Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Newfoundland and Labrador with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
15 days ago

Beautiful views, especially on the first day hike out of the gorge. You get lots of beautiful highlands after that. Aside from the very beginning and end, the elevations are fairly mild.

I can't overstate how wet it was. The entire landscape is boggy and absorbs the frequent rain like a sponge. You will constantly be in ankle-deep water. As such, lots of bugs. It also get quite cold (like 4°C in August at night).

Navigation is the real challenge. As they tell you, don't rely on foot paths to show you the trail, you'll need to be on your GPS pretty frequently. Note that there are multiple routes: I had the official route, the one from here, and another on my garmin. They're all somewhat different (a fact I didn't appreciate at first, to my own detriment).

The official trial is the black-track in AllTrails. It tends to go over hills, whereas the AllTrails route goes around those hills, making for a longer, flatter, and wetter trail.

I would STRONGLY suggest following the official trail on the route between Harding's Pond and Green Island Pond. We started with the AllTrails route then turned back and did the official one for this section. The two routes split right as you leave Harding's Pond, with the official trail taking you more northward into the hills. You'll get much nicer views on the official trail; the AllTrails route will be flatter, but will take you through difficult tuckamore and over a cliff right before Green Island Pond that's quite dangerous if its wet.

I would also follow the official trail on the last day's descent. The trails are a bit confusing here. I didn't see the AllTrails descent, but given the cliff it took me down the previous day, I wasn't gonna trust it.

In any event, this was a challenging hike. Not so much physically, but more because of the wetness and navigation issues. It's well worth it, though. Gorgeous.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike through forests to the Tableland. Nice views and chances to see wildlife.

wonderful hike. my friend and I took 2 cars and parked one on either end. we started in flatrock and walked to torbay. bring lots of water!

To put it simply, the Western Brook Pond trail is a wide gravel access road across a flat marsh with views no better than what you can see from the road. While the pond itself is beautiful, you can see barely any of it from the trail itself, though there is a typical dirt trail extension along the shore that I sadly didn't have time to walk. There is, however, a small restaurant that services the boat tours at one end of the walk, as well as a tiny beach along the edge that I believe you can paddle in (but don't quote me on that).

Amazing hike. I pushed it (for me) and managed to get through with two full days of hiking and one night camping. The bugs were definitely a nuisance and I used a lot of bug spray. Generally where there's no wind you're going to find bugs. I emerged from my tent on the second day around 6am to see a large male moose feeding near the water's edge at Harding's Pond. Later on the second day I spotted a Caribou running down a distant valley. Still amazed how they can do that given all the sink-holes and boulders. The sight-lines were clear and views spectacular. Made for much easier navigation, although I did manage to get lost at one point for an hour or two. I found from getting off the boat at Western Brook Pond to my camp at Harding's Pond that the trails were pretty easy to follow. The second day I found the trails harder to follow, interspersed with game trails, faded or non-existent and needed the compass several times to navigate. From Green Island Pond onward, the trail was pretty distinct and easy to follow all the way to the parking lot. Ferry Gultch is where the trail meets that of the day-hikers who go to Gros Morne, so the trail is very well-traveled from that point to the parking lot. I learned what "Tuckamore" is on this hike. Picture walking into a thick hedge will full gear and wondering as you plow through whether its twenty feet to the other side or half a mile. Sometimes not possible to avoid. Other challenge is the mud. It's rich, black, and seems like it could swallow you whole with a wrong step. I was once literally up to my knee and had to grab onto a branch to pull my leg out against the suction. I highly recommend hiking poles. They were invaluable when walking through the tall grass to poke in front and locate the countless rocks and sink-holes you'll encounter, as well as helping push away branches in the tuckamore. A high point was discovering "bakeapple berries". They are plentiful along the hike and yes they do taste like baked apples. They seemed to all be ripe while I was hiking (mid-August) so I lucked out and was continuously picking-eating along the trail. All in all, an amazing experience that I hope to do again.

They revamped the trail by turning it into a broad gravel road, which while I understand it I don't have to like it. The pond, however, is still amazing. I recommend taking the scenic loop extension, literally nobody else did while I was out there.

The view at the end is worth the trek with the tablelands on one side of the valley and the more familiar hills stretching out opposite. As you travel along the small pond you cross a ton of streams, dipping the trail down and up, otherwise it would be flat until the narrows where you climb up to the base of the tablelands. Depending on the flow you may be able to fill up bottles with cool crisp water flowing down off the edge of the tablelands (I drank it unpurified, I'm fine)

Excellent hike with varied landscapes.

This used to be a beautiful trail but Parks Canada built a forest access road over top of it. Shame you on, Parks Canada. So sad. RIP Western Brook Trail

Not a boardwalk trail as some older photos suggest. This is a wide gravel road leading to the pond. There's plenty of other woods roads in NL that offer scenic views of Western NL, don't waste your time and money unless you really need to take the boat tour.

