5 Reasons to Explore Terra Nova National Park

Although there are now four National Parks in Newfoundland and Labrador, the establishment of Terra Nova in 1957 was the first, and a celebrated milestone for Canada’s newest province. On the eastern side of the island, the mix of rich boreal forest, palatial fjords, seaside camping, and hiking trails for any experience level makes the park a wonderful and rewarding adventure – like most things in Newfoundland and Labrador.

As you find yourself driving along the highway in this area, here are five reasons to stop and explore.


Waters edge camping site
oTENTik Glamping Tent Site

Parks Canada offers a glamping (glamorous camping) experience in the form of oTENTiks. What is an oTENTik? It’s a permanent canvas and wood framed tent, with plenty of amenities that enhance the classic camping experience. Relax in comfort without sacrificing the serenity and rejuvenation that camping in the wilderness provides. Parks Canada currently offers glamping at Newman Sound and Malady Head – both have the oTENTiks with beds, chairs, tables, and heat and light. Malady Head in particular offers another level of serene seclusion, and includes woodstoves to keep you warm on your glamping adventure.

Seaside Camp in Southwest Arm 

Seaside Camping in Southwest Arm

If the idea of glamping is a little too refined, then there is another campsite in Southwest Arm which might kindle your campfire. Imagine waking up to the waves lapping the shoreline, having coffee over a campfire, and going for a morning paddle, all from your seaside campsite.

Overnight Canoe Trip 

Setting up camp on an overnight canoe trip

For the adventurer, Terra Nova also offers an overnight canoe trip into the wilderness of the park. Starting at Sandy Pond with a portage to Beachy and Dunphy Ponds, you can gently paddle to your overnight campsite. The park can rent you all the gear and equipment you’ll need.

Sheltered Waters 

Sea kayaking on the calm and sheltered waters of Newman Sound

Newfoundland and Labrador is an unrivalled place to dip your paddle. If you have always wanted to go sea kayaking, the fjords of Terra Nova are well protected from Bonavista Bay. Newman Sound in particular has tranquil waters perfect for a laid back paddle. You can rent a kayak and go out with a tour operator from the Visitor Centre, or launch your own kayak.

The Sea to Summit Hike 

Taking in the view at the top of Mount Stamford

A good hike in a place like Terra Nova is cathartic. The ocean stretching out for miles, osprey in flight, and moose and mink in the forest make for an unforgettable experience. The Sea to Summit Hike is an amazing journey of discovery. It involves a water taxi, a resplendent view, and five kilometres of challenging hiking. If you start out early, you can achieve a day's worth of activity and be back in time for lunch.


If you want to know about Terra Nova National Park, click here to see more photos and learn about all the adventure waiting for you in Newfoundland and Labrador's first National Park.

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