Newfoundland and Labrador — Things to Do
Water plays a significant part in things to do in Newfoundland, from the salmon fishing to the largely undiscovered beaches near eastern Newfoundland’s sheltered coves. The province’s 340-mile East Coast Trail passes through North America’s easternmost point, Cape Spear, while northwest Newfoundland’s Viking Trail takes cyclists along the same fjord-filled paths the continent’s first European visitors encountered over a millennium ago.
Isolated Labrador’s most popular activities include touring Labrador City’s sprawling iron mines and North America’s second biggest hydroelectric power station in Churchill Falls. Labrador’s paved road ends in the southern village of Red Bay, home to many former Basque whaling stations and one of the continent’s most ancient burial sites. Labrador City’s Menihek Nordic Ski Club and Happy Valley’s Birch Brook Trails are two of the province’s finest cross-country skiing spots.
Most Newfoundland salmon fishing excursions are required by law to have licensed and qualified guides such as those at Eureka Outdoors, which not only organizes salmon and brook trout fly fishing excursions along the Humber River, but also provide post-fishing massages, as well as fascinating day-trips for non-fishing companions.
Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours offers thrilling white water rafting adventures along the Exploits, Newfoundland’s longest and largest river which ends in the beloved Badger Chute rapids. Northland Discovery Boat Tours offers a more relaxed sailing experience through the waters of St. Anthony’s coast. The area boasts more puffin, whale, and iceberg sightings than any other part of Newfoundland’s 18,000-mile-long shoreline.
Those who prefer underwater views of Newfoundland’s icebergs, shipwrecks, and sea life can sign up for an Ocean Quest Adventures scuba diving tour. This reputable company also offers beginner’s diving classes, first aid courses, and even its own spa to relax in after an unforgettable underwater exploration.
Some of North America’s biggest black bears, moose, and caribou roam throughout Newfoundland and Labrador’s rugged wilderness, and hunting outfitters such as Frenchman’s Cove’s Newfound Outfitting or Labrador’s McKenzie River Lodge can help sharpshooters take home massive souvenirs. Some specialize in only one type of animal, while others offer ’Newfoundland Grand Slam’ hunts allowing visitors to nab any of the big game during a single excursion. Licenses are included in all packaged outings.
Gros Morne Adventures offers guided hiking tours through the 65 trail miles within its namesake national park. The most challenging include a climb to Newfoundland’s second highest summit on top of Gros Morne Mountain. The Viking Trail Experience from Wildland Tours takes hikers past North America’s oldest burial mound, the Appalachian Mountain’s northern edge, and the L’Anse aux Meadows historic site whose Viking residents were North America’s first European settlers.
Once Newfoundland’s snowy winters arrive, Newfoundland Outdoor Adventures begins its annual series of scenic snowmobiling tours. The season begins in early November and lasts well into May in Canada’s unofficial snowmobiling capital. No race in the province—or anywhere else in Canada—is tougher or longer than the Cain’s Quest Snowmobile Endurance Race that winds through more than 1,550 miles of some of Labrador’s most isolated landscapes.
Each winter, Maxxim Vacations offers regular alpine skiing tours to Marble Mountain, which boasts the most impressive skiing in all of Atlantic Canada, thanks, in part, to its close proximity to Corner Brook, Canada’s snowiest city. Those searching for slopes closer to St. John’s need only drive two hours to the dozen downhill trails at White Hills Ski Resort, named after its constant blanket of winter snow.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s cross-country skiing opportunities are no less abundant, with countless guided tour options from companies like Burnt Berry Winter Adventure Tours. Blow Me Down Provincial Park features some of the best trails on the island of Newfoundland, and none other than Canada’s national cross-country skiing team has trained at Labrador City’s Menihek Nordic Ski Club, whose system was designed by a former World Cup cross-country skiing champion.