The tablelands portion was beautiful with great views of the surrounding area. Not a lot of traffic on this trail either compared to some of the others so the solitude was nice. The second mile to mile and a half is fairly narrow and muddy with a lot of vegetation overhanging the trail. Some of it was either hogweed or cow parsnip so keep an eye out for it and steer clear. I wouldn’t go out of my way to do this trail again but it definitely was a nice time and had its moments. If I could skip ahead to the tablelands portion somehow I’d probably rate it higher

We went down this trail for the boat tour. The view is nice at the end of the trail and the trail is pretty accessible and well groomed (more of an unpaved road). I wouldn’t go out of my way to walk this though unless you’re going on the tour.

Took this hike earlier today to connect with the boat tour on the lake. The hike is underwhelming- wide open on a wide (vehicle) gravel path. Some of the scenery is cool as you get a good viez of the different types of vegetation. The boat ride is well worth the hike as the views on the lake are awesome.

Hiked the first week of July, it was early spring time conditions which meant the bugs were not bad, we still had to traverse snowy sections and the grass was just starting to grow. Amazing part of the world! It’s difficulty made it that much more rewarding and the views are incredible!

hiking
3 months ago

Didn’t have time to do the entire length but went approx 1/2 way. Absolutely delightful.
Not always well marked, but you can find your way.
A lot of climbing involved so make sure to wear good footwear.

Underwhelming if you're not doing the boat tour.

hiking
4 months ago

One of my favourite hikes!

hiking
4 months ago

Was pleasantly surprised with this trail. Always ask the locals what their favourite hikes are. Would hike this again in a heartbeat!

It was a beautiful day, but got cold near/at Cape Spear, so bring layers. Hiking shoes or boots are needed since there are a few areas where it's really rocky (vertical climbs for 20+ feet) and muddy (river crossings). The trail is well-marked and well-maintained.

backpacking
5 months ago

Fantastic hike, I’ve done it twice now, like others have said be prepared for a gruelling first day while you walk up and out of Western Brook.

Be aware of moose & caribou leads as they’re easily mistaken for trails and can lead you the wrong way.

Camping sites have tent pads and bear boxes for easy storage and comfort.

Map and compass skills are a great asset to have on this hike in case of gps failure. Plus it’s always a good time to dust off the ol’ M&C skills and just use them for a pretty authentic hiking experience.

well worth the effort to access this trail. the views are breathtaking! the first day is challenging as it is a continuous climb so start early in the day to reach the top with time to set up camp before sun set. this trail is very popular so there are many paths. don't trust someone else's path. follow your GPS and map. the last portion of trail is very popular as you meet up with day hikers summiting gros morne mountain. enjoy bragging to them about your epic trip. you deserve it!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Snug Harbour is absolutely beautiful! Crisp clear water with gorgeous mountain views. The first section of the trail is heavily trafficked (as it is the trail to the Western Brooke Pond Ferry), but then you fork off onto the Snug Harbour trail which is lightly trafficked. You will have to ford across the Western Brooke River, so be prepared (water can be anywhere from knee to waist deep with a following current). The trail after this point was very muddy and often overgrown. After the trail reconnected onto the shoreline, I opted to stick along the shore instead of going back on the marked trail through the woods (to avoid the mud holes and slow pace caused by them). Then after I forded across a second small brooke, I reconnected with the marked trail. From this point it was an easy 5 minutes into Snug Harbour.

backpacking
Friday, July 21, 2017

Our first section on the East Coast Trail began with a steep, quarter mile ascent! The first part of the trail travels through forests and exposed areas with some ocean view. It then takes a long descent down to the shoreline of Freshwater Bay. After crossing it, the remainder of the section ascends then follows the cliff edges all the way down to Blackhead.

We camped there for our first night. No stores or accommodations, although I recall a small craft shop just as we were leaving town, continuing on to Cape Spear.

This section is in excellent shape and did not disappoint. Challenging enough, but nothing compared to what laid ahead. Like so many spots along the ECT: Heaven on the eyes, Hell on the legs!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lovely trail and ell taken care of. Goes inland a little more than I would like.

backpacking
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fantastic hike. Have good shoes, sandals, and gaitors. You will hike through a river, a bog, mountain terrain, and tundra. The backcountry camp is in snug harbour. Be sure to take the trail up to the North Rim. The views are stunning and you won't be disappointed. This is a difficult trail, especially after a heavy rain. The trail is not well maintained and the bog can be tough. The mud sank up to our knees in spots. The beauty makes it worth every step. Plenty of wildlife (moose, ptarmigan).

backpacking
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Did this hike along with the North Rim to make it a little longer and glad I did. Very beautiful and rugged landscape. Had to check in at park HQ and get a caribou tracker in case I didn't come back and they would be able to find me. Took a cab to the Western Brook ferry and from there headed north. Spent my first night on the beach and after that all signage disappears so be ready to use GPS and orientation to find your way. There is no real trail and once you get going any sign of footprints or beaten path are intermittent. The bugs can be bad but it's usually windy so that helps keep them off. Water isn't an issue as there are plenty of small ponds along the way. There are a few basic wood platforms to set up a tent with bear bins along the way but honestly you can camp anywhere it's flat. Hiked it in September and really lucked out with the weather. Beautiful mostly untouched wilderness, can't recommend this one enough.

hiking
Sunday, January 22, 2017

Breathtaking ocean hike!

backpacking
1 month ago

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