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Corner Brook - driving times to Gros Morne


lissie
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We have a stop at Corner Brook in early August - I've booked a car with Hertz which looks like its 10 min walk from the dock. We arrive 10am depart 6pm on the Zaandam. 

 

I'm an ex-geologist and really want to walk the Tablelands Trail Hiking - Gros Morne National Park - Gros Morne National Park (canada.ca) -its 4km - pretty flat - easy - they recommend an hour - that seems very comfortable to us. 

 

I looked on Google maps and see its 120km and they say 123minutes one way - that seems reasonable- street view shows a good sealed road with passing lanes in some places. 

 

HOWEVER the ship's tour - which does the same trip - but at 2x the price of a car rental - says it  takes 2.5 hours to get to the trail? What am I missing? Is Google badly wrong? Or the cruise ship?  Are we going to hit a lot of traffic on a  Wednesday?  

 

We both drive - so we don't need to pull over for rest breaks. The  plan would be to head straight to trail head - do the hike and then work our way back to the ship if time allows. 

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Let me initially say that you have made a very good decision to visit the Tablelands at Gros Morne. While much gets written up about the Western Brook Pond fjord and the center of activity in Rocky Harbour, I concur that the Tablelands, as a geological feature, is just a marvelous experience, either for the professional or lay person. Confoundingly, it has a desert appearance, yet it has plenty of rainfall. It is simply the fact of being the earth's interior.

 

Logistically, it is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes from Corner Brook (pronounced "car-ner brook"), through Deer Lake, to Woody Point. Collective taxi service between Corner Brook and Woody Point is operated by Martin's Transportation, and 1 hour 30 minutes is the scheduled running time for the collective taxi. The Tablelands themselves are just a few minutes beyond Woody Point. The parking lot and trail are directly on that highway coming from Woody Point, and you will immediately be within the site. It is not so much as a destination to which you would be walking as it is an environment in which you will be. So there's not really a time to allocate for hiking to some place, but rather a decision as to how much time to spend there. That said, the trail is linear, so it could simply be walking from one end to the other (it is flat, very easy to walk).

 

Let me add a few other notes. There had been a Trout River Pond boat tour that I thought was superb. It showed another perspective of the Tablelands and its contrast with the surrounding and ordinary mountainous area. I think the formal boat tour stopped in 2020, but some people do hike or kayak there. Also near Woody Point is the Discovery Centre. Essentially a visitor center, though less used than the main centre near Rocky Harbour. Some nice exhibits, even if nothing spectacular. It would be nice to see Rocky Harbour, but it is a long drive to get there from Woody Point. There is a passenger ferry from Woody Point to Norris Point, and a local taxi service on that side (to Rocky Harbour and elsewhere: Pittman's Taxi), though the ferry does not operate very frequently (depart Woody Point at 9:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., return from Norris Point at 9:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 15-minute crossing). Anything relating to logistics can be handled by Martin's Transportation in Woody Point. www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057342523513 Tourist services are provided by BonTours. www.bontours.ca

 

You should have a good four hours in the park. That should be a good amount of time. I would not anticipate much traffic.

 

 

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9 hours ago, GTJ said:

Let me initially say that you have made a very good decision to visit the Tablelands at Gros Morne. While much gets written up about the Western Brook Pond fjord and the center of activity in Rocky Harbour, I concur that the Tablelands, as a geological feature, is just a marvelous experience, either for the professional or lay person. Confoundingly, it has a desert appearance, yet it has plenty of rainfall. It is simply the fact of being the earth's interior.

 

Logistically, it is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes from Corner Brook (pronounced "car-ner brook"), through Deer Lake, to Woody Point. Collective taxi service between Corner Brook and Woody Point is operated by Martin's Transportation, and 1 hour 30 minutes is the scheduled running time for the collective taxi. The Tablelands themselves are just a few minutes beyond Woody Point. The parking lot and trail are directly on that highway coming from Woody Point, and you will immediately be within the site. It is not so much as a destination to which you would be walking as it is an environment in which you will be. So there's not really a time to allocate for hiking to some place, but rather a decision as to how much time to spend there. That said, the trail is linear, so it could simply be walking from one end to the other (it is flat, very easy to walk).

