Exploring Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula

Exploring Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula

southeast brook falls, newfoundland

Before leaving the area around Rocky Harbour, and heading up the Great Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland, there were a couple of additional trails calling our names.  Near Lomond, Southeast Brook Falls required a short hike through a balsam fir and white birch forest.

southeast brook falls, newfoundland

An easy gravel path winds through the woods and then breaks free of the trees at the top of a billion-year-old wall of granite.  Several cascades plunge over the 70-foot high precipice of Southeast Brook Falls, in Gros Morne National Park.

southeast brook falls, newfoundland

Bob and I explored some unmarked footpaths to attain different perspectives of the falls.  They were quite impressive and worth the one-kilometre walk in and back.

marsh marigold, newfoundland

The amount of fresh water in Newfoundland is staggering.  All along the highway, springs gurgle to the surface, vigorous streams give rise to many waterfalls, lakes are too numerous to count, and there are bogs pockmarked with ponds.  Is it any wonder that wildflowers such as this Marsh Marigold thrive there in the spring?

deserted logging community of stanleyville, newfoundland

The second trail worth investigating is the Stanleyville Trail also in Gros Morne National Park.  Bob and I thought it would be interesting to explore the site of a now-deserted logging town.

stanleyville, payne's cove, newfoundland

Located on the coast to facilitate the shipment of logs and lumber, Stanleyville meant a more vigorous hike up and over a headland to reach Payne’s Cove.

stanleyville trail, payne's cove, newfoundland

Not much is left of the once bustling community, only rusted remnants of machinery, but information boards gave us some interesting historical facts.

once bustling logging community of stanleyville, newfoundland

In the 1800s, white pine was cut for sailing ship spars, and a sawmill was built by the McKie brothers in 1899.  The community was still a logging hub until about 1950.

fishing village, newfoundland

The following day, Bob and I had to cover 372 kilometres to reach our next destination, L’Anse aux Meadows at the top of the Great Northern Peninsula.  With umpteen quaint fishing villages along the way, we had planned for several stops.

shipyard, port saunders, newfoundland

Port Saunders on the Great Northern Peninsula got our business when it came time to fill up the gas tank.  It is home of a burgeoning fishing industry.  At the local boat repair, the yard was packed full of huge fishing boats awaiting modifications.

shipyard, port saunders, newfoundland

The previous year, because of a higher number of violent storms, the fleet of trawlers was only able to go to sea 14 times for mackerel, the preferred catch there.

pop bottle buoys, eddie's cove, newfoundland

A little further along the coast, in Eddie’s Cove, masses of colourful pop bottles caught our eye where they lay in sharp contrast next to weather-worn wooden sheds.  Local fishermen had spray-painted hundreds of these bottles fluorescent orange.  Strung on ropes, they are used as buoys to mark their traps.

pop bottle buoys, eddie's cove, newfoundland

In other cases, the bottles had been bundled into nets, with maybe 10-20 in each, and then utilized as floats for some other purpose.  Bob and I thought this was ingenious!  Talk about recycling and reusing!

roadside garden plots, northern peninsula, newfoundland

The Long Range Mountains were far behind us when we stopped for an impromptu picnic choosing a spot near roadside garden plots.  The terrain is so rocky and barren, much like Arctic tundra, that local people use any available pockets of fertile soil to cultivate a garden.

roadside garden plot, northern peninsula, newfoundland

The plots stood out because of the elaborate techniques employed to keep the moose and caribou at bay.

stretched animal pelts drying in the sun, northern peninsula, newfoundland

In one community, a local trapper had animal pelts stretched on frames to cure in the sunshine.

rugged terrain, northern peninsula, newfoundland

As we drove further north on the Great Northern Peninsula, the landscape became ever more bleak.

rugged terrain, northern peninsula, newfoundland

Extremely rocky, barren hills and seaside cliffs dominated the terrain.

rugged coastal terrain, northern peninsula, newfoundland

Low-growing and sparse vegetation dot the landscape creating its own kind of beauty.

two moose calves, newfoundland

Before heading to Gunner’s Cove and L’Anse aux Meadows, a detour was made to the much-touted St. Anthony.  Two young moose were grazing roadside at the edge of town.

st. anthony, newfoundland

We were charmed by some quaint buildings where the land meets the sea in St. Anthony.  I think it was the red and white colour scheme that stirred nostalgic thoughts of the 1950s.

jean at the coast in st. anthony, newfoundland

A few trails lead out to the end of the point where, despite the calm day, thunderous waves came crashing ashore.

the coast in st. anthony, newfoundland

What another unique location!  Small rocky islands spot the coves along the route with rock-strewn tidal pools right at roadside.

buildings in a cove, st. anthony, newfoundland

The Vikings must have chosen this area because it is very protected from the Atlantic Ocean.  Countless coves created by the jutting points and peninsulas create ideal safe havens.

stone and sod house, l'anse aux meadows, newfoundland

Bob and I couldn’t resist the temptation to drive on to L’Anse aux Meadows for a sneak peak ahead of our planned tour of the historic sight the next morning.  This primitive stone and sod house has passed the test of time.

wavey's house, newfoundland

When finally Bob and I located our lodging for the night, it pleased us greatly!  We would be occupying this 70-year old seaside abode for a couple of days.

wavey's house, newfoundland

At the bottom of the steep gravel driveway are two white clapboard houses right at the edge of the ocean.  Ours, Wavey’s House, was the smaller of the two.

straight as an arrow highway, newfoundland

Bob and I were barely installed in our cottage when we got wind of a small iceberg in a nearby community.

an iceberg in ship cove, newfoundland

Daylight prevailed so we headed to Ship Cove, and en route, no less than 10 moose were spotted.  By the time we reached the Cove at 10 p.m., dusk was upon us, but the iceberg was still visible.  By 11 o’clock, we were grateful to enter the warm, inviting atmosphere of our cottage where the rhythmic sound of waves lapping against the shore soon lulled us to sleep.

You May Also Enjoy:

Quirpon Island, Newfoundland

Our Stay on Quirpon Island in Newfoundland

re-created longhouse, l'anse aux meadows, newfoundland, canada, 3946

In the Footsteps of Vikings at L’Anse aux Meadows

Colourful row of houses in St

St. John’s, Newfoundland is a Feast for the Eyes

Our hike to Baker’s Brook Falls in Newfoundland

Wind-whipped on Green Gardens Trail, Gros Morne National Park

Frame To Frame – Bob and Jean

2 comments

  • What wonderful photos! I have just recently discovered your blog. My father-in-law was from Newfoundland and my husband has a sister living there. She talks about people gardening wherever they can. She quite frequently purchases veggies from roadside gardens! Their grandmother had a beautiful home with the original root cellar in the side of a hill. Thanks for sharing!

    • I am so glad that you enjoyed seeing our photos and reading about our experience in Newfoundland. It is such a wonderful province. Although my mom did not grow up in Newfoundland, her family also had a root cellar in the side of a hill here in Ontario. These days, because of the pandemic, more and more people are gardening in unlikely places. Thanks so much for sharing with us a bit of your family’s history.

feedback welcome