Blog Archives

At least 80 reasons to visit our Great Northern Peninsula!

I’ve put together a list of walking/hiking trails and lookouts on the Great Northern Peninsula from Bellburns and all communities to the North. I’ll be linking these with posts with images and more information on each trail as I am able to update. In 2020, I created a challenge to get them all completed, so now I encourage you all to join the challenge when you visit the Great Northern Peninsula for yourself.

Quirpon Island
Table Point Ecological Reserve, north of Bellburns
  • Trails from Bellburns to Reef’s Harbour (GNP Central-South):
  • Table Point Ecological Reserve (between Bellburns and River of Ponds)
  • River of Ponds Walking Trails
    • trail to the beach 3 km
    • trail to big pond (section still under development)
  • Hawke’s Bay
    • John Hogan Trail, 6.4 km
  • Port Saunders
  • Port au Choix
    • Dorset Trail
    • Coastal Trail
    • Phillip’s Garden Trail
    • Point Riche Trail
    • Barbace Cove Trail
  • Bartlett’s Harbour
  • New Ferolle
    • Old Ferolle Lighthouse Trail
  • Reef’s Harbour
    • St. Margaret’s Bay Trail
White Point Walking Trail, Bartlett’s Harbour
  • Trails from Plum Point to Eddies Cove East (GNP West):
  • Bird Cove
  • Plum Point
    • Basque Site Boardwalk
    • Mount St. Margaret Ski Club and Trails
    • St. Genevieve River Trail
  • St. Barbe to Forrester’s Point (interconnected trail network)
  • Anchor Point
    • Deep Cove Trail
    • Deep Cove Trail extension to gazebo and beach
    • Deep Cove Ski Club and Trails
  • Flower’s Cove
  • Nameless Cove
    • Flower’s Island Lighthouse Trail
  • Sandy Cove
    • Ecological Reserve for Longs Braya
Captain James Cook Cairn, Dog Peninsula, Bird Cove
  • Trails from Englee to Croque (GNP East):
  • Englee
    • Barr’d Island Trail
    • Locker’s Point Trail
    • White Point Trail
    • Shoe Pond Hill Trail
  • Roddickton
    • Heritage Trail
    • The Farm
    • Underground Salmon Hole
  • Bide Arm
    • Armistice Park Trail
  • Conche
    • Sailor Jack’s Hill Lookout
    • Glass Hole
    • Fox Head Trail
    • Captain Coupelongue Trail
    • Sleepy Cove Trail
  • Croque
  • Main Brook
    • Main Brook Park Rugged Trails
The view from the gazebo, Shoe Cove Trail, Englee
  • St. Anthony Basin Region (GNP North)
  • North Boat Harbour
    • Highlands Boardwalk
  • Wild Bight
  • Cook’s Harbour
    • Garge Coates’ Lookout
  • Goose Cove East
    • Pumbley Cove Trail
  • St. Anthony
    • Bottom Brook Trails
    • Lamage Point
    • Tea House Hill
    • American Base Trail
    • Daredevil Trail
    • Cartier’s Trail
    • Whale Watcher’s Trail
    • Santana Trail
    • Iceberg Alley Trail
  • St. Anthony Bight
    • St. Anthony Point Loop
    • Silver Point Trail
  • St. Carol’s
  • Great Brehat
    • Flat Point Trail
    • Little Brehat Walking Trail
  • Triple Falls Trail (Route 430), 0.8 km
  • Aurora Nordic Ski Club and Trails
  • Raleigh
    • Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve
    • Cannon Holes and Big Oven Hike
    • Nuddick Trail
  • Ship Cove
  • St. Lunaire-Griquet
    • Gull Pond Municipal Park
    • St. Brendan’s Trail
    • Dog Head Trail
    • Camel’s Back Trail
  • L’anse aux Meadows
    • Birchy Nuddick Trail
    • Norstead Trail
    • Lacey’s Trail
    • Beginning of the Iceberg Trail
  • Gunner’s Cove
  • Hay Cove
    • Noddy Bay Head Trail
  • Straitsview
  • Noddy Bay
    • Squidjigging Point Trail
  • Quirpon
  • The Iceberg Trail (multi-day)
  • International Appalachian Trail
Sea Cave on Lacey’s Trail at L’anse aux Meadows

If there is a trail I’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll make an update. The Great Northern Peninsula, north of Gros Morne National Park and the gateway to Labrador offers visitors and residents hundreds of kilometres of trails and very unique experiences. There is beauty around every corner and so much to experience and explore when on a nature walk, hiking trail or a look-out.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore #NeverStopExploring

L’Anse aux Meadows Viking Settlement – Where the World Came Full Circle

Imagine, L’anse aux Meadows, Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, Canada is the land of first contact in North America by Europeans. Home of the only authentic Norse site in North America, where the Vikings came over 1,000 years ago and worthy of World UNESCO Heritage status.

