A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

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RW-Expat
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A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by RW-Expat » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:31 am

Planning a week in Newfoundland in July. Starting off in Deer Lake and have three nights booked at Rocky Harbour and will end up in St. John – we’ll be renting a car.

Primarily looking for outdoor activities that can be strenuous, here is what we are considering thus far:

1. Hike up Gross Morne mountain
2. Boat trip through Western Brook Pond
3. Skerwink hike in Trinity
4. Kayak whale tour
5. St. John – East Coast Trail

Any other must see/do suggestions while I am there?

Also for those experienced with he area is bear spray recommended when hiking?

TLC1957
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by TLC1957 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:47 pm

We are seniors so we did not do hardcore hiking as you plan. We spent 3 weeks in Newfoundland August 2018 it is beautiful place with the East and West coast being so different. It was amazing the number of gravel roads we had to drive on I am not talking about little side roads but roads with route numbers on them. We drove to Newfoundland with our suv so it was not a problem just surprised us.

A lot of one way roads meaning down the same road to get to a place, not many looping roads. So drive 2 hours down a road spend a few hours checking out the place and drive 2 hours back the same road you came back down. That got old after a while, BUT the views were amazing the entire time, folks very friendly so yea worth a visit.

COD you can only have so much cod it is the first 4 items on every menu which is great, but you can not have cod everyday well we did not. What cod we had was amazing.... but got old real fast. St. John’s had no problem finding OK food but venture out of St. John’s and it goes down hill fast. The food on the west coast say Port aux Basques, Deer Lake, Lobster Cove was not good. Bonavista (not on the west coast) has some nice places to dine.

Beware of moose while driving they are definitely around as well as bears. Once you get out of an area the next place not much around so if you are low on gas fill up! The weather was in the 60’s in August and it rained very often so bring layers and rain gear. Once you get out of St. John’s it get very rural very fast, lots of trees and more trees....lol

Have fun it is a beautiful place.

TSR
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by TSR » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:41 pm

Doesn't look like a lot of people have been to Newfoundland here. I happen to have gone last year in early May for maybe five days/four nights. What a beautiful place. A few observations:

1. I'm a big cod fan, so I disagree with TLC1957 up there, but their point is well taken. Still, look forward to some excellent seafood and some good meals around that.

2. One of the highlights of my time in St. John's was hiking up Signal Hill (you'll certainly do this when you're there) but continuing on to Quidi Vidi lake for a reservation at Mallard Cottage. I'd gently suggest you make a reservation there ASAP. Not the cheapest meal you'll have, but a truly lovely experience. While out at Quidi Vidi you can wander up the trails above Boulders Cove. There's also Quidi Vidi brewery around there. When you've had too much wine at Mallard Cottage, you can still just walk back to St. John's proper, depending on where you're staying.

3. I did a beautiful hike out to Cripple Cove. It's a great place to eat lunch, maybe view icebergs, and see some bald eagles. It's medium strenuous. It was guided by a very knowledgeable person, and the trails were not extremely well marked. This is a problem there -- you may want a pretty good map to access some of the trails.

4. It gets very rural and what this southerner would respectfully call "rednecky" outside of St. John's. Plan accordingly. You're also spending a lot of time in Newfoundland. If I had that kind of time there, I'd be real tempted to spend two days in one of the more obscure national parks in Labrador or elsewhere. I'm sure you'll have a great time, but I'm guessing you won't feel rushed to fit everything in (a good thing, I'm sure).

5. Layers -- the temperature goes from hot in the sun to cool in the shade pretty quick.

6. Inland lakes/ponds tend to have black flies and mosquitoes, whereas the coast has fewer.

7. My understanding is that bears are rare given the island status, but I can't assure you of this fact.

Have a blast -- I want to hear updates.

Wilderness Librarian
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by Wilderness Librarian » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:38 pm

I was watching this to see what kind of replies you might get. I have never been to any of the Canadian Maritime areas - the nearest I have been is the usual coastal Maine excursion / Acadia NP hiking - so can't give you specific pointers. The above two posters seem to give a really good summary of what to expect.

But for what it is worth I would add this: I am US citizen/resident most of life in north western US but got a BA from a Canadian university in the 70s. From what I know & infer, Newfoundland is one of the few areas in Canada that does not have a direct and strong analogy in the US. From that standpoint alone it should be a worthwhile venture. That is one of the reasons I will definitely get there some day myself. Like you I am more nature outdoors oriented but Newfoundland is one place I would make a determined effort to seek out localized cultural experiences. I thought Newfoundland had speech linguistic patterns and humor with connections to Elizabethan English studied by such scholars. The above descriptions of the roads remind me somewhat of what I have seen in the Yukon Territory (no signs or markings but seem to go off to interesting places). So I would suggest going to the library at Memorial University in St. John's and studying over topographic maps in their collection and perhaps using this as a basis for exploration.

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One Ping
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by One Ping » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:00 pm

Wife and I spent about 10 days there in July/Aug 2017 with her brother and his wife. Had a great time!

