July 15, 2007:
We packed up our camp site and drove just a few metres to the start of the Berry Hill trail which begins in the campground itself. The trail started off easy enough, at least for the first 100 metres, then quickly turned into a steep climb. We'd been doing a lot of sitting lately and certainly felt it with this grunty little 10-15 minute climb. Near the top, the trail turns into a series of steps (with little pullouts and seats for those that need a rest). We made it to the crown of the hill and after a brief rest took the circular trail at the top to see what we could see. The view is mostly obscured by the trees, but there are several clearings that afford views of the coast (in the distance) and the surrounding landscape at the foot of the hill. We moseyed back down the hill then headed out of the campground turning right onto Highway 430 which is also known as the Viking Trail.
We were heading north again because we had a booking for a boat tour on the Western Brook Pond at 4:00pm so decided to check out some points of interest along the way. One such point of interest is the Lobster Cove Lighthouse which has marked the marine entrance to Bonne Bay since 1897. Although the light is now fully automated, the lightkeeper's quarters have been turned into an interpretative centre with exhibits explaining the history and culture of the area.
Further along the road we stopped off at the site of the S.S. Ethie shipwreck, where parts such as pieces of the hull, boilers, and the engine of the old coastal steamship are scattered along the beach at Martin's Point. The Ethie ran aground here in 1919 during a fierce storm - luckily all 92 passengers and crew were saved. In the town of Cow Head, there is even a dinner theatre called The Ethie which is about the sinking of the ship. This dinner show is put on every summer as part of the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.
By 3:00pm we were pulling into the car park at the start of the trail to the Western Brook Pond. In order to take the boat tour, every passenger has to first take a 45 minute walk (3 Kilometres/1.8 Miles) to the boat dock. The trail is easy walking with a few bridges and boardwalk portions but mostly on a dirt/gravel trail. We recommend that you pack a small backpack with water (and nibbles for the kids) as well as a layer of clothing (it can get breezy and cool on the lake), and don't forget to "slip, slop, slap, wrap" (slip on a shirt, slop on the sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap on the sunglasses).
We made it to the boat dock with time to spare and had a hot dog while we waited. Two boats operate on the pond - the Westbrook II and III. We boarded the Westbrook III and were soon motoring away from the dock to explore the 16km (10 mile) long Western Brook Pond. Western Brook Pond is an ancient glacier-carved land-locked fjord which was once filled by the sea after the recession of the glacier. Some 8000 years ago the low laying bogs, which we all trekked over during the 45 minute walk to the boat dock, developed and closed off the fjord from the sea. Thus we now have a spectacular 165 metre (541 feet) deep fresh water lake.
As the boat ploughed through the frigid waters of the pond we were mesmerized by the massive billion year old cliffs that towered above us at around 600 metres (2000 feet). Stunning cascading waterfalls, with names such as Blue Denim Falls and Pissing Mary Falls, barely add to the volume of water in the lake.
The 2 hour tour which travels the full length of the lake includes multi-lingual guides who share their knowledge of the area with the passengers on board and turn on the Newfoundland tunes for the journey back to the boat dock. Before long we are all scrambling out of the boat back onto the dock to begin the 45 minute walk back to the car park.
We set up camp at the Green Point Campground just along the road which has wonderful views over the ocean, and sits a few metres above the rocky beach. We settled on the beach with a snack before dinner for some sunset shots until the cool of the evening ushered us back to the camper.
These travel blog entries related to Cruising Western Brook Pond In Gros Morne NP may interest you too:
|Title:||Cruising Western Brook Pond In Gros Morne NP
Exploration in the northern parts of Gros Morne National Park and the awe inspiring Western Brook Pond.
Spectacular End To A Busy Day With A Sunset In Winnipeg
Royal Canadian Mint Building Winnipeg Manitoba
Stepping Back To The Sixteenth Century At The Mennonite Heritage Village
French Heritage In St Boniface Winnipeg Manitoba
Press "Ctrl+D" to bookmark this page.
Please use this Code to link to this page (copy/paste):