Terra Nova Overview

Terra Nova National Park, located on the northeastern coast of Newfoundland, Canada, is the province’s first national park, established in 1957. Spanning an area of approximately 400 square kilometers (about 154 square miles), the park is a stunning representation of the Eastern Newfoundland Atlantic ecoregion, showcasing a diverse landscape of rugged coastline, dense forests, and sparkling freshwater systems. This breathtaking natural setting offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the rich ecological diversity and scenic beauty of Newfoundland’s natural environment.

Terra Nova National Park is characterized by its varied ecosystems, which include boreal forests, wetlands, and marine environments. The park’s forests are home to a wide array of wildlife, including moose, black bears, and numerous bird species, providing ample opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. The park’s coastline features dramatic sea cliffs, secluded coves, and extensive beaches, while its interior is dotted with numerous lakes and rivers, making it an ideal location for boating, kayaking, and canoeing.

One of the highlights of Terra Nova National Park is its extensive trail system, which caters to hikers of all skill levels. Trails range from short, easy walks offering peaceful encounters with nature to challenging backcountry hikes that reward adventurers with breathtaking views of the park’s stunning landscapes. Additionally, the park offers a range of interpretive programs and activities designed to educate visitors about the area’s natural and cultural heritage, including guided hikes, campfire programs, and wildlife watching tours.

Terra Nova National Park also emphasizes the preservation of the cultural history of the region, including the traditional lands and practices of the Beothuk and Mi’kmaq peoples. This emphasis on conservation and education makes Terra Nova not just a destination for outdoor recreation but also a place for learning and reflection on Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.

With its spectacular natural beauty, rich biodiversity, and opportunities for adventure and discovery, Terra Nova National Park invites visitors to immerse themselves in the wild and rugged landscapes of Newfoundland, offering a memorable experience of Canada’s eastern wilderness.

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Terra Nova National Park Highlights


Terra Nova National Park, nestled along Newfoundland’s rugged eastern coast, is a mosaic of boreal forests, wetlands, and coastal environments, supporting an array of wildlife that captivates visitors with the richness of Canada’s natural heritage.

Moose A frequent sight in the park’s landscapes, moose are the giants of Terra Nova, often seen browsing the dense forests and wetlands at dawn or dusk.

Black Bear As one of the park’s top predators, black bears roam the forests and meadows, a reminder of the wildness that defines Terra Nova’s wilderness.

Snowshoe Hare Adaptable to the park’s seasonal changes, snowshoe hares are known for their winter white coats, blending seamlessly into the snowy landscape.

Red Fox The cunning red fox, with its striking orange fur, is a versatile predator and scavenger, adapting to a variety of habitats within the park.

Beaver Architects of the aquatic world, beavers play a crucial role in shaping Terra Nova’s waterways, creating ponds and wetlands that benefit numerous other species.

Osprey Circling above Terra Nova’s water bodies, ospreys dive spectacularly for fish, their nests perched high in dead trees or on man-made platforms.

Bald Eagle Majestic bald eagles are often seen soaring above the park, a symbol of strength and freedom, their nests located in tall trees along the coastlines.

Atlantic Puffin Although more commonly associated with Newfoundland’s offshore islands, the Atlantic puffin can occasionally be spotted along Terra Nova’s coastal areas, especially from boats.

Common Loon The haunting call of the common loon echoes across Terra Nova’s lakes, a quintessential sound of the Canadian wilderness, especially at dusk.

Pine Marten The elusive pine marten, a member of the weasel family, navigates the park’s forest canopies, a rare sight that adds to the mystique of Terra Nova.

Terra Nova National Park’s wildlife, from the iconic moose to the elusive pine marten, showcases the ecological diversity and natural beauty of this unique part of Newfoundland, inviting visitors to explore and appreciate the interconnectedness of life in this protected area.

