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Newfoundland - Labrador

Jimmy Higgins

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I am penciling in details for a trip to the Canadian Maritimes. The primary areas are PEI and Newfoundland (the west coast). The insane idea of driving back to the Great Lakes area through Labrador and Quebec has hit me, very recently. Looking at the maps and Google, the time to do this is only a few hours longer than back through Nova Scotia, though I haven't put a lot of pencil to the paper to check the math. Both require ferries (1.5 hrs to get to Labrador, 7 hours to Nova Scotia). Also not having to drive the several hours back down to Port Aux Basque would definitely free up a bit of travel time.

I've done some research and it looks like 500 and 510 are decent roads, though 510 is mostly gravel at the moment, though gets regraded in May. Trip is planned in early June for icebergs, Puffins, whales, seals. I'd rather have my old Honda Insight to help deal with the gas stations being pretty spaced out, but a normal car should be able to handle it. Also saw that there is a free sat phone rental service to make certain we don't die, which is nice.

Anyone else partake traveling in Labrador. My understanding is that 510 is pretty new, with these roads having been built in the last couple of decades. I understand we are talking wilderness, which is part of the draw.
 

rousseau

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Never been but both the West and East coast are on my to-do list. I toyed around with the idea of hitting the East Coast for our honey-moon, but as chance would have it we landed on a cruise in the Greek Isles.

To this day it still blows me away how little of my own country I've seen, having only been between the Windsor - Quebec City corridor.
 

Valjean

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Since you're visiting Newfoundland, why not take a day trip to France? It's only a 45 minute ferry ride from the town of Fortune.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Since you're visiting Newfoundland, why not take a day trip to France? It's only a 45 minute ferry ride from the town of Fortune.
Well it’d be a several hour drive and then ferry to visit Kind of France.

Only have about a week for NL so sticking to one region.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Never been but both the West and East coast are on my to-do list. I toyed around with the idea of hitting the East Coast for our honey-moon, but as chance would have it we landed on a cruise in the Greek Isles.

To this day it still blows me away how little of my own country I've seen, having only been between the Windsor - Quebec City corridor.
Wow, I’ve been between Thunder Bay and Cape Breton. Vancouver as a two year, but that doesn’t count as much.
 

whollygoats

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Crivens!

I've done from Cape North on Cape Breton Island to Hamilton/Niagra-on-the-Lake.

But then, I've done Campbell River to Edmonton, too.

It's the big flat, wet section in the center I haven't seen. I missed PEI, too. And have yet to make it to Labrador or Newfoundland.

I've seen loads of southern British Columbia and the icefields of the Canadian Rockies multiple times. I highly recommend . They are a great place to go get high. Literally.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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This is the mother of all trip planning. Hoping to do this next year or the following year. Ended up deciding on Flying to Halifax, rent car, go to PEI, then NL, fly out of St. John's. Adds a couple thousand due to car rental, but it'll provide more time to vacation than drive.

Right now, the plan is:

  • SE / Barachoise Falls Trail / Starlite Trail / Steady Creek Falls
  • Blow Me Down Trail, Copper Falls, Tableland Trail (Gros Morne)
  • Green Gardens (Gros Morne, though it sounds like this is currently being worked on), East Point (Gros Morne), Baker Brook Falls Trail (Gros Morne)
  • Boat Excursion (Gros Morne), Arch Park,
  • L'Anse Aux Meadows / Iceberg-Whale boating / hang around
  • Alexander Murray Trail

Then I was planning Terra Nova, but it doesn't seem as big as Gros Morne, so then just to the east at Trinity for hiking and Puffins. Afterwards, Avalon to finish it off (St. Johns, Puffin/Whales, hiking, likely resting). I want to go to Fortune Bay, but that is 8 hours back and forth for fossils. South tip of Avalon has that too. Really want to do the Gros Morne mountain hike but it is closed in May/June for animal protection during the whole mating thing.

Even spacing this out 12 or so days, there is going to be a ton of B&B/Inn hopping, because trying to centralize a place to stay for a few days adds hours of driving!
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Right now, the plan is for 12 days:

  • SE / Barachoise Falls Trail / Starlite Trail / Steady Creek Falls
  • Cape Blow Me Down Trail, Copper Falls, Tableland Trail (Gros Morne)
  • Green Gardens (Gros Morne, though it sounds like this is currently being worked on), East Point (Gros Morne), Baker Brook Falls Trail (Gros Morne)
  • West Brook Pond Boat Excursion (Gros Morne), Arch Park,
  • L'Anse Aux Meadows / Iceberg-Whale boating / hang around
  • Trail in Englee / scurry towards east coast / Maybe Rattling Brook Falls
  • Gun Hill Trail / Spurwick Trail / Elliston
  • Dungeon / Bonvista Point
  • Avalon/St. John's for three days and do parts of the East Trail (some hiking, some cheating). About the only time we have room to wiggle with weather.

