This is a new page, started today. The reason I’m starting it is because of my own recent experiences searching for nice campgrounds in the New England States. When you go to a campground, intending to stay for a few days or a couple of weeks, it’s nice to make an educated decision beforehand. I received some wonderful recommendations from folks on the Camping World Forum, but there’s no real source of recommendations from people who’ve actually been there and done that.
So, we’re going to try to do that for Newfoundland, hoping that this page will become a reliable source of campground information. It will take a while to develop. We’re haven’t done a LOT of camping for may years; however, we just bought a new popup camper and I expect that we spend many weeks in it next year, mostly in the spring and fall.
|General Information on Newfoundland CampgroundsNewfoundland is essentially unspoiled, as are most of the campgrounds. Many years ago there were provincial campgrounds spread all around the province. These were well built and well maintained, although for the most part they were primitive. A few years ago the government divested itself of many of these campgrounds and passed them along to private ownership. As a result many of them now have hookups, but they’ve become more expensive. In addition to the provincial campgrounds, there are two National Parks and these are wonderful, but again with few (if any) hookups.
Newfoundland is a water province. One third of the province is composed of lakes and ponds. It is also forested; therefore, most of the sites in the campgrounds are near water, well wooded, private, and large, even though they weren’t made for big rigs and pull-throughs. You also won’t find many camp stores, or dumping stations. Now, if you can get past all that civilized stuff, you’ll find wonderful camping. There’s nothing nicer than a clear night at Berry Hill in Gros Morne National Park, in front of a nice fire, playing your guitar, having a dark rum and coke (the preferred drink for camping in Newfoundland), and watching the stars and the satellites. It’s really a special place for camping. There are very few “parking lots” for big rigs, even though we saw (and stayed in one), last year near St. Anthony. They aren’t to my taste, but all those folks travelling in a caravan probably found them wonderful. (We Newfoundlanders are put out with the way camping fees have risen in the past few years, but checking some prices on the mainland recently, I think Newfoundland rates are actually quite reasonable.)
Let’s start with Gros Morne (from what we remember).
Gros Morne National Park
Berry Hill Campground – Berry Hill is the largest campground in the park. It has a nice playground for children. There is an indoor swimming pool a few kilometres down the road (very nice). There are showers, flush toilets (and it’s important to make that distinction – some of the sites in the park have pit-toilets, well maintained and as clean as a pit-toilet can be), cookhouses, and trails. There are several sections to this campground, some for tenting, some more appropriate for travel trailers and motorhomes. We spent weeks, every summer, camping with our children at Berry Hill Campground. It’s a nice spot. (We’re not going to get into ratings; we’re just going to give you our views.) We’d definitely camp there again if we had children. Right now, we’d probably choose one of the following three campgrounds.
|Lomond Campground – This is on the South Side of the Park. It’s on an arm of Bonne Bay. The scenery here is quite impressive. The camp sites are clean, spacious, wooded, and fairly private. There are flush toilets, maybe showers (we’ll have to check this out), and cookhouses. It’s a beautiful spot to camp. There’s a nice hiking trail. (See our Hiking Trails page – Stanleyville). Not much for children to do. There’s no camp store or entertainment facilities. It’s just nice. Sorry.Shallow Bay – Shallow Bay Campground is much like the Lomond Campground (above). It does have showers and a cookhouse. It features a magnificent beach, with waters warm enough to swim in during mid-summer months. (At least warm enough for Newfoundlanders.) Children would have a good time on the beach any day. We’ve spent many good days at this campground and on this beach, with and without children. The campsites are large, spacious, wooded, private. One section is an open field (a little “lumpy”) and some folks prefer this. Carol’s parents prefer this in their motorhome. I would recommend this campground. Deet.
