If you were hoping to take a trip to the Canadian island often referred to as "the Rock," consider bringing your RV for a stay at Newfoundland's Notre Dame Provincial Park. It's a fantastic place to enjoy true, old-fashioned Canadian hospitality.
Notre Dame Provincial Park is located in Central Newfoundland. Its closest town, Notre Dame Junction, is 1 km (less than 1 mile) from the park grounds, and this beloved recreational area is 41 km (25 miles) from Gander, a larger metropolitan center. This park and campground is the ideal spot for a quick overnight while travelling along the Transcanada Highway on route to the province's capital city of St. John's. This park rests along the coast of Junction Pond and is well-marked by a thick grouping of coniferous trees and a dense covering of boreal forest.
A true wilderness experience, Notre Dame Provincial Park is a treasure trove of unusual plant and animal life. The forest itself is full of abundant tree varieties including black spruce, balsam fir, white birch, and tamarack. In the summer months, wildflowers litter the landscape; several of which are unique to Newfoundland including the bunchberry and crowberry. Other popular plants found at this park include blueberry bushes and honeysuckle.
A wide number of animal species also frequent this awe-inspiringly beautiful park. A simple hike through the forest may unearth moose, beavers, snowshoe hares, ruffled grouse, common loons, or even pine grosbeak. The region is home to over 100 species of birds, making it a veritable birdwatcher's paradise.
Notre Dame Provincial Park was founded in 1960. Formerly the home of a large industrial logging site owned by the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company (today known as Abitibi Prince), the land was donated by the owners of the business for use as a provincial park in 1959.
For a relaxing experience in the Canadian wilderness, plan to enjoy your next RV adventure at Newfoundland's Notre Dame Provincial Park. You'll have an amazing time in the Great White North.
The trip from Notre Dame Junction to Notre Dame Provincial Park is quite short at only 2.9 km (2 miles). To reach the park, begin by travelling northwest toward NL-340 S. Take a left hand turn onto NL-340 S. Follow the traffic onto Transcanada Hwy/NL 1E. Take a right hand turn. Shortly down the road, you will spot Notre Dame Provincial Park on the left hand side. This route travels along roads that are mostly two lanes. Traffic moves well, and the roads are kept in good condition year-round. Do be alert for the presence of wildlife; deer and moose in particular. Road construction occurs on occasion, so be prepared for delays.
To get to the park from Gander, you will travel 45 km (28 miles) in total. The route to Notre Dame Provincial Park is quite direct from this city. Simply follow the Transcanada Hwy/NL-1 W until you reach the first major exit on the right. The park is located directly to the left of the road. This stretch of highway is more heavily congested but still consists of only two lanes. Traffic progresses at a decent pace, and the roads are kept clear at all times of the year. Road construction occurs in season, and wildlife does sometimes make an appearance on the road, so it is advisable that all motorists remain alert to avoid an accident.
It should be noted that Newfoundland is an island. To gain access to the island for travel to the park, you must take a ferry from North Sydney, Nova Scotia (located on Cape Breton Island). The only alternate route onto the island is via plane.
Parking is available at the entrance to Notre Dame Provincial Park.
Due to the park's remote location, there is no public transportation available to Notre Dame Provincial Park.
Notre Dame Provincial Park is home to a campground that offers 100 camping sites that are available year-round. Reservations are highly recommended. Of the 100 campsites, many offer stunning views of Junction Pond. Electric hookups are available, but these sites do go quickly, so be sure to reserve a spot early to guarantee a site with power.
Each campsite is complete with a firepit, a picnic table, and a garbage can. There is also ample room to park a vehicle. Notre Dame Provincial Park Campground offers many amenities including drinking water, toilets, showers, firewood, and a laundromat. This camping facility is within walking distance of a large sand beach and is also home to a playground for children to enjoy. On the property, there is also a small concession stand offering snacks and drinks for sale and a sewage dumping station.
Among the most popular activities at this park and campground are swimming, fishing, and boating. Winter attractions include snowshoeing and skiing.
Dogs are permitted on the premises but must remain leashed. Generator use is allowed.
For families hoping to enjoy some swimming during their trip to Notre Dame Provincial Park, they will not be disappointed. The property is located just a short walk from a beautiful stretch of beach. In keeping with most of Newfoundland, the shoreline is rugged and composed of rock in parts, so families will definitely need to bring along appropriate footwear to prevent injury. There is also a large section of rich sand coast that is the perfect spot for beachcombing or simply relaxing with a good book.
The waters are crisp and refreshing at this beach. Lifeguard service is not available, so families should exercise caution when swimming and avoid being in the water when the weather is inclement. Dogs are permitted on the beach but must remain leashed.
Water sports are an extremely popular activity at Notre Dame Provincial Park's beach. With an abundant sand coast from which to launch a boat, it is the perfect spot to meander into the waters. Families can enjoy paddling their cares away in their canoe or kayak. The waters are also amenable to jetskis, paddleboards, and even surfing when the weather conditions are right.
Since the lake waters teem with fish, why not take a chance at reeling in the catch of the day? Bring along drinking water and a snack to keep hunger and thirst at bay.
The fishing is fine at the beach located alongside Notre Dame Provincial Park. Families can cast their lines out on the water directly from the shore or paddle out in a canoe or kayak to try their hand at reeling in "the big one."
The atmosphere at Notre Dame Provincial Park's beach is quite serene, making it the ideal spot for some R&R while out on the boat in search of fish. Bring along some drinking water and a few snacks to enjoy.
Since each campsite is equipped with a firepit, families can fillet their haul and grill up a seafood feast for all to enjoy.
Notre Dame Provincial Park is still a great place to visit when the snow begins to fly. The area maintains several groomed ski trails and is home to a chalet where families can warm up after a vigorous skiing session on the slopes. Cross country skiing is also a popular activity. The same heavily forested trails that are the ideal hiking spot in the summer are an excellent place to work up an appetite in the winter.
Bundle up warmly as Newfoundland winters can be quite cold and damp. Be sure to bring some drinking water to remain hydrated.
Notre Dame Provincial Park maintains several trails that are excellent for snowshoeing during the winter months. A journey through the boreal forest on snow shoes is tranquil and refreshingly beautiful when covered with a fresh blanket of snow.
Keep an eye for the abundance of wildlife that makes the forest their home. Many different species can be spotted including foxes, deer, and moose.
Bring along some drinking water and snacks and be sure to dress in layers to remain warm and protected from the elements.
Photography is an immensely popular pastime at Notre Dame Provincial Park. With the rich diversity of the boreal forest, the incredible colors of wildflowers in bloom, and the abundance of indigenous plant and animal life, this park is a treasure trove of photographic opportunity for the amateur and professional alike.
Be on the lookout for rare Newfoundland blooms such as the crowberry and bunchberry which blossom in the summer months. Blueberry bushes and honeysuckle can also be seen in warmer weather.
With over 100 varieties of birds frequenting the park, there are many opportunities to capture different species on film. Among the animals that also make this park their home are moose, rabbits, loons, and beavers.