img_20160604_172648

A population of just a couple dozen residents today, this tiny community is truly Where the World Came Full Circle. It is the place where humanity met for the very first time, an event more than 100,000 years in the making. When the continents broke apart, people went left and people went right. Europeans reached Iceland and then Greenland and finally settled at L’Anse aux Meadows. It was there they met those who went right, our indigenous population of Newfoundland and Labrador. We have documentation of more than 5,000 years of their presence, only to connect for the first time 1,000 years ago with those who went left. This is the much bigger story of this ancient and meaningful place that must be told.

img_20160604_172339

L’Anse Aux Meadows UNESCO Site

img_20160827_163253

Annually 30,000 people flock to L’Anse aux Meadows from May-September. The Parks Canada experience is truly something that should be on your bucket list. The interpretation centre offers guided tours in French and English, a film in the theatre, artifacts and storyboards are on display, there are walking trails, get up close and personal to where the ancient mounds were and lets not forget the art and encounters with Vikings along the way. Also, the very talented local, Loretta Decker, has handmade Viking troll dolls available at the Heritage Shoppe. If you have time, take in an evening of Stories and Sagas.

Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade

img_20160827_153343

This social enterprise is the ultimate hands on experience of how to live like a Viking. A fascinating open air museum, boasting the Snorri replica that sailed from Iceland to Greenland to L’Anse aux Meadows in the year 2,000 in the boathouse.

img_20160827_153949

The local re-enactors can read you fortune using ruin stones, cook up a meal by the fire, make nails at the forge, teach you axe throwing for entertainment and skill, play nine man mill, or show you how to weave or knit with one needle. They have animals, a potter’s studio, gift shop and more onsite. Visitation increased by more than 2,000 additional people last year, which is no surprise to me given their exceptional public offering.

Norsemen Restaurant & Gaia Art Gallery

img_20160827_143343

Fine dining with lots of local offerings and fresh ingredients at the Norsemen. It is one of the many exceptional restaurants along Route 436. An offering of musical entertainment during dinner meals and a perfect view if you are lucky during lunch. I recommend a martini with local berries and iceberg ice to start.

img_20160827_140713

I enjoy the Art Gallery, lots of handmade and local products, especially the carvings. Exhibition space and direct sales for our artists is complimentary, providing another unique experience when visiting the Great Northern Peninsula.

There are five additional food offerings on/along Route 436 that come highly recommended:

  • The Daily Catch, St. Lunaire-Griquet – profiled in the Globe & Mail for exceptional seafood offerings
  • Café Nymphe, St. Lunaire-Griquet – located at Dark Tickle Company, a wildberry economusee that has an exceptionally sampling of teas, berry drinks and more
  • Snow’s Take-Out, St. Lunaire-Griquet – home to Herb’s famous chicken. For the traveler interest in something fast and to take-a-way.
  • Northern Delight Restaurant, Gunner’s Cove – a large family restaurant, with broad menu offering. They celebrate their Viking burgers, seafood and entertainment – don’t miss Mummer’s Night!
  • Burnt Cape Café, Raleigh – a local flavouring of moose burgers, sandwiches and also gourmet experience, with Chef seafood specialties.

Skipper Hot’s Lounge in Straitsview is also a must if you want to experience the music at our local watering hole. The Skipper Hot’s band is performing Thursday-Sunday throughout the summer. They do Screech-ins and host kitchen parties and special events.

Along Route 436/37 there is ample choice for accommodations that include Provincial and Private RV parks (including tent sites), Raleigh Historical offers bunkhouses to live like a fisherman, there are cabins, cottages, chalets, b&bs, motels and a short drive to St. Anthony, there are additional accommodations including hotels.

The Viking Shop

img_20160604_174738

Norman Young has been carving whale bones for many years. I highly recommend visiting his Viking Shop. As well, Taylor’s Crafts in Raleigh, has 4th generation carvers. Their soapstone products are phenomenal. Viking art can be found at Thorr’s Studio, Hay Cove. For a great souvenir shop on route to L’Anse aux Meadows, drop into the Hut in Noddy Bay! There is also Labradorite jewelry and youth entrepreneurs selling jams, pies and crafts.

img_20160604_175031

From fish markets, retail, boat tours, ecological reserves, icebergs, cruise ship visits, outdoor art and more. One can see fishers at the wharves, eat locally grown mussels and interact and embrace community en route to L’Anse aux Meadows! Plan your 2017 visit today and you too can say you were where the World Came Full Circle!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows and Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NSHLQ Come Home Year Celebration a Major Achievement – Then, Now & Forever!

IMG_20150727_131022

When communities come together for a common goal on the Great Northern Peninsula anything seems to be possible. I only have to think about the $100,000 Breath of Fresh Air Playground that was established in Cook’s Harbour-Wild Bight-Boat Harbour with three communities of about 200 people.