Terra Nova National Park Pictures

Engaging Terra Nova

Explore Terra Nova National Park’s diverse landscapes on its extensive network of hiking trails. From leisurely strolls to challenging treks, there’s a trail for every skill level and interest. Wander through lush forests, along scenic coastline, and beside pristine lakeshores, immersing yourself in the park’s natural beauty while discovering its flora and fauna.

Paddle along Terra Nova National Park’s rugged coastline and tranquil inland waterways on a kayaking adventure. Explore hidden coves, secluded beaches, and rocky cliffs, all while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as seals, bald eagles, and seabirds as you navigate the park’s pristine waters.

Cast a line into Terra Nova National Park’s abundant waters and try your luck at fishing for trout, salmon, and other freshwater species. With numerous lakes, rivers, and streams to choose from, anglers of all skill levels will find plenty of opportunities to reel in a big catch while enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

Terra Nova National Park Trails

Coastal Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 6.2 miles (10 km) round trip with minimal elevation gain

Description: This trail offers a journey through diverse ecosystems, from dense boreal forests to rugged coastal landscapes.

Hikers can enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, encounter a variety of bird species, and perhaps even spot whales from the coastline.

The trail includes several lookout points where hikers can pause to appreciate the natural beauty of Terra Nova’s unique coastal environment.

Outport Trail

Rating: Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 19.9 miles (32 km) one way with varying elevation gain

Description: Designed for the more adventurous, this lengthy trail takes hikers to remote areas of the park, offering a true wilderness experience.

The trail passes through several abandoned outports, providing a glimpse into the area’s historical settlements.

Hikers should be prepared for challenging terrain, including steep inclines and rugged paths, but will be rewarded with unparalleled scenic vistas and a sense of solitude.

Blue Hill Pond Trail

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 1.9 miles (3 km) loop with minimal elevation gain

Description: Perfect for families and those seeking a leisurely hike, this trail circles the serene Blue Hill Pond.

The well-maintained path offers easy walking through mixed forest, with interpretive signs highlighting the local flora and fauna.

Benches along the route invite hikers to sit and enjoy the peaceful pond views, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching and relaxation.

Ochre Hill Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 2.5 miles (4 km) round trip with about 492 feet (150 meters) elevation gain

Description: Climbing to one of the highest points in Terra Nova, this trail offers breathtaking panoramic views of Clode Sound and the surrounding park area.

The ascent is moderately challenging, but hikers are rewarded with stunning overlooks and the chance to explore the remains of a World War II radar station at the summit.

The trail is a must-do for history enthusiasts and landscape photographers alike.

Louil Hill Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 5.6 miles (9 km) loop with about 656 feet (200 meters) elevation gain

Description: Offering a moderate hike through diverse landscapes, this trail includes sections through dense forest, wetlands, and over rocky outcrops.

The elevation gain provides some physical challenge, but also rewards hikers with sweeping views of Newman Sound.

The trail is well-marked, with opportunities to spot wildlife such as moose and various bird species along the way.


1. What is Terra Nova National Park known for.

Terra Nova National Park, located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse ecosystems, and rich cultural heritage.

The park encompasses a mix of boreal forests, rugged coastline, pristine lakes, and meandering rivers, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the unspoiled wilderness of eastern Canada.

One of the park’s main attractions is its extensive network of hiking trails, which wind through lush forests, past picturesque lakeshores, and along rugged coastline. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as camping, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Terra Nova National Park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including moose, black bears, beavers, and a variety of bird species.

In addition to its natural beauty, Terra Nova National Park is also known for its cultural significance. The park contains several archaeological sites that provide insights into the region’s Indigenous history and early European settlement.

Overall, Terra Nova National Park offers visitors a chance to experience the wonders of Canada’s eastern wilderness while learning about the area’s rich cultural heritage

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  • National Geographic, National Parks of North America, Canada-United States-Mexico, National Geographic Society, 1995.
  • Newfoundland Labrador, Terra Nova National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Parks Canada, Terra Nova,, retrieved April 2024.