Main River Run (73 km)

The Main River Run is located on the southeastern side of the Great Northern Peninsula in White Bay. You can reach it from Route 1 via Route 420. One of the highlights is the Main River, surging 57 kilometres, it will test even the most experienced whitewater paddler and is a designated Canadian Heritage River.

Take Route 420 off Route 1 to Sandy Lake

The Main River Run is located in a transition zone between the mountainous Viking Trail and coastal areas of the Dorset Trail.

At the intersection of Route 420 and Route 1 is the head of Sandy Lake where a mere century ago a great caribou herd, 10,000-strong, travelled inland on its yearly migration from the Northern Peninsula to the Central Inland Plateau. This herd, now smaller, still crosses the barrens yearly.

White pine from Sandy Lake was harvested by British navy shipbuilders for vessel construction during the early 19th century. During the latter part of that century, a disease called White Pine Blister Rust wiped out most of the stands of that species in this province, although a few of these beautiful coniferous trees still grow near Sandy Lake.

Two moose captured in Nova Scotia were released in this area, near Howley on Route 401, in 1878. In the Gander Bay area of Eastern Newfoundland, four moose of seven captured in New Brunswick were introduced in 1904. From these small beginnings has grown a moose population now numbering more than 120,000, covering the entire island of Newfoundland.

Located on Route 420 and 421 is Main River Run

This area is heavily forested and has plenty of fast running rivers. There are few communities here, but you can relax or camp overnight at Sop's Arm Park, a small picturesque campground and picnic area on the delta adjacent to the mouth of a scheduled salmon river. The park is near the Main River, designated a Canadian Heritage River, a short, fast-moving river that will test the skills of the most experienced canoeist, kayaker or white water rafter.

You can travel the entire 57-kilometre length of the river in three or four days. This is a wild, turbulent river with significant and abrupt changes of gradient, channel width and direction. Be prepared to portage some sections. Access to the headwaters is by air. This area also presents outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities, including moose, caribou, fox, lynx and 90 species of birds.

At the end of Route 420 is Jackson's Arm

Jackson's Arm is a good place to see whales and icebergs. A fishing community founded only 150 years ago, its main employer is a crab processing plant.

Pick up Route 421 from 420 to Hampden

Route 421 branches off Route 420 to the logging and fishing community of Hampden, which was settled in the late 1860s. Here and at Beaches, Rooms and Bayside you will find more than your share of the hospitality, warmth and down-to-earth good humour Newfoundlanders are famous for.