip or interpretative walks.
Now, if you’re looking for excellent day tour activities, Gros Morne does not disappoint as it has a lot to offer. Take your cue from the following:
Explore the Tablelands
Set your feet on odd but gorgeous-looking rocks as you hike at the Tablelands. This moon-like landscape was formed due to tectonic plates’ collision, pushing the Earth’s mantle to the surface. This beauty is located at Gros Morne’s southern part.
If you want to make your experience more memorable, you can join Reach for the top…of the Tablelands! It’s a 3-hour guided hike program facilitated by Parks Canada. It lets you explore the scenic route 431—the road between Trout River and from Woody Point that traverses the Tablelands!
Hike to Baker’s Brook Falls
If you’re very much into hiking, you shouldn’t miss Baker’s, Brook Falls. The 6-mile round trip to Baker’s Brook Falls trail will lead you through a forest of balsam firs. It will take you up to the breathtaking series of cascades that plummets over limestone ridges. There are several overlooks too where you can have a picnic. There you can enjoy the feel and sight of the mist on your skin.
This area is also home to Moose sightings. In fact, these animals have limited regrowth in this forest that’s already in several stages of regeneration, all thanks to the natural effects of powerful winds and insects.
Most of the trails are just easy to traverse, but there’s a slightly tricky part, about one-third of a mile to the end. Nevertheless, it’s still a light hike that everyone can do.
Take a Tour at Lobster Cove Lighthouse
Another excellent place you can visit for a day tour is The Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse, which marks Boone Bay’s northern side entrance. You’ll find a trail outside that winds through coastal environments and the tuckamore forest, both of which are the top spots for whale watching and capturing the gorgeous sunset later in the day.
Inside the lighthouse, you’ll find interpretive exhibits that depict the lives of the inhabitants who lived along the nearby shore and their dependence on the sea for livelihood and survival. There’s also one wall devoted to the lighthouse’s keepers, with a room showing how it’s furnished when it was occupied.
Go for Moose Sightseeing
As mentioned earlier, Gros National Park is home to moose sightings and reproduction. In 1904, the government transported only four moose from New Brunswick after failing to introduce moose as a game source for the locals in 1878.
There’s now a thriving moose population of about 150,000 in Newfoundland due to that successful attempt. Park researchers even claimed that 7,000 up to 8,000 animals in Gros Morne might be one of the world’s highest moose densities.
You might spot one anywhere in the park, though the best time to catch them is before dusk. You just need to be cautious. Keeping a watch out on the roadways when you’re driving or making noise while out on the trails is discouraged. These animals are massive and can be dangerous if provoked.
Visit the Remains of SS Essie Shipwreck
In 1919, just before the winter arrived, a violent storm hit Newfoundland. It forced the SS Essie to run aground at Martin’s Point, between Western Brook Pond and Sally’s Cove in Gros Morne.
All 92 passengers and crew were successfully rescued by the locals, including a baby washed ashore in a mailbag. At the time, the story was quite sensational that it became the inspiration for a famous folk song.
Today, the rusted, tangled and battered remains of the SS Ethie can still be seen at Martin’s Point and serves as one of the place’s famous tourist attractions. The big boiler and engine block are still prominent.
After visiting the wreck, you can visit the dinner theatre at the Shallow Bay Motel & Cabins in Cow Head.
Dine at Java Jacks
This artsy place filled with some fabulous local art is a favorite dining spot in Newfoundland. In other words, few would argue that it’s the best in Rocky Harbour and all of Gros Morne National Park.
Java Jacks is the best place to be after hiking all day. They serve excellent local seafood and game meat, along with fresh produce from their own organic garden. The restaurant’s menu always features fresh mussels and their delicious salt cod cakes with Java Jack’s famous special relish.
Think of wild partridgeberries harvested for baking muffins for breakfast, lobster Benedict with an entire lobster, and wraps and soups for lunch, wonderful dinners—just mouthwatering!
Hike to the Summit of Gros Morne Mountain
Camping in Gros Morne National Park (Newfoundland, Canada) wouldn’t be complete without hiking at Gros Morne Mountain, which is considered the highest point in Newfoundland.
Its 10-mile loop bends from lowland up to the alpine terrain, rich with colorful flowers and wild animals. But the greatest reward really lies at the panoramic views from the mountain’s summit, which is accessible from July up to late November.
And just below the summit, you can marvel at the stunning views of the Long Range Mountains and Ten Mile Brook Pond, as long as the fog hasn’t rolled in yet.
Sure, we all know about the culture of major cities like Toronto and Vancouver and the beauty of the Canadian Rockies, but we don’t hear much about Newfoundland. This paradise also deserves our attention.
The medley of natural wonder and charming towns is showcased well in Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park. In conclusion, all the more reason why you should include this place in your travel bucket list. Well, if you already do, I can’t blame you because the place is truly incredible.
Zad Ingar is a Davao-based content writer and editor with serious wanderlust issues. This self-confessed bookworm loves to bask in the sun whenever her time permits. Zad also finds joy in reading her fave whodunit classics, and The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris is one of them.