Saturday, January 12, 2019

What Route Should I Take?

How to Determine what Route You Should Take:

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Ask yourself these questions then review some options I have outlined below.

1. How many days should my trip be?
This is probably the most important question because your route will need to be adjusted if you're limited to the number of days you can spend there. For example - if you have less than 6 riding days available I would suggest doing a west coast tour. If you have six or more days available you can do the entire Island. The more time you have the more you can see.

2. How much money do I want to spend?

Crossing Newfoundland in 2016 over 7 days and spending each night in a motel cost me about $1,400 - $1,500 total with double occupancy for motel rooms. It could be more or less depending on where you stay and what you eat. If you do some camping it will save you money on motel rooms. Usually the single biggest expense is the Ferry itself. Crossing the whole island by starting in Argentia and ending in Port Aux Basques would cost you $512.00 per person based on double occupancy.

If you're looking to save on your costs you could consider a west coast only trip and take the Port Aux Basques Ferry over and back. That ferry costs half as much as the Argentia ferry.

The Argentia Ferry (for two people) with ATV's and a room costs $325 each. The Port Aux Basques Ferry for two people with ATV's and a room costs $164.00 each. You could get away without a room on the Port Aux Basques run (for day trips) as it's only 6-7 hours vs 16 hours for the Argentia run. Without a room that the price drops to about $100 per crossing. If you take the night run you'll probably want a room.

3. Motels, Camping or mix of both?
If you want to do some camping you may be limited to what route you want to take depending on where you like to camp. If you don't mind camping anywhere on the trail - say in an open field - you can do whatever trip you want. If you want to camp on lakes and beaches your route will change.

See a few of my options below. Feel free to follow one exactly as mentioned or use one as a guide and tweak to your own specifications. Don't forget to check out my photos pages to see all of the places I mention below or better yet check out some of the videos.

Stay in motels or a mix of motels and camping.

You'll drive about 900 km  over 6 days. This is a simple and straight forward way to cross the whole island and is perfect if it's your first time.   I wrote "first-time" because you can't do this trip just once. Once you go, you're hooked! You'll see all the major scenery on this route. You can spend each night in motels/cabins or do a mixture of 2 nights camping and 3 nights motels/cabins. Check out the 2014 photos page to see what this trip looked like. 
Click here to see an online Quick Guide to planning this trip.

Day 1 - Argentia to Clarenville (St. Jude's Motel)
Day 2 - Clarenville to Gander (Comfort Inn Motel)
Day 3 - Gander to Badger (Trailblazer's or Badger Motel)
Day 4 - Badger to Howley/Deer Lake (Choice of camping or Motel)
Pitch a tent at the beach in Howley if you want to do some camping. I suggest the Driftwood Inn in Deer Lake if you want to stay in a motel. It's about another 25 km further west of Howley.
Day 5 - Deer Lake to Robinsons (Pirate's Haven Chalets or Cliffside Cottages)
Rent one of three beautiful chalets at Pirate's Haven or pitch a tent at their campground. You could also stay at the Cliffside Cottages and have a beautiful view of the ocean or pitch a tent near the bluffs there.
Day 6 - Robinsons to Port Aux Basques (Ferry ride to Nova Scotia)
A relatively short run, only 100 km, but it could take a while because there is so much beautiful scenery you'll want to stop to take pictures of the amazing coastline, table mountains, lakes and beaches.

Stay in Motels 3 nights and camp 3 nights. 
You'll do about 1000 km on this trip in 7 days. Choose camping or motels in some locations, like Gander, but there is no choice but to camp at Serpentine Lake. It's absolutely beautiful there and a must place to stay if you love camping! Check out the 2014 & 2015 pictures links on the right of the blog to see us camping there.
Day 1 - Argentia to Clarenville (St. Jude's Motel)
Day 2 - Clarenville to Gander (Country Inn Motel & Camping)

You can rent a room at the Country Inn or pitch a tent there, or stay at the Comfort Inn.
Day 3 - Gander to Badger (Trailblazers Efficiency Unit or Badger Motel)

Day 4 - Badger to Howley (Camping on a lake beach)
Day 5 - Deer Lake to Serpentine Lake (camping on a lake beach)
Day 6 - Serpentine Lake to Robinsons (Pirate's Haven Chalets)
Day 7 - Robinsons to Port Aux Basques (ferry ride to Nova Scotia)


We did this trip in September 2016 and stayed in motels and cabins each night.
You'll do about 1250 km in 7 days. This is the longest trip of all the options listed. A few of the days you'll put on 200 km or more so be prepared for long days. If you're hard core about getting in as much scenery in one trip as possible this is the trip for you!
Day 1 - Argentia to Clarenville (St. Jude's Motel)
Day 2 - Clarenville to Gander (Comfort Inn)
Day 3 - Gander to Badger (Trailblazers or Badger Motel)
You can go straight from Gander to Badger on the railbed or you can take a side trip to the Sabena Plane Crash Site. This adds a lot of miles to your day but the plane crash site is quite something to see. Check out my 2016 photos page to see for yourself.
Day 4 - Badger to Lomond (Lomond Lodge)
Stop at the giant sink hole on your way to Lomond Lodge. It was featured on the NL episode of Man Tracker. It's quite something to see in person. 
Day 5 - Lomond to Corner Brook (River's End Motel or Marblewood Village Resort)
Stop in beautiful Woody Point for gas and take some pictures. Then stop in Cox's Cove on your way to Corner Brook. Fantastic trails and scenery all day.
Day 6 - Corner Brook to Robinson's (Pirate's Haven Chalets)
Start the day by being trucked about 10 im to the trail head or take a challenging trail to get there instead, your choice.
Day 7 - Robinson to Port Aux Basques
Finish off the trip by seeing some of the most beautiful scenery on the entire week. There's mountains, coast line, lakes, and beaches. 


About 635-650 km or more depending on if you do extra exploring. This trip will save you time and money but the last two days require you to backtrack. Some people don't like the idea of back tracking but it doesn't bother me. You get to see some of the nicest scenery twice!
Day 1 - Port Aux Basques to Stephenville Crossing (Dhoon Lodge or Hotel Stephenville)
About 170 km. A few minutes after you get off the boat you'll be absolutely amazed at the lakes, beaches and magnificent coast line views. Take a stop at the top of the table top mountains for a post card view of the valley below then stop for the night around the Stephenville area.
Day 2 - Stephenville Crossing to Deer Lake (Driftwood Inn)
About 80 km trail riding and 30 km being trucked by Cecil Anderson to Deer Lake. The trail ends in Corner Brook and there is a gap between it and Pasadena (20km outside Deer Lake). Get Cecil Anderson to pick you up and take you where you need to get to go. Stop for the night in Deer Lake.
Day 3 - Deer Lake to Corner Brook (River's End Motel)
About 145 km this day. Ride north to the sinkhole in Lomond then to Cox's Cove and Corner Brook.
Day 4 - Corner Brook to Robinsons (Pirate's Haven Chalets)
About 130 km this day. Start the day by being truck to the start of the railbed or if you're adventurous take the challenging bypass trail through CornerBrook to the railbed.
Day 5 - Robinson's to Port Aux Basques
About 110 km and a repeat of what you saw the first day - but that's okay because it's probably some of the most beautiful scenery the entire province has to offer!

More options to come

Below is the entire NL Trip Map. You can zoom in close to see details and click on the little icons - they each have information.


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