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A visit to the Port au Choix, Hawke’s Bay

21 Sep 2010 by Peter Bull in Culture , History and Parks
Region: Western

By Peter Bull, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

In late August, my sons Ronan, Cormac and I took a visit to the Port au Choix, Hawke's Bay area of the Great Northern Peninsula. We started our day with a visit to Parks Canada's National Historic Site at Point Riche. The visitor center there contains many artefacts dating back over the past 5000 years. After learning about the cultural history we set out for the point's light house to take in some of the area's natural history. The shoreline at Point Riche is littered with fossils and the lads had a great time playing palaeontologist "discovering" many different kinds of petrified life forms.

We left this fine beach to find another outside the town of Port au Choix for a picnic. Our "table" was a mass of fossils which made for interesting dinning conversation.

After lunch we went to the Torrent River Salmon Interpretation Center, just north of the town of Hawke's Bay. It is on this river that the province's first fish ladder was constructed. Incorporated in the ladder is a viewing area where migrating Atlantic salmon can be seen. Despite visiting late in the season, there were still many salmon in the viewing area. After a great explanation of salmon life from one of the center's interpreters, we took a short hike and soaked our feet in the river.

This short visit showed us that there is much more to see and do in this part of the Province. Some fantastic hiking trails which go over the limestone barrens were missed on this trip, but will certainly be traversed the next time we are in the area. Many people drive past Port au Choix on their way from Gros Morne to Lanse aux Meadows. I strongly suggest that visitors set aside a day or two to explore this unique part of Newfoundland and Labrador.