1. Agree about watching out for moose. They can definitely ruin your day, or night!

2. Around St. John's: Quidi Vidi was interesting. The brewery there offers beer made with iceberg water! Interesting, but definitely not a hearty IPA. Signal Hill and the 'furthest east point on North America' (just a little ways south of town) were also interesting and provided for some 'not too difficult' hiking.

3. We went on a Puffin/Whale watching cruise out of Bay Bulls, not too far south of St. John's. Don't remember the name of the outfit, but it was VERY interesting. Saw a ton of whales and the puffins and their island (Gull Island) were just amazing!

4. Spent a couple of days up in Twillingate, north of Gander. Toured a winery (yes, a winery on Newfoundland!) and took an up close and personal iceberg cruise. It's a somewhat artsy community so if you are into that ...

5. Went across to the western shore and visited Gros Morne National Park. Lot's to see and do there. There is even an opportunity to hike to and walk on the Earth's Mantle, only one of five places you can do that on the planet!

6. Passed through Gander on the way to the western side of the island. Very interesting story about how the town pulled together to help stranded travelers when all flights were grounded after 9/11. It's really a pretty small place to have dealt with 1000's of travelers.

7. There is also L'Anse Aux Meadows at the extreme northern point of the island. It's an historic archaeological site with a reconstructed Viking settlement, exhibits, events & trails. We didn't get to it on our trip, maybe next time.

8. Oh, and don't forget to try a drink of Screech ... :shock:

Have fun!
One Ping
"Re-verify our range to target ... one ping only."

TLC1957
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by TLC1957 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:12 pm

Forgot to mention they LOVE coffee especially Tim Horton’s no matter what time of day we passed a Tim Horton’s they had a line both inside and the drive through!!!....lol Also the locals accent is sometimes hard to figure out particularly the older folks, I just kinda smiled and said yes.....Then again they probably had a hard time understanding my Jersey accent. Many locals we spoke to worked in the oil fields in Alberta and came back a few months at a time. The cod industry really never came back so many folks do what they have to get by.

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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by blacktupelo » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:30 pm

The reconstructed Viking site at L'Anse Aux Meadows is definitely worth visiting. We were on a round the island boat so I can't comment on the roads outside of St. Johns.
Larry

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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by Wings5 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:36 pm

Signal Hill is wonderful and during the summer they have sets of red adirondack chairs all about the terrain on various scenic overlooks. Hike down and sit and relax. It was beautiful.

The Bagel Cafe on Duckworth Street is our favorite place for a meal after hiking down from Signal Hill. Very good food and very cozy setting.

TLC1957
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by TLC1957 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:53 am

Regarding your trip to Western Brook Tail see link below.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfound ... -1.4763197

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfound ... -1.4748418

They replaced the 6’ wide wood deck walkway with a 2 lane stone packed road! The road is about 2 miles long and has no atmosphere at all. Make sure you book a spot on the boat tour if that is something you plan to do. We took the boat ride and we were not impressed with it but it does get good reviews. Our boat was very crowded with the best spot on the top deck filled quickly so get in line ASAP to get the top deck.

msk
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by msk » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:54 am

Just a pointer on maps and GPS for remote areas anywhere in the world. As you venture into the boonies your phone may lose reception and any data connection. Make sure you download a Google Map (into "Your Maps") of your region of interest onto your phone before you leave wifi. Even at home before you go on holiday. You can then use that map anywhere. GPS is available practically everywhere on Earth and navigation will work fine, walking or driving, phone connection or not. This is especially useful when you go abroad. Once I got slapped with a $125 data connection bill just leaving the airport and getting lost for a half hour in a foreign country because the country was not on my data plan and I had to use sat nav...

TLC1957
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by TLC1957 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:26 am

msk wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:54 am
Just a pointer on maps and GPS for remote areas anywhere in the world. As you venture into the boonies your phone may lose reception and any data connection. Make sure you download a Google Map (into "Your Maps") of your region of interest onto your phone before you leave wifi. Even at home before you go on holiday. You can then use that map anywhere. GPS is available practically everywhere on Earth and navigation will work fine, walking or driving, phone connection or not. This is especially useful when you go abroad. Once I got slapped with a $125 data connection bill just leaving the airport and getting lost for a half hour in a foreign country because the country was not on my data plan and I had to use sat nav...
Very good point we had no cell phone service once we left populated areas, our Cricket phones were using the Canadian cell phone network. We always had a gps service on our garmin.

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RW-Expat
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by RW-Expat » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:25 am

…..and there’s me thinking I would not be getting any replies to this post! Thanks for everyone’s input, much apricated. With respect to the roads (many of which are gravel it seems) is there any reason to need to upgrade from basic mid-size sedan to an SUV on account of the roads?

I enjoy seafood and am partial to a bit of cod so the food sounds good, being teetotal these days the beverage recommendations will be passed on to my travel companions and I’m sure they’ll enjoy sampling the offerings! Looking forward to trying the coffee though.

I will report back after the trip!

TLC1957
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by TLC1957 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:21 pm

RW-Expat wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:25 am
…..and there’s me thinking I would not be getting any replies to this post! Thanks for everyone’s input, much apricated. With respect to the roads (many of which are gravel it seems) is there any reason to need to upgrade from basic mid-size sedan to an SUV on account of the roads?

