I’ve already written about Signal Hill National Historic Site in St. John’s and the rambling we enjoyed up and down its craggy cliffs and trails. Now it’s on to Terra Nova National Park.
There are only two national parks in Newfoundland and Labrador, Gros Morne on Newfoundland’s west coast and Terra Nova on the east. Terra Nova fit in our itinerary on this trip. Gros Morne remains on our bucket list for another adventure.
This post will highlight a hike along Terra Nova’s Newman Sound Coastal Trail.
Terra Nova National Park covers 399 square kilometres and is located about a two-hour drive north of St. John’s along the Trans-Canada highway. We picked up fresh sandwiches on St. John’s Water Street at the vintage delicious Rocket Bakery (and maybe a cookie or two) and arrived mid-morning at the Newman Sound information centre.
My husband was not brought up on the ocean and asked what a sound was. I was brought up on the ocean but still had to Google It!
A sound is a body of water that reaches far inland from its ocean. It’s longer than an inlet or an arm, narrower than a bay and not as deep as a harbour. The day we hiked, the sun kept it a humid 24 degrees celsius and we were glad for every moment the breeze off the sound reached us (notice how I worked sound into that sentence).
Of the 12 main hikes in this national park, we chose the Coastal Trail because it hugs the water most of the way and is a relatively easy out and back with lots of beaches, a waterfall and pristine boreal forest to wander through. The information centre it starts from also has a small café and a patio facing the ocean and clean bathroom facilities.
The team at the info centre told us the park would be busier than usual because of a ultra-marathon race happening. Turns out there were only 37 racers. This is a far cry from what we are used to living near Banff National Park. Banff-busy is the gold standard of busy-ness in Canada’s national parks. Terra Nova gets 43,851 visitors per year. Banff gets five MILLION. This kind of busy was a breath of fresh air for we Albertans. Plus, it was fun to cheer the racers on.
The Pissamare waterfalls, near the start of the trail, had a little pool that I gladly dipped my head and hat into. If I had my bathing suit, I would have dipped more than that.
Several beaches were part of the trail and the highlight for me was enjoying our lunch in two of Parks Canada’s famous red chairs. We were the sole occupants of a beach facing down the sound and spent our break watching three bald eagles on the hunt, circling and circling, far above. With 45 more trails and lots of campgrounds, one could spend a lot of time in Terra Nova National Park.
Can you picture yourself here? Up next – the trails to the Fogo Island Arts Studios on Fogo Island, NL.
This is NOT a sponsored post. All words and photos are my own.