Attractions in Newfoundland:
Cape Ray is a small community of just 342 people, which has been settled since the mid 19th century. It is located on the South West Coast of Newfoundland between Port aux Basques and Codroy Valley, off the Trans Canada Highway on Route 408. When arriving on the ferry in Port aux Basques, Cape Ray is just a 15-minute car ride away. If arriving by air, the closest airport is located in Stephenville, which is approximately 1.5 hours away.
Port aux Basques, the largest community on the South West Coast, is where most people work and do their shopping. The closest city to the South West Coast that has more than 10,000 people is Corner Brook, which is approximately 2 hours away. See map
• Tour the Cape Ray Lighthouse and visit the Craft Shop and Museum. The museum contains artifacts from the nearby Dorset Paleoeskimo archaeological site.
• Take in a relaxing day at the beach. The South West Coast has a 16 km stretch of white sandy beaches and Cape Ray has one km of it. Also, while on the beach admire the Piping Plover, an endangered shorebird. To learn more about the Piping Plover, please call (709) 695–7222.
• Enjoy the water shed, where you can experience a refreshing taste of nature at its best. Many people come from all areas to partake in this good fortune.
• Spend a day at the family resource center, and experience a small community at its best.
Port aux Basques
Port aux Basques is the largest community and is considered the hub of the Southwest Coast. The smaller communities use Port aux Basques for its commercial, retail, professional, recreational, and other related services. Zone 10 offers the amenities of any modern region, while providing a pleasant quality of life. As the main "Gateway to Newfoundland," Port aux Basques provides an essential ferry service to Newfoundland and mainland Canada. In addition to the region being a prime business location, it is also a place to build a healthier lifestyle, with a pristine environment, clean air and water, available housing and land at favorable prices and friendly people. The area is home to four lighthouses and some picturesque scenery with million year old mountains on one end and the ocean on the other end.
Located approximately 35 kilometres north east of Port aux Basques on the Trans Canada Highway, With its combination of mountains, rugged coastline, waterways, rolling hills, and fertile farm land, the valley has some of the most spectacular and varied scenery on the island. Covering an area of over 100 sq. kilometres, the Codroy Valley is comprised of 15 smaller communities and has a total population of approximately 2,200 people. The individual community names are: Coal Brook, O'Regans, South Branch, Searston, Benoits Siding, St. Andrew's, Doyles, Tompkins, Upper Ferry, Woodville, Great Codroy, Codroy, Loch Lomond, Cape Anguille, and Millville. See map.
The first settlers in the area were the Acadians who were expelled from ‘‘Eastern Canada" in the late 1700's. They were followed, in 1825, by Scottish settlers from Cape Breton who were displeased with the Nova Scotia government's proposed tax on large land grants. The large numbers of Scottish names, such as McIsaac, MacDonald, and McNeil are the result of this migration. The Scottish influence in the area was strong right into this century, as Gaelic was spoken by many in the community until the mid 1900's.
Margaree and Fox Roost
Separated only by a church, school and community centre, the charming fishing villages of Margaree and Fox Roost are accessible by road and have a combined population of approximately 300 people. The exact origin of the name Margaree is not known, but it may be named after Margaree, Cape Breton, an area from which a large number of people came to South West Newfoundland. See map.
Nor is the origin of the unusual name Fox Roost known, however world renowned author Farley Mowat claims that it is a corruption of the French name "Fosse Rouge", meaning "red gully" or "red ditch". With the narrow gully at Fox Roost and having been visited by the Basques and French Fishermen from the 16th century, Mowat's assumption is believable.
Isle aux Morts
With a population of 919 in 1996, Burnt Islands is located half way between Port aux Basques and Rose Blanche. The community is made up of a mainland settlement and an island settlement, which were joined in the 1950's by a causeway. The island portion was a part of the area comprising the American Treaty Shore. As with most settlements in the area, fishing is the principal occupation, although the community supported a lumber industry and a fish glue plant at one time.
Leading navigation lights erected on two sloping red and white towers were constructed in 1915 as initial marine aids and were later supplemented by a fog alarm system in 1929. In 1977 gold deposits were discovered in three zones along a 1.5 km (1 mi) route of Burnt Island Pond. Housed with wharfs, stages and boats, Burnt Islands is a great place to explore a traditional Newfoundland outport. The raw beauty of the area can be fully appreciated by taking a stroll around the community and talking to the friendly locals.
Just on the South West Coast of Newfoundland resides a small community known as Rose Blanche.