It looks like northern Central Newfoundland has some nice areas, but access is fingered out. Two trails that are 10 km apart on the map (with ocean in between) can be 80 to 100 km to drive to them. Twillingate was on my list early as was the Beothuk related area, but we are really trying to limit the driving (already doing enough of it!). I might need to add a day in St. Anthony's and go to Englee on one of those days to provide a buffer for weather.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Right now, the plan is for 12 days:

  • SE / Barachoise Falls Trail / Starlite Trail / Steady Creek Falls
  • Cape Blow Me Down Trail, Copper Falls, Tableland Trail (Gros Morne)
  • Green Gardens (Gros Morne, though it sounds like this is currently being worked on), East Point (Gros Morne), Baker Brook Falls Trail (Gros Morne)
  • West Brook Pond Boat Excursion (Gros Morne), Arch Park,
  • L'Anse Aux Meadows / Iceberg-Whale boating / hang around
  • Trail in Englee / scurry towards east coast / Maybe Rattling Brook Falls
  • Gun Hill Trail / Spurwick Trail / Elliston
  • Dungeon / Bonvista Point
  • Avalon/St. John's for three days and do parts of the East Trail (some hiking, some cheating). About the only time we have room to wiggle with weather.

It looks like northern Central Newfoundland has some nice areas, but access is fingered out. Two trails that are 10 km apart on the map (with ocean in between) can be 80 to 100 km to drive to them. Twillingate was on my list early as was the Beothuk related area, but we are really trying to limit the driving (already doing enough of it!). I might need to add a day in St. Anthony's and go to Englee on one of those days to provide a buffer for weather.

If you have good enough coordinates you can use Google Maps to figure out what the drive will be. It will take GPS coordinates, but trailheads are rarely on the map so you have to know the coordinates from elsewhere. If your stuff is on AllTrails the app can send the location to Google Maps--note that it will not be labeled well but it does give the location.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Yes, that can be done, but it still doesn't address the issue of the fingering of the roads. You need to drive south 30 to 40 km, go east 20 km, then back up north 30 or 40 km.
 

Politesse

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I've no experience in that part of the world at all, but it sure sounds like fun! Don't forget to share pictures when you get back.

L'Anse Aux Meadows is on my lifetime bucket list.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Yes, that can be done, but it still doesn't address the issue of the fingering of the roads. You need to drive south 30 to 40 km, go east 20 km, then back up north 30 or 40 km.

Once you have the coordinates of both trailheads you can ask Google to give directions between them.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Yes, that can be done, but it still doesn't address the issue of the fingering of the roads. You need to drive south 30 to 40 km, go east 20 km, then back up north 30 or 40 km.

Once you have the coordinates of both trailheads you can ask Google to give directions between them.
The coordinates aren't the problem. It is getting physically there that is. I was also off by 2x, over 200 km drive. It'd be faster (much) to Kayak.

Admittedly, this is a worst case I think, but the fingering is pretty bad. Leading Tickles to Moore's Cove is about 100 km. There is a lot of no-roads around here going on in Newfoundland.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Yes, that can be done, but it still doesn't address the issue of the fingering of the roads. You need to drive south 30 to 40 km, go east 20 km, then back up north 30 or 40 km.

Once you have the coordinates of both trailheads you can ask Google to give directions between them.
The coordinates aren't the problem. It is getting physically there that is. I was also off by 2x, over 200 km drive. It'd be faster (much) to Kayak.

Admittedly, this is a worst case I think, but the fingering is pretty bad. Leading Tickles to Moore's Cove is about 100 km. There is a lot of no-roads around here going on in Newfoundland.

If you have coordinates of both spots you can plug them into Google maps and it will tell you how far the drive is. The only issue is whether those roads are actually reasonable. I've had Google direct me down a road that I knew wasn't the best route but I wanted to see and it the source I had been looking at said it was normally passable to a sedan, although since then I have seen it marked as high clearance required (High clearance certainly would have made it easier but I was always able to choose a safe path.) Driving that in a stick would have been hell on the clutch, though--plenty of places where I was climbing but 5 mph would have been too fast. Had you driven it at the 25 mph speed limit that it's obvious Google assumed you would at best be in the hospital and more likely the morgue.
 
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