We visited Newfoundland for the first time in July 2015. After spending a couple of days in St. John’s to attend a friend’s wedding, we took a short flight to Deer Lake for some hiking in Gros Morne National Park.
In Deer Lake, we rented a car and drove roughly an hour north-west to our budget motel in Rocky Harbour. We picked Rocky Harbour given the town has several restaurants and budget accommodations, and is close to several of the park’s hiking trails. The Hilltop Inn was a decent spot for three nights.
We did a few hikes during our stay in Gros Morne – here is our quick takes on the trails.
Additional pictures are available in our Newfoundland gallery (Click Here).
We also have a related article on 2 days in St John’s. (Click Here)
This is a fantastic, albeit challenging, 16 km loop trail. While the first stretch of the hike starts you off with a nice, well-maintained trail through the forest, the terrain ultimately gets more challenging. After 4km, you reach a viewing area at the base of Gros Morne Mountain – this is where we spotted our first moose of the hike! Looking further up the trail, you see that there is no path up the mountain; instead, you need to climb/scramble up a tall mountain of large, loose rocks! It’s a fairly tough climb up to the summit (806 metres), but you soon forget that with the amazing views you’re rewarded with.
After a picture stop, we continued along the top of the mountain to the other side where we would begin our descent. No sooner had we started the climb down did we spot three moose just off the trail! Amazing. The climb down the mountain was nice, easy and very quiet – we didn’t spot another hiker until we came back to the base of the mountain. Totally recommend this hike – start early to avoid crowds and dodgy afternoon weather and keep your eyes peeled for moose.
This is an easy 4 km out-and-back trail located close to the Visitor Centre that provides you with views of the unique Tablelands landscape. The trail was pretty popular when we were there. While the trail guide said it takes two hours, we probably did it in just over one. You turn back when the trail ends at Winter House Brook Canyon.
This trail starts in the Berry Hill campground – as we were arriving in the parking lot, we were warned with a sign that there was a bear in the vicinity, though we didn’t see it, or any wildlife for that matter. This is a fairly easy 9.2 km out-and-back hike through forest to an impressive waterfall. Starting out fairly early as we always do, we were the only ones on the hiking trail when we arrived. At the turn-back point you arrive at the waterfalls, which are quite high and impressive. We did run into several groups of hikers on our way back to the car, but it wasn’t a crowded trail by any means.
This is an easy 6 km out-and-back trail located 27 km north of Rocky Harbour. It was easier than we expected because the trail has a long stretch of boardwalk to cross over bogs. There were a lot of people on this trail given the trail takes you to the departure point for a very popular 2-hour boat cruise. There’s also a café, gift shop, and clean washrooms at the dock. We opted not to do the boat tour given our limited time in the park and the dodgy weather we experienced while there (the boat cruise is best to do on a clear day).