Western Newfoundland is an outdoor adventurers paradise. I think people are aware of this for summer adventures, but did you know – you can do just as much OR MORE in the winter?!
Over the month of January, I circulated a short survey on social media asking folks what they consider to be the best winter activities in Western Newfoundland. Thanks to everyone who took time to share their thoughts!
Here are the results!
#1 Activity for Winter Adventures is SNOWSHOEING.
Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy winter and anyone can do it. In the survey, people mostly chose “snowshoeing on local trails” and one person responded “snowshoeing off trail”. This is the magic of winter, you can go off trail, anywhere – yay for frozen bogs!
TA Loeffler’s post “Ten Hints for Hiking the East Coast Trail in Winter” is a great summary of preparing for and things to remember while out snowshoeing and it applies to any Newfoundland trail. Have a read and go out prepared.
Full details for Western Newfoundland’s most popular trails are in Hikes of Western NL Guide Book!
Spots #2 and #3 are held evenly with CROSS COUNTRY SKIING and BACKCOUNTRY SKIING
This surprised me. I thought for sure skiing at Marble would be more popular than both of these!
With amazing cross country ski facilities such as; Blow Me Down Trails (Corner Brook), Pasadena Ski & Nature Park (Pasadena), Visitor Information Centre Ski Trails (Rocky Harbour/Norris Point), and Whaleback Nordic Ski Club (Stephenville) plus access to logging roads, hiking trails, and snowmobile trails, it’s no wonder this was a top choice.
Backcountry skiing is a growing sport that Western Newfoundland has lots of potential for. We have the Long Range Mountains and average 12-16 feet of snow each winter, plus it’s a great way to spend time with friends and family earning your turns! For info on routes and trail conditions in Gros Morne National Park, check out the Trail Condition Report. Another resource is the Gros Morne Ski Community Facebook Group, where locals and visitors alike can ask questions, share route conditions, ride share, and share photos of their adventures.
#4 Winter Activity of Choice is ICESKATING
Another surprise! Perhaps this is because I don’t do this much myself, but I suppose this is a great activity to do out at the cabin or during the week since the Civic Centre has so many skating options.
#5 DOWNHILL SKIING (& SNOWBOARDING) at Marble Mountain
With Marble Mountain less than 15 minutes away from Corner Brook, this is a weekend hot spot, especially after a winter storm! Conditions at Marble are generally very good and with NO LIFT LINES (yes, you read that right!) you can hammer out as many laps as your legs can handle!
I love having a season pass here because I can show up anytime, do as many runs as I want, and the snow is usually amazing!
#6 SNOWMOBILING (Everywhere!!)
Western Newfoundland and snowmobiling were meant for each other. I don’t have a machine myself, but from what I see and hear, I can understand why people love this activity so much.
The province is home to over 5000 kilometres of trails plus there is epic backcountry and mountain riding, adventure races, and the scenery is stunning!
Get full details about Snowmobiling on the NewfoundlandandLabroador.com website.
Winter Adventure #7 is FAT BIKING
Fat biking is a newer sport taking the cycling world by storm. The bikes have fat tires with large knobs to help riders float on the snow and get traction. These bikes are a great way to get out on the trails and stay in shape all winter long.
To learn more about Fat Biking, join a group ride, rent or perhaps purchase one for yourself, definitly go to our local bike shop – Cycle Solutions – or click here!
Fat Biking = Smiles!
#8 is ICE CLIMBING
Ice Climbing requires very specific conditions and isn’t for the faint of heart. This sport is adrenaline packed, a totally body workout, and requires technical skills and equipment currently unavailable in the area, so needless to say I was surprised to see this activity ranked so highly! I know we have a strong local crowd of rock climbers in the area, but I wasn’t aware there were ice climbers too. Western Newfoundland has a ton of waterfalls, and what a great way to get up close and personal with them in all their icey, snowy magic.
The #9 Spot goes to… SNOW KITING
If you haven’t tried this one yet and you’re a skier or snowboarder – do it!! Western Newfoundland is windy, ok, sometimes too windy, but there are many times when wind and snow conditions are perfect for kiting.
Then we have these spaces with no trees (ex. Tablelands) which are perfect for long runs and learning to tack.
And all you need is a kite.
#10 OTHER SUGGESTIONS
And thats not all there is! Other activities and adventures people suggested were Ice Fishing, Boil Ups, Taking over a Warm-up Shelter or Backcountry Cabin, Dog Walk Parties, Skijoring, and Zip Lining.
Winter brings out some of the best opportunities for adventuring in Western Newfoundland and personally I do more activities in the winter than in all other seasons combined! With lots of backcountry access, plenty of snow and balmy (max -4C to min -12C) average temps, there’s no place I’d rather be…..than here in Newfoundland!
What is your favourite winter sport and why to you love it so much?
Leave a comment below to join the conversation!