Be a Tourist in your own Province – South Coast of Labrador
Growing up i always went to other places for vacation, or we went to the Burin Peninsula on the Island of NL. Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, but we never really toured Labrador where we’re from. SO a few years ago we decided to be tourists in our own province. We decided that since we wanted to visit Sheena’s family on the south coast we would head to the South Coast of Labrador. Sheena has lived there her whole life and hadn’t really done the Touristy stuff.
So we arrived on the coast and now what? We headed south to the Border to Blac Sablon, which is actually on the Que Side of the border. We traveled the road to its very end to Old Fort Que. It was a beautiful drive with loads of Rocky coastal terrain.
We turned around then and headed back north, we decided to use Forteau as out base of operations. Forteau was a great place to start. All along the the south coast there are amazing rock formations.
Flat rocky formations near Forteau Labrador.
Next on our tour was the L’Anse-Amour Lighthouse. Unfortunately we went late in the year and the site officially was closed to the public. But we still got to look around the grounds and see the Lighthouse. This lighthouse comes in second in all of Canada, for Height, at 125 feet. There is information about the Maritime Archaic people who lived on the site up to 5000 years ago.
L’Anse-Amour Light house
We stopped in L’Anse-au-Loup for a coffee. Dot’s Bakery has a great selection of home baked goods, and serves great home cooked meals. We stopped to do a little geocaching and like often happens while we’re geocaching, we found something spectacular. There’s a beautiful Beach hidden in the town.
Beach in L’Anse-au-Loup
When you leave L’Anse-au-Loup you will pass through the Pinware River provincial park. This area has some great hiking, camping and fishing. (Make sure you have the proper permits if you want to cast a hook) For you Overlanders, there’s a whole section of “Old” highway that is still passable (As of 2019 anyways) that meets up with the new highway. Anyone going the normal way, be prepared for a climb and make sure your breaks are working, you’ll see what i mean.
Red Bay is your last stop for gas on the highway before you head to Port Hope Simpson. The town has a buttload of historical information about the Basque Whaling colony that existed there between 1530 and the early 17th century. The historical society has there some really amazing displays and a boat tour that you gotta take advantage of.
As you head north you will drive through Lodge Bay and then Mary’s Harbour. The home of the annual Crab festival, this is also where you board the ferry to the Historical community of Battle Harbour. Battle harbour is a whole community that has been restored back to when it was a major fishing Hub back in the turn of the century. It has accommodations at the site and you can do a day tour or choose to spend the night, and enjoy an authentic local meal. Cloud Nine Tours can offer you a private tour of the area, if you’re lucky you might see some whales or “Windjumpers”
Marconi Towers – Battle Harbour
Some of the restored homes
A view from the water
When you leave Mary’s Harbour and continue north, you will travel through St Lewis Inlet, and them to the St Lewis Junction. After a short drive off the main highway you will enter the Village of St Lewis. This first picture shows why St. Lewis was a point of interest for me. Being that i love to drive, driving to the farthest point East you can possible drive on mainland Canada peaked my interest. St Lewis used to be called Fox Harbour, and many of the locals still call it that. Like many of the communities on the south coast it was settled in the 18th century. Along with being a historical fishing/sealing village it was also home to an American Radar station (Part of the Pinetree Line for you WW2 buffs) in the 1950s and more recently a Canadian Coast Guard Radio Post.
There’s a scenic walking trail just outside the village.
One of my favorite stops on the TLH 510 is the small town of Port Hope Simpson. That might be because my Wife’s family lives there. The town sits along the Alexis river and isn’t a fishing community like you might assume. The town was established in the 1930’s as a logging town. We enjoy salmon fishing and hunting along the rivers and old logging roads that sprawl out from the community. DON’T FORGET if you’re traveling from Port Hope to Goose Bay this is the last place you can get gas… Fuel up!
Some of the salmon we caught on the Alexis river.
Out doing some trout fishing with the family
One of PHS’s hidden Gems, Bobby’s Pond. Great for camping and Swimming.
A shot from Long Point after a freak snow/rain storm, taken 2 mins from the community.
If you keep exploring north, you’ll come to Charlottetown Junction. If you go this way, you’re end up in Charlottetown and Pinsent’s arm. These communities are sustained mainly by the local shrimp plant. That’s about as far as we explored… so far. You can still make a detour and head out to Cartwright, I understand there you can pick up a kayak tour of the Wonderstrands, a huge section of beach that some say is mention in the saga of Erik the Red.
We’ve also toured Goose Bay and Churchill Falls in the interior of Labrador. That may be a post for another time. We really enjoyed being tourists in our own province and the South Coast of Labrador has some really breathtaking views. If you hit at the right time of you year you may get to see Whales or Icebergs, maybe take part in the Crab Festival or do a little salmon fishing.
The road is still being upgraded, with the Majority of the south coast now being paved/repaved. If you continue farther, be prepared for a couple hundred KMs of dirt road. Oh and don’t forget it’s just as amazing in the winter but be prepared, I’ve been through 4 Blizzards crossing Labrador in my Jeep. It can be nerve racking if you’re not ready.
Here’s a little video i prepared about crossing Labrador. Don’t be too critical it was one of my first attempts.
By the Way, of you have an article that you think is Labrador/Offroad/Overlanding related and you think it fits this site send me an e-mail with your idea. I would love to have submissions from others about their experiences.