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GROS MORNE

Cow Head, being the most Northerly settlement in Gros Morne National Park, offers an outstanding destination to visitors of the park.  Gros Morne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has a rich variety of scenery, wildlife, and recreational activities.

Gros Morne is one of the first places where plate tectonics was proven, and remains a geological gem.
The Tablelands, shown on the right, are the only place in the world where a complete cross section of ophiolites (from mantle to oceanic crust) can be accessed and viewed by the general public. These Ophiolites of the Tablelands are the remains of ancient oceanic crust that have been thrust up to the present day Earth's Surface.

The park is composed of two distinctly different landscapes, one being coastal lowlands, the other alpine plateau of the Long Range Mountains. Among these landscapes you will find an array of flora and fauna. The ecosystem supports a unique mixture of temperate, boreal, and artic species. There are 239 species of birds are placed on the provincial bird checklist.

While visiting Gros Morne National Park, you may very easily spot one of the distinct species of animals native to the area, namely Woodland Caribou, Black Bears, Red Fox, Arctic Hare, Whales, or Harbour Seals.  Or you may spot one of the  species introduced to the area namely moose or Polar Bears.  Moose are a very easily spotted animal in the  park whereas Polar Bears are rear and if spotted would most likely be in the early spring.

Newfoundland's waters are even different than the mainland. There are no real fresh water fish present in Newfoundland. All fish found in Newfoundland waters, spend at least a part of their lives in salt water. Some present fish are Atlantic Salmon, Artic Char, Brook Trout, Rainbow Smelt, among others.

Attractions you may want to visit, are scattered all throughout the park. Some notable attractions are:

  • The Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse.  The Lighthouse is a park interpretive exhibit and contains artifacts, historical documents, and photographs. One room portrays how the light keeper's den would have looked in the early part of the 1900's.

  • The S.S. Ethie Shipwreck Site(1919).  This ship went aground in a storm just north of Sally's Cove during a storm. Luckily all 92 passengers, including a baby, were saved. The baby was sent ashore in a mailbag. Gros Morne Theatre Festival, in Cow Head, has a dinner theatre show concerning the S.S Ethie incident. It is well worth checking out, and make you reservations in advance as shows regularly sell out.

  • Western Brook Fiord.  The Western Brook Fiord is a geological wonderment.  The fiord can be seen by hiking or taking the boat tour which takes you to the depth of the fiord itself. For more information check out The Bontours Group.

  • Cow Head Shallow Bay Beach.  This 10 kilometre beach is opened to the ocean. Stroll for hours or walk swim in the fresh Atlantic Ocean. The beach contains remarkable sand dunes which have been the result of thousands of years of weather and ocean movements. 

  • The Tablelands.  On the South side of the park, a trip through Trout River Gulch will bring you through the Tablelands.  The view itself is super, but a stop over and a closer look is the extreme of relaxation.

  • Gros Morne Theatre.   Located in Cow Head, the theatre group consisting of actors from all over the island, depicts life in Newfoundland and Labrador as it is today as well as in the past.  Take in the Drama performances, the Neddy Norris Nights, the S.S. Ethie, and special guests on a nightly bases.  The group also travels to other parts of the park so, be on the lookout of their performances.

  • Seal Island Boat Tour  In St. Paul's,  just 10 kms south of Cow Head, you will find the Seal Island Boat Tour. This boat tour brings you to the base of The Long Range Mountains.  Along the way, be on the look out for wildlife, including moose, caribou, and (almost a definite) harbour seals.

 




The Tablelands


Western Brook Glacial Fiord

 
Going around the bay


St. Paul's Inlet


A scenic view

 

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