The Noddy Bay-Straitsview-Hay Cove-L’anse aux Meadows-Quirpon Come Home Year Celebration saw five communities all with a total population of less than 300 come together to make something unforgettable happen for residents, those with a connection to this special place and some to make their mark for the very first time. The last Come Home Year was in 1997, it was decided long overdue to host another and this time Quirpon would be added. This inclusion of Quirpon also invigorated interest to save their local hall to allow for events and activities to take place throughout the week.

IMG_20150727_175951

After months and months of planning by a dedicated group of youthful committee members, the day would finally arrive on July 27th and they were certainly ready. Leading up to the event, the Facebook page would keep everyone up to date. A full schedule was also advertised in the local newspaper, the Northern Pen. Not to mention a Twitter hashtag, showing their innovation and adaptation of technology. I was greatly impressed by their organization, what they offered registrants, how they partnered with all their key businesses and community groups to share in the success of this community celebration would bring. There is much strength here – then, now and forever!

IMG_20150727_174733

The Viking RV Park would be the primary site of activity throughout the week, with the official opening started after people registered at the fire hall. The crowds flocked, enjoying the weather and meeting those returning home as they fended off the flies. After the speeches, the cafe was cut, music was played by our multi-talented Calvin Blake, Adam Randell and Brandon White, mussels were steamed, faces painted and the mood set for a massive fireworks display.

The fireworks display was impressive, it seemed to go on and on and on. There were many awes and an astounding round of applause as the show concluded. A truly successful evening that could not have ended with a bigger bang. Cue the music!

The week would follow with fish frys, hikes, coffee shop visits, exercise programs, kids activities, duck races, memorial events, old-fashioned times, kitchen parties, row boat races, family days and so much more! This was no small feat for a small group of organizers, that should great leadership. So many others would step up and give time in a volunteer capacity to ensure all of these activities could happen. I’m amazed by the generosity and community spirit during these Come Home Year celebrations and always look forward to the next.

IMG_20150731_154815

A sampling of some of the activities:

I’m confident Skipper Hot’s band was rocking every night, that many screech-ins were had and the conversations lasted into the early morning hours and likely will continue until the planning of the next Come Home Year celebration begins. Be proud of your major achievement for making big things happen in small communities!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Hay Cove is a Happening Place

IMG_20150728_143857

For a population of less than 30 people, Hay Cove is a happening place. A tour of the community will set you smiling as you see the water, hills, coastline and traditional way of life still being employed in a small fishing village next door to L’anse aux Meadows which is home to a World UNESCO site. One can take a walk on the trail leading you to a neighbouring community of Noddy Bay, as you pass a flake sometimes with local codfish drying the sun for winter.

The fishing boats are still moored to the wharf, gardens are planted and clothes is freshly drying on the line. There is a home for sale and others that have been converted to Bed & Breakfasts, Coffee Shop or Studio. While in Hay Cove you can stay at Viking Nest, Viking Village or Jenny’s Runestone House (formerly Marilyn’s Hospitality Home), drink heavenly coffee, access free WIFI , enjoy a singing kitchen compliments of singer/songwriter Wayne Bartlett and listen to Radio Quirpon at Coffee in the Cove or find authentic Norse jewelry at the Thorfinn Studio. Whales regularly visit and so do those iceberg beauties. Try your hand at bird watching or berry picking, this place is trendy, traditional and quintessentially rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

This tiny community during the summer season is full of life, laughter and is a thriving place to live, work and experience. When you come to the Great Northern Peninsula, you won’t want to miss this happening place!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Delectable Seafood Dishes served at Lightkeeper’s Cafe, St. Anthony, NL

IMG_20150606_180124

The Lightkeeper’s Cafe is perched on the edge of Fishing Point, St. Anthony, NL overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is a whale watchers and iceberg hunters paradise as the restaurant has a beautiful view with many glass windows. Lightkeeper’s has been recommended in Where to Eat in Canada year over year and is known for its delectable seafood dishes of chowder, fish cakes and pan or deep fried fish meals.

IMG_20150606_181345

The salted fish cakes with scrunchions and pickles were a perfect appetizer, as is the seafood chowder with exceptionally generous portions of fish.

One never goes wrong with deep-fried or pan fried cod. I opted for the halibut dish on this visit (depicted in the gallery below), it was so wonderfully prepared.

IMG_20150606_181353

I was impressed to see Ben Poughman of Port au Choix’s art hanging on the wall. I would highly recommend this restaurant when visiting St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. It has the perfect location, great atmosphere, superb staff and delectable seafood dishes that caters to those craving something authentic and local.

If seafood is not your thing, you can also dine in the only sod hut restaurant in North America, enjoying Viking Dinner Theatre and a Great Viking Feast next door!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

%d bloggers like this: