Blow Me Down Provincial Park, Newfoundland

Our trip to Newfoundland had so many highlights, but perhaps our favorite spot, for many reasons, was Blow Me Down Provincial Park, located between between Lark and York Harbor.

For those more adventurous than me, the park offered a stairway to the top of the mountain that met the shore next to the beach area. Wooden steps follwed the edge of the mountain up to the ridgeline. My husband hurried up to the top on our first evening there, taking advantage of the late sunsets of the Newfoundland summer season. At that point the sun did not set till about 9:15 PM. I enjoyed the photos, and was fine with avoiding the steep climb up to the view.

This area was the only place in Newfoundland (that we found) that allowed us to feel comfortable road biking. We took one other ride while on the island but because of limited roads throughout Newfoundland, large trucks often need to use the same roads we tried to access. Ultimately we realized that at least for us, Newfoundland was the place to plan walks and hikes, not biking trips.

Ocean and mountains meet at the shoreline

The dead end nature of the area around Blow Me Down meant we encountered little road traffic. The steep mountainsides meet the shoreline at each of the three adjacent harbors, Lark Harbor (in two seperate spots) and York Harbor. The steep roads in this rugged area meant we had some hard pedaling, but the views were a grand reward for our work.

We spent a week at this aptly named campground and found ourselves often walking down the the beach from where we stayed in our camper. From our campsite, the walk to the beach that is part of the park took us about five to ten minutes, depending on whether we took the the gravel path between the multiple campsites, or the dirt road that day visitors drive on down to the water. Either path is an Easy Walk, and while the dirt road was dusty, it also offered lots of raspberries along the way that made for tasty snacking.

Near sunset at the beach, looking across the water to Blow Me Down mountain

We witnessed a daily show across the water from where we stood. The sun’s last rays light the mountain’s surface with a bright glow. One particular “end of the day” visit allowed us to view a minke whale surfacing perhaps fifty yards offshore. He/she was headed along the shoreline out to the open sea, so we were able to watch as the whale surfaced repeatedly. Each time we spotted the whale’s back slide above the waterline then silently disappear underneath the waves, the local seagulls also noticed and as a flock hurried to the spot the whale had just surfaced. Over and over, seagulls hopscotched in the whale’s wake. We were not the only ones appreciative of the whale’s presence.

Bottlecove was another highlight of this area. A quarter mile long boardwalk along the shoreline provides a delightful stroll along the shoreline, with views of the mountain cliffs that frame the opening to the cove. I found the stairway to the headlands at the cove opening to be precarious, but mananged it with support. On another visit that same week we parked a little farther along the access road to Bottle Cove and stopped at a higher parking area. Once parked we skipped the board walk and enjoyed an Easy Walk out to the same headland at the edge of the ocean.

A lone kittiwake among thousands that wheeled above their nesting cliffs

From this viewpoint we were able to take in views of a kittiwake colony. The unmistakable cries of these pelagic birds in the seagull family offered a truly stunning aural experience in combination with the crashing waves just below where we stood.

On another day’s outing we headed down a dirt road to a river pouring out to the sea. We arrived at low tide, but soon the flow reversed and the rising tide began covering the rocks where we stood. I love witnessing rivers flowing into the sea. We know this happens, but especially in more densely populated areas these rivers often are obscured by manmade structures that alter their path to the sea. We saw many of these unobstructed rivers and streams on our journey, but this was one where we could stand on the riverbank to watch the tide’s progress as it pushed the river backwards until once again the tide receeded, allowing the river to flow freely once again.

For those more sure of foot than I am, the area around Lark Harbor offers some very challenging trails. Stunning views, for sure, but quite steep. My husband explored a trail that required ropes to scale the mountain trail he followed. Cedar Cove trail began at Lark Harbor, and provided some great views of a kittiwake colony, but there is no easy access to this trail.

Our travels took us to two more notable areas–Gros Morne National Park, and the Twillingate area. That’s for next time. Until then, Happy trails!

Marjorie

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks, Finding the Sacred in Everyday (and some very strange) Places.

She has written for numerous local, regional, and national publications over the past 20+ years, has helped many families save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.

2 Comments

Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

2 responses to “Blow Me Down Provincial Park, Newfoundland

  1. Wonderful tour and stunning photos! Thanks!

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