Challenging
Difficulty level
Hiking/Walking
Activity (Hike)
6 Night, 7 Day
Duration

Canada, Newfoundland: Viking Trail Hike

Seven days, six nights to hikes in Gros Morne National Park and points north along Newfoundland’s rugged western coast to L’Anse aux Meadows.


“Picnics were inspired. Guides were superb and enriched everything we did with their care, attention to detail, passion, encouragement, humour, and kindness. They were brilliant ambassadors for both Freewheeling and Newfoundland.” – Rob S.

WHY THIS TRIP?

  • Spectacular hikes with unique geology and panoramic sunset views.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gros Morne National Park.
  • Common whale and iceberg sightings.
  • Western Brook Pond waterfall boat tour.
  • Fresh, abundant seafood.
  • Newfoundland fishing culture and friendly, generous locals.
  • L’Anse Aux Meadows historical Viking site.
  • A night at an exceptional lighthouse lodge!

 

ROUTE EXPECTATIONS:

The most challenging trips, these include longer distances, bigger hills, long hikes, exposed paddling, and full days of activity. We recommend a higher degree of fitness and training to make the most of the experience.


There are some big and challenging hikes, which include steep ascents and descents. Relaxed walkers may choose not to climb Gros Morne Mountain, which requires some boulder scrambling. The other hikes are manageable with sturdy footwear and good stamina.


Daily Distance:

  • DAY 1: Introductions; 5 km and/or 14 km
  • DAY 2: Up to 10 km
  • DAY 3: 14 km
  • DAY 4: 6 km
  • DAY 5: 7 km
  • DAY 6: 4 km
  • DAY 7: Farewells

NL: Viking Trail Hike – Elevation Profile:

 


Start: Deer Lake, Holiday Inn Express, 09:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate pickup location if necessary.

Finish: Deer Lake, Holiday Inn Express, 17:00, day seven.

Optional finish at St. Anthony with Provincial Air flight available to St. John’s, Newfoundland. Update: 2022 PAL schedule has changed; now requires waiting a day in St. Anthony. Private charters can be arranged; call us for details.

1

Introductions and Hike Lookout Hill (5km) and/or Tablelands Hike (up to 14km)

Meet in Deer Lake for one hour drive to Gros Morne National Park. Leave luggage at your inn, then become acquainted with the park and warm up your legs for the walks to come with two introductory hikes: The Lookout Trail will take you to the top of Partridgeberry Hill, and will give you an expansive overview of the region. You can see the Tablelands, the coastal lowland, the Long Range Mountains, and Bonne Bay’s picturesque villages of Norris Point and Woody Point. After lunch and a visit to the Discovery Center, hike the Tablelands, an eerie, alien landscape remnant of rock that once lay beneath the ancient Iapetus Ocean, and is now a visible part of the earth’s mantle. This hike along the shores of Trout River Pond Fjord explores this rocky terrain so geologically and naturally unique that it is a key component to Gros Morne National Park’s UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. Mostly treeless because of the toxicity of the soil and the exposed landscape, trees that do survive are stunted and very old. LD (meal inclusions shown for guided trips; self-guided include only breakfasts).

Bonne Bay Inn, Woody Point

2

Green Gardens Hike: Up to 10km; one hour transfer.

Today’s hike takes in the volcanic coastline of Green Gardens, a spectacular walk, partly along the ocean’s edge, where temperate, boreal, and arctic species co-exist. Brook trout and Arctic char find a home together, as do rhododendrons and Lapland Rosebay. The hike traverses an ancient sea floor and descends into a lush boreal forest to a coastline of sea-stacks, cliffs and grassy meadows. At day’s end, transfer around Bonne Bay to Rocky Harbour for the night. BLD

Java Jacks, or; Wildflowers Country Inn, Rocky Harbour

3

Gros Morne Mountain: 15km/8 hour hike; 806m/2600 ft. elevation gain.

A full-day, challenging hike to the top of Gros Morne Mountain, where caribou are sometimes seen in the arctic alpine landscape atop the Long Range Mountains. Rock ptarmigan and arctic hares are also frequently seen. 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! If you would like a less strenuous hiking challenge, there is an option to turn around at the base of the mountain, above the tree line. BL

Same Lodging

4

Western Brook Pond: 6km hike and 2 hour boat tour; Interpretive walk at Broom Point

A transfer north to a coastal lowland walk, across bogs and limestone ridges, takes you to Western Brook Pond fjord, a spectacular freshwater lake hemmed in by 650m high rock walls, where a boat awaits. This fascinating boat tour explores the fjord’s 16km length from which you will see spectacular waterfalls that tumble from the alpine plateau. Afterwards, an interpretive walk at Broom Point will provide the opportunity to learn about the Newfoundland fishing industry of the past, the present, and discuss the fishery of the future. BLD

Sea Breeze B&B, Cow Head; or, Sunrise Cottages, Parsons Pond

5

Transfer north up to 4 hours; Port au Choix hike: 7km; Fishing Point Trails: 90 minutes

