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Gros Morne National Park Gros Morne National Park

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Gros Morne National Park

Country: Canada
State: Newfoundland
Gateway City: Rocky Harbour
Climate: Cool, wet, and maritime at sea level and sub-arctic at higher altitudes. Sea ice forms in winter and the onset of spring and autumn are both delayed by oceanic influence.
Number of visitors per year: 120,000

History

Habitation can be traced back to the Maritime Archaic Indians, 4500-3000 years ago.  Europeans settled the area in the late 18th century, and the culture still retains a distinct dialect of language despite modernization.  Jacques Cartier, commonly hailed as the person who “discovered” Canada, produced the first map of the shoreline around the park.  The park itself was established by the province of Newfoundland in 1973, and it wasn’t until 2005 that it received National Park status. 

About

The park offers some of the finest hiking and sea kayaking in the world.  Hikers should take care before embarking on the wilderness hikes, as these hikes are really only for very advanced adventure travelers.  Gros Morne offers the rare opportunity to see the rocks of the earth’s mantle and ocean floor, and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 for this reason.  The surrounding area also offers fresh seafood dining, cottages, cabins, and resorts for those looking for more than a campground.

Highlights

Western Brook Pond

A freshwater fjord carved out by glaciers, Western Brook has been assigned the highest quality pure water rating.  At 30 kilometres long, the “pond” is not aptly named.

Pissing Mare Falls

These falls are the highest in eastern North America, at 1148 feet high.  They fall over “Big Level” into Western Brook Pond.

Discovery Centre

This interpretative centre on the south side of Bonne Bay contains many activities and learning opportunities for those who wish to learn more about the Park.

Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse

The exhibits in the lighthouse showcase the early peoples who lived and fished at Bonne Bay before European colonization, and what the day in the life of a lighthouse keeper would be.

Broom Point

Broom Point features world class fishing and marine life.  Recently the Mudge family cabin and fish store have been restored through the generosity of the family, who fished this area from 1941 to 1975.

Tablelands

This area gives tourists an opportunity to walk along the earth’s crust.

Residents

Woodland Caribou

Gros Morne is a calving ground for this animal.  Usually seen in the highlands.

Black Bears

Bears are very common and campers should take extra care to hide their food.

Moose

Moose are also quite common and campers should be careful not to get too close to them; they will charge and cause serious injury if provoked.

Arctic Hare

This is one of the more rare inhabitants of the park.  These rabbits are native to Newfoundland and reach their southern range within the park.

Activities

  • Intensive Wilderness hiking featuring excellent views.
  • Boat Tours of Western Brook Pond and Trout River Pond.
  • Personal Boating (rentals available from local community). 
  • Fishing; check out license requirements before going.
  • Sea Kayaking – for advanced kayakers as conditions are changeable
  • Cross Country Skiing and Snowmobiling

 

Conservation projects

Official Conservation Projects by Parks Canada
http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/plan/plan2c_E.asp

How to donate

Gros Morne is managed by Parks Canada and all conservation projects are funded by the federal government.  The best way to donate is to visit and spend your money in the local community; a thriving community around the park will guarantee its longevity.

References

  • Various Research Projects Undertaken by the Government
  • http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/plan/plan4j_E.asp
  • Keeping Gros Morne Connected
  • http://www.sampaa.org/PDF/ch9/9.1.pdf
  • Site with Lots of Information
  • http://www.grosmornetravel.com/intro_details.asp?Id=1
Submitted by angelawest on Aug 6, 2008