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Newfoundland and Labrador

Coastal and Mountain Hiking in Gros Morne National Park

Hike and learn about the ancient landscapes of Newfoundland, exploring the dramatic coastlines and forests, and wander the trails surrounding the archaeological site at Port au Choix.
Rating (5)
Program No. 15232RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,229
Newfoundland and Labrador

Coastal and Mountain Hiking in Gros Morne National Park

Hike and learn about the ancient landscapes of Newfoundland, exploring the dramatic coastlines and forests, and wander the trails surrounding the archaeological site at Port au Choix.
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,229
Program No. 15232 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jul 9 - Jul 16, 2021
Starting at
2,229
Aug 6 - Aug 13, 2021
Starting at
2,229
Sep 2 - Sep 9, 2021
Starting at
2,229
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jul 9 - Jul 16, 2021
Starting at
2,639
Aug 6 - Aug 13, 2021
Starting at
2,639
Sep 2 - Sep 9, 2021
Starting at
2,639

At a Glance

Hike back to — and through — the creation of our planet and the 5 millennia of human inhabitation and struggle for survival in the timeless, rugged and battered coasts of Gros Morne National Park and northern Newfoundland. See how glaciation events and continental drift shaped the land we see today. From alpine vistas, rocky coasts and deep fjords, capture the spirit of the land and people amid stunning views and the lullaby of the seas.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking 2-5 miles daily over varied terrain. Advanced hikers have option of hikes of 7-8 hours at higher elevations.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Hike among the earth’s oldest rock formations and one of the few places where the earth’s mantle is exposed.
  • Explore the precontact Port au Choix National Historic Site to learn how the Maritime Archaic, Palaeo-eskimo and the ancestors of the Beothuk cultures survived.
  • Learn about the rich marine ecosystems that sustained both ancient and modern Newfoundlanders at the Bonne Bay Marine Station in Norris Point.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Ian Stone
Born and raised in Newfoundland, Ian Stone spent 12 years in Western Canada before returning home for good. Ian and his wife live in Gros Morne National Park, allowing them to develop an expert knowledge and appreciation for this world-class National Park. Together, they have developed sustainable travel products. A background in forestry, and knowledge about the marine and geology that make up the park, has led Ian to a career in leading for the past six years.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Ian Stone
Born and raised in Newfoundland, Ian Stone spent 12 years in Western Canada before returning home for good. Ian and his wife live in Gros Morne National Park, allowing them to develop an expert knowledge and appreciation for this world-class National Park. Together, they have developed sustainable travel products. A background in forestry, and knowledge about the marine and geology that make up the park, has led Ian to a career in leading for the past six years.
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8 days
7 nights
19 meals
7 B 6 L 6 D
DAY
1
Arrival and Check In/Welcome Dinner/Orientation
Deer Lake, NL
D
Holiday Inn Express Deer Lake

Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to the hotel in Deer Lake.. Meet your group leader between 4:00 - 5:00 to pick up your packet. If you arrive later, please ask the front desk for your packet.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel restaurant at 6:30 p.m.

Evening: Program orientation and introductions after dinner. You are embarking on an adventure in one of Canada's most celebrated National Parks - Gros Morne National Park. We will be staying in two small towns, Cow Head and Rocky Harbour, located right in the park, giving us easy access to many of the attractions, historically and culturally, that this World Heritage Site has to offer.

DAY
2
Geology of Gros Morne, Hiking the Tablelands, Woody Point
Cow Head, NL
B,L,D
Shallow Bay Motel & Cabins

Activity note: Hiking approximate 4.5 miles, easy terrain; 270 ft elevation gain; about 3 - 4 hours.

Breakfast: Breakfast at motel.

Morning: In a presentation with a Parks expert, we’ll learn why Gros Morne has been called the "Galapagos of Geology" and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. The park is a grand scale illustration of plate tectonics, and we will be walking on and touching evidence of the collision and separation of continent-sized plates of the earth's crust over millennia,, including the 1.5 billion year-old rock that forms the cliffs at Western Brooks Pond. After the presentation, we'll hike on the internationally known Tablelands, a rare outcrop of the Earth’s mantle pushed skyward half a billion years ago. The landscape here, with its peridotite and serpentinite rock, is similar that of Mars and what looks like a barren landscape is actually home to plants normally found in the Arctic. The trail ends in the glacially-carved Winterhouse Brook Canyon.

Lunch: Box lunch.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will be hiking on Woody Point community trail and through the historic community on the shores of Bonne Bay. Woody Point is a Registered Heritage District and has many heritage buildings. The trail provides spectacular vistas as it meanders through the hills of Woody Point, past the iconic Woody Point Lighthouse, and ending on the tranquil beaches of Woody Point. Many wild plants are featured on this walk including fields of pitcher plants. We will then transfer back to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Western Brook Pond, Fjord Cruise, Coastal Newfoundland
Cow Head, NL
B,L,D
Shallow Bay Motel & Cabins

Activity note: Hiking approximately 6 miles, on a flat terrain with little elevation gain; about 3 - 4 hours. The trail to Western Brook Pond is 2 miles each way. The trail is boardwalk and gravel with some slight grades. Driving 60 miles over 1 hour.

Breakfast: At the motel.

Morning: Follow the trail to the shores of Western Brook Pond and its impressive backdrop of spectacular cliffs, fjords and the Long Range Mountains. Along the way you’ll cross the bogs and forested ridges of the parks’ coastal lowlands, once located below sea level. Then embark on a boat excursion on Western Brook Pond. The "pond" is the largest lake in the park. On board the boat, we will see the spectacular, land-locked Western Brook Pond fjord. The fjord is just one of numerous glacially carved fjords in the Long Range Mountains, the northernmost extent of the Appalachian Mountains. Waterfalls cascade from a height of 3,000 feet (900 meters), and we may spot some of the local wildlife. The lake is home to an unusual colony of cliff-nesting gulls.

Lunch: At the dockside at Western Brook Pond there is a sheltered waiting area, indoor washroom facilities, canteen services and a gift shop as well as several beautiful picnic areas where we will enjoy our boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Hike the limestone coastline near Cow Head. Enjoy spectacular coastal views, look for fossils buried in this ancient rock and learn of a journey from hundreds of metres below the ocean to its present day location. The trail winds through a thick medieval looking forest with tunnels of tuckamore lining the sides in between open areas. There are a couple of viewing platforms built along the way offering views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the expanse of the inland coastal lowlands and the Long Range Mountains. After the trail crests the top of the head it turns back towards the ocean and the lighthouse.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure, option to attend a performance at the Gros Morne Theatre which is adjacent to the motel.

DAY
4
Hiking Gros Morne Mountain - Hike to Base or Summit
Cow Head, NL
B,L,D
Shallow Bay Motel & Cabins

Activity note: Option 1: Hiking approximately 5.5 miles return on mountainous terrain with up to 1000 ft elevation gain. About 3-4 hours. Moderate rating (rocky terrain in places). Option 2: Hike to the summit of Gros Morne Mountain, 10 miles return with elevation gain of about 2644 ft. About 8 - 10 hours hiking. Extremely challenging; rocky and steep terrain.

Breakfast: Breakfast at motel.

Morning: Hike to the base of Gros Morne Mountain. It dominates the skyline and stands apart from the Long Range Mountains. Hikers are rewarded with spectacular views of Bonne Bay and the Long Range Mountains. Listen for songbirds and look for moose along the trail. The first 2.5 miles of trail wind through forest to a viewing platform at the mountain base. There are ffrequent stairs and a boardwalk from which we will enjoy amazing vistas.

Lunch: Box lunch.

Afternoon: Hiking continues. For those looking for a more challenging hike, continue hiking to the summit of Gros Morne Mountain.

Dinner: Dinner at the motel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Hiking Philips Garden Trail, Hawkes Bay
Cow Head, NL
B,L,D
Shallow Bay Motel & Cabins

Activity note: Hiking 5 - 6 miles, Phillips Garden trail has hilly terrain with some steep sections; hike at Hawkes Bay on flat ground; minimal elevation gain..

Breakfast: At the motel.

Morning: North of Gros Morne National Park is the fishing community of Port au Choix. The rich fishing grounds made this area and important source of food for Maritime Archaic Indian, Dorset and Groswater Paleoeskimo groups and other, more recent, Indigenous peoples. The Dorset people also hunted seals on passing ice flows for food, clothing and shelter. Walk in their footsteps along the trail and see a full-scale replica of one of their subterranean dwellings at the Port Au Choix National Historic Site. Explore the limestone barrens looking for rare plants and fossils. Keep an eye out for sculptures offering glimpses into ancient Indigenous ways of life.

Lunch: Box lunch.

Afternoon: We head to Hawke's Bay to hike the John Hogan Trail. The trail was built to commemorate the remarkable courage of Newfoundland Ranger John Hogan, who for over 50 days, survived in the wilderness and cared for a totally incapacitated companion. The boardwalk meanders along the Torrent River and ends in a spectacular waterfall. Visit the Torrent River Salmon Ladder and hear about Newfoundland and Labrador's most successful salmon- enhancement project.

Dinner: Dinner at the motel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Hiking Bakers Brook Falls Trail, Lobster Cove Lighthouse
Rocky Harbour, NL
B,L
Oceanview Resort

Activity note: Hiking approximately 5 - 7 miles, on a flat terrain with little elevation gain; about 4 - 5 hours.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Hike across the coastal lowlands to an impressive waterfall at Bakers Brook. The trail offers great views of the Long Range Mountains and leads through balsam fir forest to the falls, a series of cascades over limestone ridges. This boreal forest is in several stages of regeneration, recovering from the natural effects of winds and insects. Heavy moose browsing has limited its regrowth in many places.

Lunch: Box lunch.

Afternoon: After lunch we head for the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse - an historic lighthouse and one of the best places in Gros Morne National Park to spot whales! We’ll learn how local residents fought to have these lighthouses built in order to protect loved ones out at sea fishing, see the lighthouse keepers’ tidal clock, and then hike the coastal trail.

Dinner: Dinner on own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Hiking Trout River, Green Gardens
Rocky Harbour, NL
B,L,D
Oceanview Resort

Activity note: Hiking approximately 6 miles, some steep sections, elevation gain 900 ft; about 4 hours.

Breakfast: Breakfast in motel dining room.

Morning: Today we hike in the Trout River area. Follow the trail to a spectacular coastline of cliffs, sea stacks, and the meadows of Green Gardens. Cross serpentine barrens, descend through forest, and reach the shore at Old Man Cove.

Lunch: Box lunch.

Afternoon: Hiking continues at the Tablelands with great panoramic views. Transfer to Rocky Harbour in time to freshen up for dinner.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Evening: There is no party like a Newfoundland Kitchen Party! Join a local musician for our own interpretation of this lively local tradition. Sing along, and even grab your own traditional NL instrument to play along with the band. And don’t forget to get Screeched in. No trip to our shores can be complete without partaking in this unique ceremony that will get your tongue in a twist and make you an honorary Newfoundlander in the process.

DAY
8
Program Concludes, Departures
Rocky Harbour, NL
B

Breakfast: Final breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and goodbyes.

Morning: Group transfer to Deer Lake Airport after breakfast; approximate arrival at airport is 9:00 a.m. Check-out is 11:00 a.m. for those staying on independently. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.






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