Rose Blanche is a small community located on the South West Coast of Newfoundland.
Permanent settlment occurred in the 1800's, probably because of its sheltered harbours and its close location to fishing grounds. Today, Rose Blanche is home to approximately 680 people. See map.
Rose Blanche is approximately a 45-minute drive on Route 470 from Channel - Port aux Basques, the largest community on the South West Coast. The name Rose Blanche either came from its French meaning "white rose" or some say it was once Roche Blanche meaning "white rock" and over time it changed through the speech of locals and foreigners.
Fishing was once the primary industry in Rose Blanche until the collapse in Cod stocks in 1992. Today, many residents are employed in the service industry in the town of Port aux Basques, while others leave the province to find seasonal work elsewhere.
Rose Blanche has a lot to offer, from its beautiful scenery, to its astounding history. Visit the Rose Blanche Lighthouse, the only remaining Granite Lighthouse in Atlantic Canada. This Lighthouse was fully restored in 1999 to its original structure, which dates back to 1873. It is the only Lighthouse in the province of Newfoundland with Registered Heritage Structure status. The first Saturday in August is considered Provincial Lighthouse Day, which is celebrated every year in Rose Blanche.
To arrive in Rose Blanche, you can drive and also in the wintertime, you can snowmobile. There is a taxi service located in Port aux Basques, which travels to Rose Blanche. The closest major city is Corner Brook, which is approximately a three-hour car ride away and the closest airport is located in Stephenville, which is approximately a two-hour car ride away. The local radio station is 1230 AM and the local television station is NTV.
La Poile is an isolated fishing community on the south coast of the Newfoundland and is accessible only by boat. The ferry passenger from Rose Blanche is about a one hour trip to La Poile. The 1986 census indicated a population of 178 residents in La Poile. The name La Poile comes from the presence of citizens from the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon who would come to the area for fish and timber as early as the 1700's. Although permanent settlement did not occur until well into the 1800's, American ships fished in the area of La Poile Bay as early as 1739. Like many other communities in the area, English settlement was brought on by the influence of trading firms from Jersey. Throughout the 1800's Ls Poile had become an important trading and supply centre. Due to its importance in the production of salt cod and seal oil, settlers came from the West Country of England, the settled communities from bays to the east and even from the French islands. See map.
At one time La Poile even housed a magistrate's court and a customs office. This area is ideal for tourists who would like to visit a traditional Newfoundland outport. La Poile is becoming quite popular to salmon anglers, each year there are visitors who come from the United States and other Canadian provinces to fish in the North Bay Brook. The community's tranquility and isolation from more populated areas is a welcomed place to many city dwellers.
More Attractions in Newfoundland:
Cape Anguille lightstation was established in 1905 as a coastal station to serve fishermen and marine traffic travelling along the Gulf of St. Lawrence up to the Strait of Belle Isle. It is at the southwestern tip of Newfoundland. The lightkeeper's dwelling has not been occupied since 1968, and it is in poor condition. For further reading, click here.
Cape Ray was part of the "French Shore" where Newfoundland's rights were limited until the British-French Treaty of 1904. Until the 1870's there were no lights on this part of the shore. In 1870, the Privy Council of Canada made a decision to build a lighthouse in Cape Ray to protect vessels entering and clearing the Gulf of St. Lawrence by the northern route. For further reading, click here.
The present building which houses the Gulf Museum was built in 1946 and operated as the "Twin Town Hotel" and was owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs Reginald Sheaves until it was bought by Mr. and Mrs Douglas Hann and operated as Hann's Tourist Home. The Home was later bought from the Hann estate by the Town of Port aux Basques and Passed over to the Southwest Coast Historical Society to be used as a Museum. For further reading, click here.
Harvey Trail Summary: A 3.5 km one way walk on a gravel coastal trail. Interpretation panels tell stories of shipwrecks, heroic rescues, Anne and George Harvey and Newfoundland dogs. There is a mural at the end of the trail and a gazebo on the high point. Picnic tables and rest benches give the hiker opportunity to rest and take in the scenery. There is a parking lot at the beginning of the trail. For further reading, click here.
The establishment of the Newfoundland Railway played a significant role in the Province's transportation history, including the South West Coast.
With the last spike driven in June of 1898, a complete cross island railway system was in place. This was complimented by a new ferry system that would connect the island to the rest of North America, opening up a whole new world for Newfoundland. For the first time ever, one could travel from St. John's to Port aux Basques, and then on to Nova Scotia by ferry. For further reading, click here.