Whether you’re staying for a few days, or a couple of weeks — a winter vacation on Canada’s easternmost province is sure to bring laughter, joy, adventure, snow, cold and memories to last a lifetime.
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1. Spend a week at Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park is one of the highlights of any visit to Newfoundland. Open year-round, it’s one of Canada’s largest national parks and in the winter, despite the cold and snow, it’s as alive as ever. There are over 50km of skiing trails, some groomed, some ungroomed to keep things interesting. There are also a myriad number of ski huts, so if you wanted to turn your skiing into something of an expedition, that’s a possibility as well. There are also opportunities to winter camp in the park. Gros Morne has earned the reputation of being one of the best year-round national parks on the East Coast, and with good reason — don’t miss out on it because it’s cold and snowy outside, that is where the adventure lies.
2. Winter Adventures in Corner Brook
Marble Mountain Ski Resort is THE place to go for skiing getaways in Newfoundland and Labrador. Situated on the west side of Newfoundland, it can be found right off the Trans-Canada Highway and is home to all the amenities you would expect of a ski resort. The resort comes complete with accommodation and ski rentals, including lessons. There are various packages that you can purchase, if you’re looking to make things simpler for yourself. Of course, Marble Mountain doesn’t just offer skiing, in fact, it is a veritable outdoor winter paradise — with all sorts of activities on offer for you and your family, from snowmobiling to zip-lining. For those of you who like to spend time on the slopes, or just out-of-doors generally in winter, spend a few days at Marble Mountain!
Corner Brook is home to a labyrinth of caves, and while you can explore these in the summer, winter is by far the best time of year to do this — because it is so very different. Instead of stalactites and stalagmites, you’re greeted often with merely frozen ice shards — the snow and ice having an unbelievably cool effect on the rock inside the caves. Winter hiking in Corner Brook just got a whole lot more interesting, with scenic trip down Corner Brook gorge culminating in a three-hour tour of the cave system, conducted by Cycle Solutions Caving Tours.
If you want more adventure, then head to Marble Ziptours and zip from the top of Marble Mountain – travel onto nine different zip lines, for a total of about 2000 feet long and 285 feet high over humber valley!
3. A Snowmobile Getaway
If you’re one of the lucky ones to own the snow-equivalent of an all-terrain-vehicle, then Newfoundland is definitely the destination to bring that piece of equipment. There are over 5,000 km of trails to choose from on the island, with far more accessible backcountry trails as well. The landscape of Newfoundland is also very diverse and a totally new experience in winter. From mountain-top views of sweeping snow-topped trees in the valley below to frozen bodies of water dotting the coast, experiencing Newfoundland in the winter from the seat of a snowmobile is one of the best experiences of one’s life.
4. Experience St. John’s
St. John comes alive in the winter, in spite of the cold and snow. Bannerman Park is home to a huge skating rink known as “The Loop”. There is also an opportunity to fly high (and fast) on a zipline with North Atlantic Ziplines ( 20 minutes from downtown St. John’s at Petty Harbour) — beauty is everywhere along the St. John’s Coastline. Each tour has ten lines and is suitable for up to fifteen people. Like watching high-speed sports instead of participating? That’s OK! St. John’s is home to the St. John’s IceCaps, the affiliate of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. Their home games are played at the Mile One Centre. If you to go skiing, then Pippy Park is an urban park located on the northern boundary of St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. Pippy Park offers both downhill and cross-country skiing through unkempt trails through dense woodland. It’s location makes Pippy Park your perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Newfoundland’s capital city.
5. Spend a week at Tuckamore Lodge!
Tuckamore Lodge at L’Anse aux Meadows harkens back to the time of the Viking landings in Newfoundland and Labrador. Situated along the Viking Trail, Tuckamore Lodge also provides some excellent animal sightseeing opportunities, for those who love wildlife photography, be sure to bring your camera and long lenses! Not only are you spoiled with wildlife photographing opportunities, the staff and master chef at Tuckamore Lodge will feed you a delicious traditional meal every day. You’ll also be accomodated in rustic cabins with unique reminders of Newfoundland’s Norse heritage.
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