Newfoundland is home to a number of beautiful Parks Canada national parks, nature areas, and historic sites that you’ll want to enjoy during your visit! In this article, we’ll take a look at all of the Parks Canada sites within Newfoundland from east-to-west.
If you’re exploring the whole country and have purchased a Parks Canada Discovery Pass for the season, you’ll be able to use it for admission to the various Parks Canada sites within Newfoundland.
Cape Spear Lighthouse
On North America and Canada’s most easterly point of land sits the oldest lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador. Here you can get a glimpse of history, hike the trails, and whale watch.
Originally built in 1836, the Cape Spear Lighthouse was maintained by human lightkeepers for many years. Though it is now automated, the inside has been restored and you can experience what life was like as a lightkeeper in the 19th century.
At this site you can also see some remnants of Fort Cape Spear, dating back to World War 2.
Not far from Cape Spear is the Signal Hill National Historic Site. Perhaps most famously known as the site where Guglielmo Marconi received the world’s first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901, there is a rich history at Signal Hill. It was the site of St. John’s harbour defences beginning in the 17th century and there’s plenty to see. You can also enjoy the hiking trails, plus take in a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and the city itself.
Take a look at life in the mid-20th century at the Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site located in Brigus. Hawthorne Cottage was the home of arctic explorer Captain Bob Bartlett, built in 1830.
The Castle Hill National Historic Site overlooks Placentia. You’ll explore a stone fort dating back to when British and French forces fought on the shores of Newfoundland and learn about the historic battles that took place.
On the shores of Bonavista Harbour, you’ll find the Ryan Premises National Historic Site. Learn about the 500-year story of Newfoundland’s fishery and enjoy breathtaking views.
There’s much more to see in the Bonavista area which has seen an uptick in tourist activity and permanent residents in recent years. You’ll likely want to spend a night or two in the area to ensure you have time to take everything in!
Terra Nova National Park
The first of two national parks in Newfoundland is Terra Nova. Canada’s most easterly national park has a treasure of nature, hiking trails, sea, and beauty waiting for you.
Within the park there are two campgrounds, Malady Head and Newman Sound. Whether you camp in a tent, RV, or if you seek a bigger challenge such as backcountry camping, there’s a place for you. Within Terra Nova you’ll also find other style accommodations such as cabins.
On the western side of Newfoundland sits UNESCO World Heritage Site Gros Morne National Park. Perhaps most well-known for its hiking trails, Gros Morne offers wildlife, mountains, seaside communities, and is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Port au Choix
Rounding out the list of Parks Canada sites in Newfoundland is Port au Choix National Historic Site. Highlighting 6000 years of history, you’ll learn about the people who lived here long before European settlers.
Whether you’re visiting Parks Canada sites within Newfoundland or the entire country, you may discover red chairs in some surprising places! These have been placed by Parks Canada for your enjoyment. If you find some, be sure to take a seat and relax, and share a picture on social media with hash tag #Sharethechair.
And there you have it! A rundown of the fantastic Parks Canada locations within Newfoundland that you must explore during your visit. For more help planning your stay, check out our 5 Must See Attractions in Newfoundland and more details on camping.