Day 1: 72km/45 miles (subtract 31km/19 miles with optional transfer to Wiltondale)
From Deer Lake, cycle past the Newfoundland insectarium, then the Wiltondale Pioneer Village, enroute to lunch near the entrance to Gros Morne National Park. Spend the afternoon rididing the hilly, exhilarating approach to the shore of Bonne Bay, finishing in the tiny fishing village of Norris Point. LD (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)
Neddie's Harbour Inn; or
Sugar Hill Inn, Norris Point
Day 2: 40 or 104km/25 or 65 miles, plus hiking or boat trip
Begin the day with a ferry to Woody Point and ride to Trout River for lunch overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. On the way, stop at the Discovery Centre, and take the steep one-hour hike up Partridgeberry Hill along the Lookout Trail. The summit offers some of the best panoramic views in the park, and moose are often sighted along the trail. Enroute to Trout River, you will pass the geological curiosity of the Tablelands, and can choose to explore them by boat or on foot. The afternoon is otherwise spent hiking along the coast on the Green Gardens trail, then returning to Woody Point for your water taxi across Bonne Bay, or taking a van transfer to Norris Point. If you want a long ride instead of hiking, you can ride the thrilling hills around the shore of Bonne Bay. BLD
Neddie's Harbour Inn; or Sugar Hill Inn, Norris Point
Day 3: 8-hour hike, 806m/2645ft elevation
Hike to the top of Gros Morne Mountain, where caribou are sometimes seen atop the Long Range Mountains. This is a difficult eight-hour hike, rewarded (weather permitting) by phenomenal views over Ten-Mile Pond, the Long Range Mountains, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Return to your inn to freshen up before exploring independent dinner options in Rocky Harbour – a pretty community with gorgeous sunsets! BL
Neddie's Harbour Inn; or Sugar Hill Inn, Norris Point
Day 4: 88km/55 miles plus boat trip
Morning ride or van transfer north through Gros Morne to take a fascinating boat trip up the fjord at Western Brook Pond (in Newfoundland, even the largest lakes are usually called ponds). There is an optional afternoon hike on Cow Head, where an abundance of fossils provides a record of marine life through the ages, before cycling to Portland Creek. BLD
Entente Cordiale, Portland Creek
Day 5: Up to 289km/180 mile cycle (for most participants, this ride is vehicle assisted)
A very long ride today, assisted (we hope!) by the prevailing tailwind and the wide flat road leading you north. Most cyclists will accept a boost or two from the van, while others will be determined to complete the entire ride. Either way, you’ll rest well tonight following an evening of fresh local cuisine at your well appointed lodge in its fabulous wilderness setting, near the Hare Bay Islands Ecological Reserve. This superb retreat is well out of the way; be prepared to enjoy comfort in the northern wilderness!. BLD
Tuckamore Lodge, Main Brook; or Quirpon Island Lighthouse, Quirpon
Day 6: 80km/50 miles
Today you can choose to ride your bike from Main Brook to Saint Anthony, or enjoy a leisurely start lingering at your lodge a while before transferring by van. After an independent lunch you’ll transfer to Quirpon for a 45 minute boat trip along iceberg alley to your exceptional lodging in a lighthouse on a private island, with fantastic coastal trails, and wide views often filled with icebergs or whales. You may even find ruins of unexcavated Viking sod houses. Overall, this is a magical experience. BD
Quirpon Island Lighthouse, Quirpon; or Tuckamore Lodge, Main Brook
Start early today with the profoundly stirring site of L'Anse aux Meadows, where Vikings landed more than five centuries before Columbus. Believed to be Lief Eriksson's Vinland of the Norse sagas, this is the site of the birth of the first European descendant in the New World: "Snorri". The archaeological and historical significance of L’Anse aux Meadows has earned it recognition by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site; it does not disappoint. You will hear sagas of ancient times and hardy people who sailed forbidding seas to inhabit this wild and beautiful place. A five hour van transfer arrives back in Deer Lake by 18:00. There are late afternoon flights from St. Anthony airport to St. John’s, as an oft-preferred alternative to taking the van back to Deer Lake. B
This is a fabulous trip, well suited to intrepid explorers with lots of energy for the hills, distances, and sheer joy of traveling through such an undeveloped, exciting landscape.
