Newfoundland National Parks

Breaching Whale

Look closely at a map of Newfoundland. You will read the history of this hauntingly beautiful land and the character of its people through its place names. Jerry's Nose, Ha Ha Bay, Bad Bay and Misery Point reveal Newfoundlanders' humor and the hardships they have faced in their long history as inhabitants of a strikingly rugged and lovely province. Whether the visitor is eager to watch birds or other wildlife, become immersed in local history, or do some hiking and backcountry camping, Newfoundland's parks and ecological reserves have an abundance to offer.

A landscape of mountains, fjord valleys, deep glacial lakes, coastal bogs, and wave-carved cliffs, Gros Morne National Park has been called the"Galapagos of Geology". Within this 700 square mile park there are classic examples of monumental earth-building and modifying forces, where visitors can learn about an ancient ocean and the collision of continents, or visit arctic-alpine barrens populated by woodland caribou and arctic hares.

Terra Nova National Park offers more than 80 kilometres of hiking trails, ranging from strenuous to easy, through various types of forest, all of which are abundant with wildlife. For example, the Coastal Trail weaves along the coast of sheltered Newman Sound and is a great area to see moose, hares and bald eagles. Back country camping locations are scattered throughout the Park and can be accessed by hiking trail, canoe, sea kayak, or a shuttle boat.

Newfoundland is the home of the only authenticated Viking site in North America. L'Anse aux Meadows was established 1,000 years ago by the explorer Leif Eiriksson during his adventures in eastern North America. The site was rediscovered by Helge Ingstad and his wife Anne Stine in 1960, and is now a National Historic Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first cultural site in the world to receive this designation — a symbol of its outstanding cultural and historical value.

The province now has 15 regions in various stages of official recognition as ecological reserves, featuring spectacular seabird colonies, whale watching, and fossil deposits.

Special Thanks to Amazing Adventures for contributions on Newfoundland Parks.


Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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