On your drive north, your first stop is at Port au Choix – the crossroads of 6000 years of human history. The sea’s bounty drew Maritime Archaic Indian, Dorset and Groswater Palaeoeskimo here long before Europeans arrived. Seals on passing ice floes were hunted by the Dorset and used for food, shelter and clothing. This is a fascinating archaeological find amid a rugged coastline of unique limestone barrens, forests, and bays. You can tour ancient burial sites and settlements, and view original artifacts from slate spears to harpoons. After lunch in Port au Choix, you will transfer all the way up the Northern Peninsula to St. Anthony where numerous short hikes, including the Fishing Point Trails may be enjoyed before sunset. BLD

Grenfell Heritage Hotel & Suites, Saint Anthony

6

L'Anse aux Meadows & Cape Raven Trail

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 Leif 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. Following a picnic lunch and a short hike at Cape Raven (if time permits), the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail you will transfer to Quirpon for a 90 minute Zodiac boat trip* through iceberg alley as you explore the waters around L’Anse Aux Meadows and Quirpon Island. You will learn about the many shipwrecks, deep history, and numerous natural attractions including whales and icebergs in the area. The Zodiac will dock on a private island with fantastic coastal trails, and wide views at your exceptional lighthouse lodging. You may even find ruins of unexcavated Viking sod houses! BLD

Quirpon Island Lighthouse, Quirpon

7

Morning on Quirpon, transfer back to Deer Lake

Spend an early morning exploring more of Quirpon Island before a 5 ¼ hour van transfer back to Deer Lake arriving by 18:00. B

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.

Guided: C 4595 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners, ground transportation, full time guide support, Western Brook Pond boat tour (weather permitting), entrance fees to Gros Morne National Park and L’Anse aux Meadows, Quirpon boat tour, luggage handling, 15% sales tax


Self-Guided: C 4125 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, ground transportation, vehicle transfers to and from hikes, Western Brook Pond boat tour (weather permitting), entrance fee to Gros Morne National Park, luggage handling, 15% sales tax


Self-Drive: C 1995 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 15% sales tax. Does not include vehicle transfers to and from hikes, Western Brook Pond boat tour (weather permitting), entrance fee to Gros Morne National Park, luggage handling.


Single Occupancy: 795


All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


2022 Guided dates:

  • Jul 3-9
  • Jul 24-30
  • Aug 7-13
  • Aug 21-27

2023 Guided dates:

  • Jun 25 – 30
  • Jul 9-14
  • Jul 23-28
  • Aug 6-11
  • Aug 20-25

Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.

Interested in custom or private departures?


Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.

1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.

2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.

 
PLEASE NOTE: Trip Cancellation Insurance is highly recommended. If this is not provided by your credit card or elsewhere, please let us know and we can provide recommendations.

BEFORE & AFTER THE TOUR

Getting There:

If you fly: Fly to Deer Lake Regional Airport (YDF), connecting from an international airport – St. John’s (YYT), Halifax (YHZ), or Toronto (YYZ).

If you drive: Access the province by Marine Atlantic ferries, which operate between North Sydney, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. These superferries carry hundreds of vehicles and passengers to two entry points. There is a year-round, daily service between North Sydney, Nova Scotia and Port aux Basques, in southwestern Newfoundland, and a June to September service operating three days per week between North Sydney and Argentia, Newfoundland (which is a 90-minute drive from the capital city of St. John’s). Please view Marine Atlantic’s website for schedule times, or to reserve your crossing at: www.marineatlantic.ca/en, or call 800-341-7981.

To Do:

If you have one day:

Rent a car and go tidal bore rafting, visit Peggy’s Cove, or explore the waterfront city of Halifax. The Citadel is a good place for a scenic overview, and to learn about its history.

If you have several days:

Extend your trip by joining one of our other rides in Nova Scotia, or the adjacent provinces, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland.

Finish:

Transfer back to Deer Lake at the end of day seven (5 hour). Participants looking to skip the van ride might consider an optional finish at St. Anthony with flights available to St. John’s, Newfoundland operated by Provincial Air (www.provincialairlines.ca). Note that these flights leave St. Anthony late afternoon, and our van leaves as soon as you get ashore. You will have part of the day to relax or visit St. Anthony, and will need to use taxis to get around and to the small airport.

More Reading:


This is a fabulous trip, well suited to intrepid explorers with lots of energy for the hills, distances, and sheer joy of hiking and traveling through such an undeveloped and exciting landscape. You will encounter people whose unabashed friendliness is truly extraordinary.

Begin 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. Climb Gros Morne Mountain and take a boat into a fjord akin to those of Norway. Later, transfer to the remote reaches of the Great Northern Peninsula, to see where the Vikings landed over a millenium ago.

The coastal hikes here are superb, and the final night in a lighthouse, from where whale and iceberg sightings are common, is the jewel on top of a week of breathtaking exploration.