Highlights Of Gros Morne National Park 14


Gros Morne National Park is a World Heritage Site on the West Coast of Newfoundland, Canada. If you’re spending any time in Newfoundland, especially in the summer, Gros Morne is a must see.

If you’re an outdoorsy person, you’ll never run out of things to do in Gros Morne. There’s 1,805 km square feet to find hiking, kayaking, hiking, beaches, hiking, boat tours, and hiking. There’s lots of hiking. There’s also an annual festival called “Writers at Woody Point” held in the beautifully historic village of Woody Point. At this festival, you can connect with other writers (recently included was Margaret Atwood and Lawrence Hill), artists, and musicians, to write, read, talk, and jam with one of the most beautiful backdrops you could imagine.

 

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Scientists are also drawn to Gros Morne as it provides “a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed.” [1]

I was living in St. John’s, Newfoundland for a while so my friends and I started planning, packed up a couple of cars, and took off on the 600 km drive across the Province. The following are what I considered to be the highlights of the park.

 

CAMPING

It was important for us to be near the beach so we chose to stay at Shallow Bay campground. The campground had a common area for all campers to use, which came in great use for cooking and mingling as it rained a lot during our stay.

In addition to campgrounds, Gros Morne has a range of hotels, cabins, B&B’s, and even the opportunity to do some back-country camping.

 

THE BEACHES

Finding sandy beaches was such a nice treat for me after the rock and pebble beaches that are closer to the city of St. John’s. On our first night we took the short walk from our campsite to Shallow Bay beach to watch the sunset, take a million pictures, and enjoy some cold beers.

 

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WESTERN BROOK POINT BOAT TOURS

One of the main highlights of our trip to Gros Morne was taking a boat tour to see the fjords. The cost of this tour was about $65 and was money well spent. With a tour guide on board, the boat takes you around Western Brook Pond and deep into the fjords so everywhere you turn you’re surrounded by glacier carved rock, wildlife, and waterfalls. There’s even a part on the tour where, if you’ve already arranged to do so, you can get off and go back-country camping. Our tour stopped to pick up some campers who were on their way back from the back-country. They were filthy. It was awesome.

 

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Gros Morne Mountain

A hike to the summit of Gros Morne Mountain is what every active traveler in Gros Morne has at the top of his or her to do list and is the profile picture of every Newfoundlander (not really).

Our group could have prepared slightly better for this one so if you’re planning on doing this hike, take a time out to make sure you’re bringing what you need and are dressed for the weather. We each brought one sandwich, one banana, and not nearly enough water. Upon returning to the car, I shoved a bag of cheezies into my mouth. Don’t be like me. Bring more food.

There was a sign at the beginning warning hikers that this was an excruciatingly difficult hike and would take 6-8 hours. Naturally, my friend Dave and I gave each other a wink and a nod and took off running. Everything’s a race, right?

 

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The way up was challenging. You have to use your hands and literally climb up the steep rocks with no end in sight. The views you get from the top, however, made the entire hike worthwhile. On the way down it rained and we went slipping and sliding over muddy rocks all the way to the bottom, which was also nowhere to be seen. Now I understand why everyone is so proud of his or her summit pictures! If you complete this hike, you are a superhero. In the end, it took us 6 hours to complete, including an hour-long stop at the top.

 

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Gros Morne is filled with such natural beauty, wildlife, and educational tours. Make Newfoundland your next destination and explore this geologically stunning area for yourself.

 

References:

[1] http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/419


About Trish McNeill

Trish is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer from the East Coast of Canada. Travel lover. Humor finder. Story teller.

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