A Local's Guide to December in Newfoundland is here to help you stay active this month! It can be hard to keep playing outside now since the weather is less than ideal and the days are short. It's important though to keep active outside in December so you allow your body time to adapt to the cold and damp that winter brings.
I love December in Newfoundland because its quiet. There are pretty much no tourists and even the locals tend to hide away until the winter snowpack has us socked in. I take this quiet time to hike solo, explore potential new ski routes, actually hike the 'popular trails' and just be in the woods watching the season progress. In this post I will provide you with weather tips, what to do this month outside and a list of resources to support your almost-winter outdoor adventures!
A Little Bit About the Weather
December in Newfoundland is probably the nastiest month weather wise but that's doesn't have to stop you from being outdoors and on the go! Here's what you can expect:
- it's damp
- it can be very windy
- it can snow or rain at any moment
- it's about 5C to -5C
- it's slippery!
I go into more detail in my Winter Weather in Western Newfoundland post and I recommend you check the Environment Canada forecast to get the most current conditions before heading out adventuring. Use the weather forecast as a guideline only! It can change quickly, so you must ALWAYS go out prepared.
Up in Rocky Harbour, Urve Manuel, keeps the Blue Shed Weather Report going - it's awesome! Find out whass' on da go in Gros Morne National Park with the daily Blue Shed Weather Report, a fix on the cultural significance of weather on the Rock.
Best Activities for December
Yes, you can still hike! Use your waterproof boots, a pair of gaiters, full rain gear and get out there. Trails are open year round and its now easy to spot wildlife. Downy wood peckers hover in the trees getting fat for winter, squirrels dart around stashing seeds and moose are coming out after the rut. The woods are quiet as the snow begins to fall and you can watch the ice begin to form on ponds, brooks and waterfalls.
- Consider using hiking poles to help with balance on slippery surfaces, consider boots with softer rubber for better traction or get a pair of MicroSpikes (watch here)
- Trail Details: Hikes of Western Newfoundland Guide Book
Mountain Biking/Fat Biking
Trails are muddy and slushy but that doesn't have to stop you from riding. December is a great time to explore the logging or cabin roads or power line quad trails but do stay off the single track trails since riding them when they are mucky can cause serious erosion damage.
- Read my Mountain Bike in Corner Brook post for what to take and where to go!
- Singletracks.com post "Fat Biking 101: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Biking in the Snow" has great info to help you transition into biking in the snow.
Small game hunting is easy to get into and quite rewarding. Its a great reason to get outside even when the weather isn't all that nice. Hunting can be a part of a healthy lifestyle and is a local tradition, and offers great opportunities to experience Newfoundland and Labrador's natural environment. With your FAC license and Outdoor Card (full details here) you can hunt some species of bird such as grouse and ptarmigan as well as snowshoe hare.
Resources for December Adventures
- The Newfoundland moose hunt is still in full swing, so please read my tips for How To: Hike Safely During Hunting Season post to ensure you are visible and also not disturbing hunters.
- Read this post: Critical Winter Survival Tips
- Pack your backpack using my Checklist for a day hike (or bike ride)
- Buy the Ultimate Guide to Hiking in Western Newfoundland
- All things WINTER on Outdoors & on the Go!
So there it is. The Local's Guide to December in Newfoundland has hopefully provided you with some inspiration and info to help you get outdoors and on the go this month.