I have a strong feeling that Newfoundlanders will be looking to explore at home again this spring and summer season. Staycations are one of the few covid-silver-linings because, in normal times, we would be more likely to save our time off for out-of-province and international travel, which can lead us all to miss out on the beauty and adventure that’s right under our noses. We all take our homes for granted sometimes. I wanted to write this post to highlight another local treasure that I took for granted– I stayed here 4 years ago and never bothered to give it a dedicated blog post, yet it was honestly one of the most memorable camping experiences of my life.
I’m here to tell you about Blow-Me-Down Provincial Park (yeah- you read that right). This campground is located on a rocky beach with crystal clear water and a stunning view of Blow-Me-Down Mountain. To get there, you’ll want to exit the TCH into Corner Brook and drive along the water to Highway 450. Follow the signs for Lark Harbour/York Harbour. The road is twisty and turny and narrow in places, but the drive is part of the adventure.
There are only 28 sites so book in advance. We recommend sites 19-28 as they are closer to the beach. The campground’s washroom facilities are clean and the sites are spacious.
At the campground is a beautiful, long, rocky beach where you can swim, fish, and launch boats and paddleboards. We got up bright and early for a morning dip (although I wasn’t brave enough to bear the cold salt water), collected smooth stones and hunted for sea glass, and ate some breakfast before a big day of hiking and exploring.
Just off of the beach, you will find the Governor’s Stairway, a short hiking trail (about 15 minutes each way) that brings you to an observation deck overlooking the Bay of Islands and Lark Harbour. The best part about this trail is the stairway itself- it’s built right into a cliff! You can’t stay at this campsite and miss this hike– it’s a must-do.
This is not a whirlwind campground. You’ll want to take your time, soak in the scenery, enjoy a picnic and an evening campfire, and meet your neighbours. Not to mention the Governor’s Stairway and the quaint surrounding communities– this is a full-weekend adventure without a doubt.
If you do have some extra time to spare, drive through Lark Harbour and into Bottle Cove. This tiny outport fishing community is picture-perfect and not frequently travelled by tourists. There is a boardwalk that brings you on a short walk to a headland with a great view of a sea cave. This is also a great spot to walk the beach to hunt for shells and seaglass.
This is why we say a full weekend is necessary… we also insist that you check out Copper Mine Falls. The waterfall is only a two-minute walk through the woods, but if you are up for more of a challenge, hike the trail that leaves from the parking lot. It is quite difficult but offers some incredible views.
Happy staycationing, NL! Wish I could join you!