I enjoy seafood and am partial to a bit of cod so the food sounds good, being teetotal these days the beverage recommendations will be passed on to my travel companions and I’m sure they’ll enjoy sampling the offerings! Looking forward to trying the coffee though.

I will report back after the trip!
I had no problem on the gravel roads, just make sure your auto insurance carrier will cover your car in Canada and you have windshield coverage!!! Also locals drive the gravel roads like they are paved ie they do not slow down. I just pulled to the side and let them by.

After we spent 3 weeks in NF we moved on for 2 weeks to Prince Edward Island, the seafood was SIGNIFICANTLY better on PEI.

Look forward to hearing how your trip went.

TSR
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by TSR » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:12 pm

TLC1957 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:21 pm
RW-Expat wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:25 am
…..and there’s me thinking I would not be getting any replies to this post! Thanks for everyone’s input, much apricated. With respect to the roads (many of which are gravel it seems) is there any reason to need to upgrade from basic mid-size sedan to an SUV on account of the roads?

I enjoy seafood and am partial to a bit of cod so the food sounds good, being teetotal these days the beverage recommendations will be passed on to my travel companions and I’m sure they’ll enjoy sampling the offerings! Looking forward to trying the coffee though.

I will report back after the trip!
I had no problem on the gravel roads, just make sure your auto insurance carrier will cover your car in Canada and you have windshield coverage!!! Also locals drive the gravel roads like they are paved ie they do not slow down. I just pulled to the side and let them by.

After we spent 3 weeks in NF we moved on for 2 weeks to Prince Edward Island, the seafood was SIGNIFICANTLY better on PEI.

Look forward to hearing how your trip went.
The roads that I recall were pretty good, but it might be worth upgrading to an SUV -- it sounds like you're out for adventure so you might be on some rougher roads. My experience was that further out you were just as likely to see ATVs driving around on the roads as cars. Not saying an ATV is necessary, but look out for them!

TLC1957
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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by TLC1957 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:04 am

[/quote]

The roads that I recall were pretty good, but it might be worth upgrading to an SUV -- it sounds like you're out for adventure so you might be on some rougher roads. My experience was that further out you were just as likely to see ATVs driving around on the roads as cars. Not saying an ATV is necessary, but look out for them!
[/quote]

Oh yea ATV’s are everywhere in the rural area ie most of the island kinda like the 3 car in the family. Interesting we saw a group of about 25 stopped in a beautiful lookout, I asked a guy what they were doing...25 all in a group. They said they were traveling the island as a group and staying in B&B at night for 10 days ALL on ATV, wow long time riding an ATV....lol Apparently this is a common thing with locals as tour guide the entire time. The guy said when exploring the options you could have camped out instead of B&B. :shock:

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Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

Post by Wiess » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:38 pm

Newfoundland is an excellent province to visit even if I have a slight bias! A week is not a lot of time and you are trying to cover a lot of ground. I am more familiar with the St. John’s area but we have spent considerable time on the west coast. The Gros Morne trail and Western Brook Pond are on our bucket list, maybe even this year. Check out @stan_sdcollins if you are a Twitter person. I have never carried bear spray, I am not sure if others can provide better information.

Rocky Harbour to Port Rexton for the Skerwink Trail is approximately six hours drive, another three hours to St. John’s. The trail is only about 5km long and not difficult. The Port Rexton brewery is a nice place to rehydrate following the Skerwink Trail. The last time we were there they had a food truck adjacent to the beer garden with excellent grilled cheese on homemade bread. It was named OhMyCheeses or something similar.

St. John’s is very close to many fine trails ranging from easy to somewhat difficult. Depending on where you chose lodging in St. John’s, you can easily walk to the East Coast Trail system - https://www.eastcoasttrail.com/en/index.aspx.

Signal Hill has a good trail with nice views. The trail goes through the Battery which is a small neighbourhood perched on the cliff overlooking the harbour. If you did the trail counterclockwise you could stop in Quidi Vidi Village, a village in the city. With proper timing the Quidi Vidi Brewery (https://quidividibrewery.ca/) is an excellent place to maintain hydration levels. Mallard Cottage is just steps away with fantastic food in a historic building, reservations recommended. (side note - the NL Chocolate has a satellite location about half way up Signal Hill Road with great gelato)

Exploring St. John’s can be fun. FYI - if you hear about Jelly Bean Row, it is not an actual street. Take some time to walk along Gower Street and look at Victoria Street, Prescott Street, York Street, etc. If you time it right, stop at Moo Moos, on Kings Road, for an ice cream and NL Chocolate, Duckworth Street, for some great chocolate treats. There is a new gelato spot open on Military Road near Bannerman Park, we have not been yet but heard good things. There are numerous eateries on George Street for dinner one night – we like the Yellowbelly Brewery. For fine dining try Raymond’s on Water Street.

Be prepared with various clothing layers.

This was a sort of rambling reply, let me know if there are any other specific questions.

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