Newfoundland is an amazing Canadian province, and even a more amazing province by bike. Enjoy my cyclist guide to Newfoundland.
I am not convinced that I would necessarily recommend Newfoundland when I went. I went in November but I did have an amazing time. If you are looking for challenge and the potential for bad weather November is a great time and still very beautiful.
I got plenty wet most days and almost every day was cold. I feel like the wet weather really keeps you from exploring Newfoundland and all its possibilities in the fall. Newfoundland is 903 kilometers across on the TransCanada Highway. I pedaled a total of 963 km’s in Newfoundland but other than St John’s and Cape Spear I stuck to the TransCanada Highway. Newfoundland is so much more than just the TransCanada Highway. So undoubtedly I missed a lot.
A couple of observations from my limited 21 days in Newfoundland.
1) St John’s is one of the most amazing cities in North America and as a long haul truck driver for 6 1/2 years (1.2 million km’s) I would know. There are not too many cities and towns I have not visited or driven through in North America.
Jellybean Row, St John’s
2) Make sure that you got to Cape Spear the most eastern point in Canada. It’s only about 15 km’s from St John’s
Cape Spear, NL
3) Restocking of food is fairly spread out. Most gas stations only carry chips, pop, chocolate bars and beef jerky. That is pretty much it. Not even a box of granola bars at the convenience stores. So stock up when you can.
4) Most towns are not right off the TransCanada Highway. They are maybe 20+ km’s off the TransCanada down on or to the coast.
5) I discovered that I don’t like to cook in the cold and winter. I ended up needing to cook 3 meals crossing Newfoundland due to no available restaurants. That being said most local restaurants are pretty good value for the meal. In fact some of the best value across Canada.
Kimberly and Adam at Eddy’s in South Brook.
Be sure to stop by
A few more observations
6) The TransCanada Highway shoulder is about as wide as a typical sidewalk and the first 100 km’s of shoulder in the western part (leaving/entering Port aux Basques) can have some pretty rough spots. All the rest was good. I traveled west bound from St John’s.
Wide enough shoulders
7) Car traffic is busiest between Gander and St John’s.
8) The entire province is hilly to mountainous. A few small areas flatten out a bit but not often and not for long. Gander to St John’s seems to be the most hilly/mountainous. Corner Brook and 100 km’s west is also very hilly.
9) There are two good hills leaving/entering Port aux Basque.
I hate rumble strips
10) If you are starting your bike tour in Newfoundland then prepare to have your ass kicked. If you are finishing your bike tour in Newfoundland (crossing Canada west to east) or are in good shape on the bike then you will be just fine.
11) Newfoundland is known for its wind and Corner Brook can get a lot of snow. I had nights on Newfoundland where my tent shook 8 hours straight.
Corner Brook, Newfoundland
12) A surprising amount of towns have a park with a covered gazebo if you need to get out of the rain.
Lots of gazebos
13) I never had a bad experience with anyone in Newfoundland. Often camping right out in the open.
14) They speak funny here.
Some places on my radar for the cyclist guide to Newfoundland
I don’t want to say that I was rushed to get across Newfoundland but November is probably not the best month to visit. It was also important for me to get Newfoundland under my belt. So many people told me that it wasn’t possible to cross Newfoundland in November. If I ever go back I would definitely bike the extra 15 kms (30 km’s round trip) off the TransCanada to get a photo of the Welcome to Dildo sign. I mean – seriously?
Also on my radar was Gros Morne National Park. Gros Morne is a is a UNESCO World Heritage and a pretty world famous national park. Heck, who am I kidding? There is so much to see on Newfoundland that I never did.
I would have loved to have spent more time in Newfoundland and would go back in a heartbeat. Everyone should go to Newfoundland as soon as possible. I hope you find this cyclist guide to Newfoundland helpful.