Terra Nova National Park
Guide

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Introduction

Experience the magic of Newfoundland in your RV with a visit to the beautiful Terra Nova National Park. Terra Nova National Park is Canada’s most easterly National Park. It's renowned for great adventuring opportunities and some of the most pristine coastline and inland areas that consist of rolling exposed rock faces, rolling hills and wetlands.

The park was first established in 1957 and was the first declared National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador. The park is huge and encompasses 98,560 acres (398.858 square kilometers). The majority of the park is mostly old growth forest with trees that range from roughly 10 to 20 years of age. Due to the island location the park has struggled with mammal populations and there are only nine known mammals to now exist on the island.

Terra Nova National Park is an outdoor playground for both families and those seeking adventure. There are many activities available for you to enjoy during your visit, including a touch tank to interact with marine creatures, guided hikes, open-air theater productions, sea kayaking and canoeing at Sandy Pond.

RV camping is available at two different campgrounds within the park. Newman Sound Campground is the largest of the two and is known to be the heart of the park. If you are looking for a more quiet camping experience you can also stay at the rustic Malady Head Campground. Peak season in Terra Nova National Park runs from May until October.

RV Rentals in Terra Nova National Park

Transportation in Terra Nova National Park

Driving

Terra Nova National Park is located in eastern Newfoundland and is classified as a remote park. The most popular way for people to get to the park is to take a ferry from Nova Scotia or Quebec. Once you arrive on the island the park is accessible via the Trans-Canada Highway Route One. Since the park is quite remote there are no major towns or cities located close by. The park is approximately 124 miles (200 kilometers) west of St. John's, 56 miles (90 kilometers) east of Gander and 105 miles (169 kilometers) from Argentia.

Due to how remote the park is we recommend that you stock up on all supplies well in advance of beginning your journey to the park. Once you arrive near the park entrance you should have no trouble finding it as it is located right off the highway. During the winter time it can be very difficult to access the park and the majority of the parks services including the campground closes down. If you are interested in visiting with an RV during the winter make sure you contact park staff before your trip so they can advise as to if there are any road or park closures that will affect your journey.

Parking

There is plenty of parking available at Terra Nova National Park.

Public Transport

Unfortunately there are no public transport options that will take you to Terra Nova National Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Terra Nova National Park

Campsites in Terra Nova National Park

Reservations camping

Malady Head

Malady Head is the smaller of the two campgrounds available within Terra Nova National Park and is known as being the campground favored by those wanting a more quiet stay in the park . The campground is much smaller compared to Newman Sound and has 85 primitive sites that can accommodate RVs.

The campground is known for being kept in really good condition and there are some great amenities available despite its smaller size. These include washroom, picnic area, picnic tables, grills, fire pits, playground and a dump station. The campground is also pet friendly and features some areas where generator use is allowed.

The campground is open from mid June until mid September each year. This is a shorter camping season compared to Newman Sound. Reservations are available online or over the phone and after hours registration can be done at the kiosk within the campground. During the winter there is no access to the campground at all. For more information about camping you can contact the park office.

Newman Sound

Newman Sound is the largest of the two campgrounds available within Terra Nova National Park and is known as being the heart of the park. The campground is quite large and features over 260 sites that can accommodate RVs. Plenty of the sites within Newman Sound also have electrical connections and the facilities are world class.

The campground is known for being kept in really good condition and there are some great amenities available. These include showers, toilets, laundry facilities, picnic tables, grills, fire pits, small grocery store and a dump station. The campground is also pet friendly and features some areas where generator use is allowed.

The campground is open from mid May until mid October each year. Reservations are available online or over the phone and after hours registration can be done at the kiosk. During the winter there is no access to the campground at all. For more information about camping you can contact the park office.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Terra Nova National Park

In-Season

Amphitheater Events

Once the sun goes down during the summertime at Terra Nova National Park the amphitheater comes alive with some great performances that will keep you entertained all night long. The events and shows range from night to night, with Forest Idol always being popular. Each week, the audience will pick Terra Nova's one and only Forest Idol. Another popular night time event is the campfire concerts.

Boating

The pond also doubles as a great place for you to go out on if you aren't interested in going in it. Paddling around on a canoe or kayak are very popular activities and are suitable for people of all ages. If you are feeling more adventurous you can also take on some sea and river kayaking which will give you the chance to discover even more of the natural beauty that the park has to offer. Contact the park office to confirm that kayaks and canoes are available to rent if you do not have one.

Swimming

The sandy shores of Sandy Pond is the place to be at Terra Nova National Park if you are looking at taking a relaxing dip during your stay. The pond is a fantastic place for you to take a swim but don't just go diving in as the waters are quite shallow. There will be no lifeguards on duty at the swimming area in the pond so make sure that you swim to your abilities. For more information regarding swimming you can contact the park office.

Off-Season

Birding

The 50 miles of hiking trails also double as some fantastic terrain to get out the binoculars and do some birding. The park attracts many different birds throughout the year with shorebirds being very common once you are in and around the waters of the park. The park also lays claim to having the largest population of Atlantic Puffins with people coming from all over to check out these cute creatures. If you time your trip right you may also be able to spot some whales too!

Hiking

If you love to hike then you will love Terra Nova National Park. The park has 11 different hiking trails that are available for you to explore during your stay that range from very easy to difficult. In total the trails make up around 50 miles (80km) of total trail length so there is no chance of you running out of areas for you to check out. If you are pressed for time we recommend the Mill Cove Lookout Trail that will take you around 30 mins and end with a mesmerizing view of Mill Cove.

Fishing

No matter what time of year it is fishing is always a very popular activity to do at Terra Nova National Park. The park has different rules and regulations in place depending on the type of fish species that you are targeting. Once the waters start to freeze up ice fishing is also allowed and proves to be a hit for those who can brave the chilly weather. For more information regarding fishing rules and regulations contact the park website.

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