Green Point – This is a small campground with some sites right on the bank overlooking the ocean. There’s a good trail along the coast. I will predict that the first time we go to Gros Morne in our new camper that this will be the first campground we visit. (I think the site is already picked out.) There are pit toilets only, but they’re clean and well maintained. We you drive into this campground you just pick your site, put your fee in an envelope, and drop it in the box at the entrance. If you want the sound of the ocean, a small campground where there’s unlikely to be noise, a hiking trail along the coast, then this is the place to visit.
Trout River – We can’t tell you very much about this one, never having stayed there. It’s on the South Side of the Park, near where the Trout River Boat Tour launches. It overlooks Trout River Pond and the Tablelands. The South Side of the Park is a little more off the beaten path. I expect the campgrounds here aren’t quite as busy, but they’d have the same characteristics as other sites in the park. If you wanted to do the boat tour and wanted a little more solitude (and perhaps peace and quiet), then the Trout River site might be a good choice for you. We’ll probably give it a try for a few nights next summer. While you’re there, if you want a break from cooking your own meals, try The Seaside Restaurant. It’s our favourite restaurant.
That’s all for now! We’ll won’t be doing any updating until we start some serious camping next spring. We’ll put in some pictures too. (To see pictures of some of these campgrounds now, visit our Hiking Trailspage. In the meantime, if any of you visitors would like to make some comments/recommendations, then visit our guestbook or e-mail us. In the meantime, if you want information about a specific campground or some recommendations, contact us and we’ll see what we can find out for you. Thanks. Art and Carol
P.S. – (Take into account our bias here) We’ve camped all over North America – We’ve never found ANY camping to be as satisfactory as the camping we’ve done in this province. We always wonder why we bother to leave.
Beothuck Park – Grand Falls Windsor
We stayed here for five days. The campsites are reasonable; some of the unserviced sites are very nice, spacious and private; it has a very nice swimming area and play area.
We paid $20.00 a night for a semi-serviced site, and $15.00 a night for a tent site.
We did have some problems. The washrooms are decent, but certainly not modern or spotless; they were often out of toilet paper; there’s only one set of them (apart from the pit toilets), and they’re too far away from most of the campsites, being up by the entrance. One of the two showers in the men’s washroom is completely lacking in privacy. Here’s the big thing, the washrooms/showers are closed at 23:30 and not opened until 7:30. When they’re closed, then you have to use the pit toilets, which are FREQUENTLY out of paper and NOT that clean. For campers who like to have a shower before they get on the road early in the morning, they’re out of luck. (The explanation for this is that management says they experience a lot of vandalism from local teenagers. The campsite is very near town. This itself may be cause for worry. If security is in place, then why can’t they also monitor the washrooms overnight?)
The refund policy is also not reasonable. We booked for a family reunion, three sites with a total of 18 days camping; this was not refundable at any time after booking. There was a mistake made in the booking. I don’t know if it was mine or the campground’s. When two of the family groups did not arrive, they forfeited their campfee. I could understand this if they had had to turn people away, but the campground was not nearly full.
We found the mosquitoes VERY bad over our stay, but it was wet and humid. Maybe they’re not that bad all the time. We were told that quiet time was 10:00 (or maybe 11:00). We had a sing-song on our campsite one evening, that we dutifully ended at 10:00. There were radios blaring and a singer “howling” well until midnight. Some of our family found the swimming “beach” to be worth the other disadvantages.
For my money, unless your HAD to be near Grand Falls – Windsor, I wouldn’t stay there. Based one PAST experience, I’d either drive an additional twenty miles to Catamaran Park (West of Badger), or about 25 miles east to Notre Dame park. These WERE both very nice parks, but we haven’t stayed in them recently. They both offer nice swimming also.
At best, I’d give Beothuck park a 6 out of 10 in all areas; maybe a seven when it came to campsites. Remember though, we’re spoiled by such campgrounds at Green Point in Gros Morne National Park (primitive, but beautiful – not much for children, but perfect for adults – Green Point that is). Beothuck would NOT be a destination site for us, and an overnight site only if we had to.