Rocky Harbour at Gros Morne Natl Park NL - July 2015
Jul 6, 2015
|If you are a geology buff, Gros Morne National Park and western Newfoundland would be your 'Mecca'. In this beautiful place you will see some of the best plate tectonic activity in the world. Besides being a national park, Gros Morne is also a World Hertiage Site. A designation granted by the United National Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1987.
We chose Rocky Harbour as our home base to visit the southern end of the park. The campground was not much more than a parking lot, but they had wifi. After taking a short drive through the small community of Rocky Harbor we stopped at the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse and enjoyed a short hike through the Tuckamore and rugged coastline. You will notice in one of the photos, Red Chairs. This is a "thing" the Gros Morne National Park started. There are 17 sets sprinkled around the park. There is an ongoing contest to submit interesting photos of the chairs. Many other National Park Historical sites and the other 2 national parks have joined in the fun.
Grabbed a bite to eat at the Sunset Restaurant on Pond Road along the harbor. They have a fine gift shop too. We dropped in the Fish Market located at the end of Pond Road and ordered some lobster to pick up the next day.
We are only here for 2 more days, so we went south along Highway 431 for our first day. To do that you must retrace your steps by traveling east on Highway 430 then pickup highway 431. Where ever you want to go in Gros Morne, there may be a bit of a drive involved. We managed several hikes. First was Southeast Brook Falls. An easy 1 hour hike to see a really pretty small water fall with a spectacular view.
Moving on, we stopped in the small town of Woody Point. I wanted to visited another yarn shop for my hook rug projects. This is a really small town to take a quick walk around. Woody Point is across Bonne Bay from Rocky Harbour. There is a small ferry that can be used to visit some of the small communities across they bay.
Up the road is the Discovery/Visitor's Center. Lots of information about the park, it's history and geological wonders. Our next stop was The Tablelands. This is where part of the earth's mantel can be seen. It is a huge landscape of orange/brown rock risiing up. There are many hikes at this location. We chose a very short hike that gave us the flavor of this region.
Further along Highway 431 is Trout River. This area has a more volcanic coastline. Another very small community with a fabulous restaurant. Seaside Restaurant has quite a history and should be visited. The food was great and people are really interesting and friendly. It was evening by the time we got back to Rocky Harbour. A little drizzle and chilly too. Summer is not here yet.
For our last day in this beautiful place, we went north along the coast. The park ranger told us to hike the Coastal Trail and Green Point to see all the layers of green shale, many kinds and colors of rock and fossils. These rocks and fossils are all part of defining the Cambrian and Ordovician periods in our earth's history. This hike took several hours. It was not difficult just long and we dawdled a bit. When we were done, we drove a bit further north to St. Paul's Inlet just to take in more of the spectacular coastline.
Gros Morne National Park 697 square miles. There are over 62 miles of hiking trails. Newfoundland is 43,008 square miles. It is a big island. Labrador is more than twice the size of Newfoundland but has only 5% of the population of Newfoundland.
In a couple of weeks, we will be returning to Gros Morne to explore more of the north end of the park. Tomorrow we will be taking a ferry to Labrador and stay in a B & B for a few nights.