Riding with the prevailing wind, through picturesque fishing villages, you will encounter people whose unabashed friendliness is truly extraordinary. You will ride and hike in Gros Morne National Park, where the incomparable landscape and unique natural history have earned it a place on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. You will hike to the top of Gros Morne Mountain and take a boat into a fjord akin to those of Norway. You can visit a 4000 year old burial ground of the now extinct Maritime Archaic Indians at Port au Choix, and see evidence of the also extinct Dorset Eskimos, and you'll see where the Vikings landed and settled, long before Columbus, at L'Anse aux Meadows (another UNESCO World Heritage Site) 1000 years ago.
While you enjoy the landscape, the wildlife, the people, and the history, your comfortable support van will always be nearby. This is one of our favourite trips, we hope you can come to see why.
Founder Cathy’s family came from Newfoundland, and Philip stopped in its outports while on fishing boats prior to starting Freewheeling. Their familiarity and appreciation for the people and land made it an obvious choice for expansion. In 1994, they thoroughly explored the Viking Trail’s cycling and hiking possibilities. Although the infrastructure was basic, there were some genuinely excellent inns which helped make a particularly attractive itinerary. Freewheeling connected with the College of the North Atlantic based in Cornerbrook, and started employing guides from their outdoor program. These passionate adventurers brought an enthusiasm for Newfoundland’s nether regions that further enhanced our knowledge and familiarity. You will meet some amazing people while having unusual fun on this trip.
||Deer Lake, 09:00, day one, Deer Lake Motel. This is one mile from the tiny Deer Lake airport. Flights to Deer Lake can be expensive. Transfers are sometimes available from Halifax, NS - $150 per person, each way. Optional ferry berth cabin at additional cost.
||Deer Lake, 18:00, day seven, Deer Lake Motel. Optional finish at St. Anthony with flights available to St. John’s or other destinations throughout Newfoundland. Transfers sometimes available to Halifax, NS - $150 per person, each way. Optional ferry berth cabin at additional cost.
||$2695 (per person, includes 7 full days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, one fjord boat trip, entrance fees to Gros Morne National Park and L’Anse aux Medows National Historic Site, van and guide support, luggage handling, maps and route notes))
||$2495 (per person, dbl, includes 7 full day, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers, all essential ground transportation including an afternoon pick up on day 5, emergency on call support, maps and route notes).
||Hybrid: $145; Racing: $195; Full Carbon Racing or Electric-assist: $265
|2013 Guided Dates:
||June 30-July 6; July 14-20; July 28-Aug 3; Aug 4-11; Aug 11-17(Full); Aug 18-25; Aug 25-31(Full). Add your own dates (learn more)
||You choose! We confirm within 48 hours
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
14% sales tax applies. 7% for non-Canadians.
“Carolyn as a local knew a ton about the area and was a lovely woman, supportive and very knowlegable. Dan as a bike guru was great, strong, funny and together they were remarkable. Hard to think of what they could improve, it was a splendid trip and well organized and supported.” – Randy & Phillis W
“Thanks for making our cycling experience in Newfoundland such a memorable one.” - Sonya and Scott S
“I was very impressed with this tour. I appreciated all the flexibility. I did much more than I thought I could at 5 mos pregnant, but was nice to know that Marie and Jordan [our guides] would be there if needed.” - Rob & Candace McG
“Your staff could not have been more accommodating, pleasant, or helpful in every respect. We have been on bike tours with half a dozen different outfits and yours seems more personal and detail oriented than most, by far.” – Eric & Tina S