 

Let me add a few other notes. There had been a Trout River Pond boat tour that I thought was superb. It showed another perspective of the Tablelands and its contrast with the surrounding and ordinary mountainous area. I think the formal boat tour stopped in 2020, but some people do hike or kayak there. Also near Woody Point is the Discovery Centre. Essentially a visitor center, though less used than the main centre near Rocky Harbour. Some nice exhibits, even if nothing spectacular. It would be nice to see Rocky Harbour, but it is a long drive to get there from Woody Point. There is a passenger ferry from Woody Point to Norris Point, and a local taxi service on that side (to Rocky Harbour and elsewhere: Pittman's Taxi), though the ferry does not operate very frequently (depart Woody Point at 9:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., return from Norris Point at 9:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 15-minute crossing). Anything relating to logistics can be handled by Martin's Transportation in Woody Point. www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057342523513 Tourist services are provided by BonTours. www.bontours.ca

 

You should have a good four hours in the park. That should be a good amount of time. I would not anticipate much traffic.

 

 

Thank you so much this is super-helpful and suggests that its not my time estimates (and google's) that are wrong 🙂 I'd seen good reviews of the Discovery Center too so was going to drop in. Those sort of places often do a good explainer of the local geology - which I had no idea of until I found out about the Tablelands! 

 

I wondered if there was a ferry across to Rocky Point - that might be pushing our timing a bit too tight.  I tend to be relaxed about these things - our next stop is Red Bay , if we missed the ship we would just have to do a one-way rental there - but my  partner freaks out a bit when I behave like that!   

 

Hoping for good weather - but will pack the merino and the flynets and  suntan lotion to cover all bases! 

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On 5/26/2023 at 7:27 AM, lissie said:

Thank you so much this is super-helpful and suggests that its not my time estimates (and google's) that are wrong

I don't know if I would say "wrong," as other estimates might take a more leisurely pace than a regularly-scheduled collective taxi, or a vessel-sponsored large tour that has to concern itself with gathering all the participants and dealing with rest stops, etc. I do predict that, with your knowing of what you will be seeing, this will be one of the highlights of your cruise. As to the Labrador Coast (Red Bay), I had visited that area several years ago on a shore excursion from Blanc-Sablon, Québec, on the Relais Nordik line. Though the south coast of Labrador is picturesque in its own right, it hardly compares to Gros Morne. (I do have the northerly Labrador coast on my bucket list, from Goose Bay to Nain, if only for it being such a remote place.)

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3 hours ago, GTJ said:

I don't know if I would say "wrong," as other estimates might take a more leisurely pace than a regularly-scheduled collective taxi, or a vessel-sponsored large tour that has to concern itself with gathering all the participants and dealing with rest stops, etc.  

And shopping opportunities!   Yeah me and group tours don't  fit well 

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  • 2 months later...

I would love to hear how your car rental in Corner Brook and drive to Gros Morne worked out.  We’re interested in doing a similar thing, but want to take boat ride to Western Brook pond. Where did you rent the car?  Did you taxi to get it?  Time is limited on our cruise as we’re in port from 7-4.  Hopefully enough time??

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Be certain to plan your schedule carefully. The Hertz location in Corner Brook, closest to the port, opens at 9:00 a.m. (closed weekends). Allow at least 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours to drive from Corner Brook to the Western Brook Pond parking lot. Allow another hour to hike the 3 km from the parking lot to the pond (fast walkers could do this in 30 minutes). So your earliest arrival time at the pond, under ideal conditions, will be around 11:15 a.m.  From mid-May through mid-October, the tour vessel departs at 12:30 p.m., arrival for is reasonable. In peak season, July and August, additional departures are at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. The tour duration is two hours. Thus, were you to travel on the 12:30 p.m., you would conclude your tour at 2:30 p.m. The problem is that your cruise vessel sets sail at 4:00 p.m., probably having everyone back on board at 3:30 p.m. Yet you need at least 2-1/2 hours to hike back to the parking lot, drive, and return the rental car. While it would be possible to get back to the vessel on time if you traveled on the 10:00 a.m. tour, or possibly even the 11:00 a.m. tour--assuming that you would be in Corner Brook in July or August--it seems unlikely that you could get to those tour timely given that the Hertz agency does not open until 9:00 a.m. The Enterprise car rental agency opens at 8:00 a.m., on weekdays, so that might make the 11:00 a.m. tour a possibility, but everything would have to proceed under ideal timing conditions (including the rental car agency opening on time, and the logistics of getting between the port and the rental car agency).

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I would love to hear how your car rental in Corner Brook and drive to Gros Morne worked out.  We’re interested in doing a similar thing, but want to take boat ride to Western Brook pond. Where did you rent the car?  Did you taxi to get it?  Time is limited on our cruise as we’re in port from 7-4.  Hopefully enough time??

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  • 1 month later...

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