Begin your exploration of Newfoundland’s wooded west coast in the small, peaceful town of Deer Lake. Established in the mid-20th century as a paper mill work camp, Deer Lake is now a modest town of 5,000 people with easy access to the beautiful natural sites of the Humber Valley and beyond.
The Deer Lake Powerhouse at the center of town is the most prominent landmark. During your stay in Deer Lake, listen for the powerhouse’s whistle, which sounds six times a day.
Explore the natural beauty of the woods and the lake in the Deer Lake surroundings. A walking trail runs along the north side of the lake. Go swimming off the sandy beach or take a boat out to explore the long lake or fish for salmon. In winter, rent a snowmobile and follow one of the groomed trails. In summer, play a round of golf at the picturesque Humber River Golf Course.
Make the half-hour drive north to Gros Morne National Park. Featuring a stretch of preserved coastline along the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and a section of the Long Range Mountains, the park has varied terrain well worth exploring. Hike up to the Tablelands, a high-elevation zone of orange rock that seems transplanted from a desert. Take a boat through the park’s vast fjord. During your visit, look for the native wildlife, which includes moose and caribou.
The Newfoundland Insectarium stands just north of town. Wander through one of the largest butterfly gardens in eastern North America. Study the fascinating workings of a honeybee colony via a glass beehive. Visit the Roy Whelan Heritage Museum to learn about the history of logging and agriculture in the region.
While you can reach Deer Lake via the regional airport just outside of town, it is best to arrive by car so you can explore the ponds, forests and mountains of the surrounding area.