Gros Morne isn’t the kind of national park you can see in a day. One of the biggest in Canada, the park is as unique as Newfoundland itself.
With a diverse range of wildlife, from seals to moose to arctic foxes, and land as diverse as high mountainous peaks and volcanic, desert-like stretches, Gros Morne is a massive park begging to be explored. And whether you’re doing so on foot, on a bike, or in a boat, the end result will almost always be a view that’s second to none.
The Great Gros Morne Geocaching Challenge is a park-sanctioned treasure hunt that will take you across more than 20 kilometres of trails in search of five hidden caches. There’s also an optional story component, if you’re the kind of adventurer who likes a narrative bend to their hikes.
See the Tablelands
The closest thing to a desert you’ll find in Newfoundland, the Tablelands are a geological marvel; a beautiful but barren strip of land made up of rusted, iron-dense peridotite rock. The park offers maps if you want to hike it on your own, but we’d recommend taking a tour, if only to learn the incredible half-a-billion year tectonic circumstances that made this ancient land so unique.
What are you waiting Fjord?
Carved by glaciers, Western Brook Pond is a picturesque fjord best explored by boat. On the water, you’ll see things like the beautiful but unfortunately named Pissing Mare Falls, which is one of North America’s biggest, and experience waters that saw one of Canada’s only documented tsunamis.
Go for a ride
Make use of the Volkswagen Tiguan’s easy-to-install bike rack and bring some extra wheels with you. While Gros Morne doesn’t have any official cycling paths, mountain bikes are common on the grounds, so bring yours and tackle the looping 11 kilometres of trails.
Kayaking in Gros Morne isn’t always for the faint of heart, but if you don’t mind a bit of a challenge, it can be incredibly rewarding. Whether you’re kayaking Trout River’s volcanic coastline or chasing the sunset at Shallow Bay, there’s a lot of paddle-able waters in the park. Just remember to check the weather first — winds can get wild, and big waves follow quickly.
Don’t glamp, camp
Gros Morne offers more than one kind of camping, including furniture-filled cabins for the less outdoors-y lot. But if you’re really looking to get back to nature, consider one of the park’s primitive country campsites, which aside from tent pads and a place to bear-proof your food leave you mostly up to your own devices. Make use of the Volkswagen Tiguan’s ample storage space and pack enough camping gear to be comfortable under the stars.
Learn to play the Ugly Stick
One of Newfoundland’s more curious traditions, the Ugly Stick isn’t just a grade-school insult, but rather an instrument usually made out of a broomstick, a rubber boot, and a bevy of noisemaking bells and whistles. And if you want to learn to play one, Under the Stump offers a family-operated guided tour that takes you through the park and ends with a lesson.
Stretch it out with a little Yoga
Pack your yoga mat and do some sun salutations on the beautiful Bonne Bay. Gros Morne Adventures’ Paddle & Yoga package starts with an on-the-water trip to a relaxing locale, and ends with an all-levels flow class off the coast. It’s the best of both worlds, and certainly beats any local studio we can think of.