Easter fell during a prime time for fatbiking Gros Morne this year, so Darren and I made plans to go there for the week. We had a short, preliminary exploration of the park last year and knew that there was lots more we wanted to ride. We weren’t disappointed…
Our Good Friday feast. At the junction of the Trans-Canada highway and Route 420 is White Bay Convenience. The food is fantastic – we had supper, breakfast and lunch there.
Western Brook Pond
Here’s the route we took. Taylor’s Brook Road begins on Route 420. Drive in 3 kilometers and you will find Taylor’s Brook Accommodations. Ask for Terry – he will set you up with a place to park for a small fee (we paid $15 for 3 days, two nights). He will also have LOADS of knowledge about trail conditions. Pick his brain. (Darren McD image)
Here’s the route with elevation.
(Darren McD image)
Darren and I at the start.
Looking west, on Taylors Brook Road. The first 24 km are groomed. At Km 24 our route took a left off the groomed stuff and our real work began.
This is the view looking west. That is Matty’s Pond in the left of the picture, where we made camp.
On Matty’s Pond.
Stats from our first day. We began at 10 AM and stopped at 5 PM. Elevation gained, fully packed bikes and loose trail for the final 16 km kept average speed low.
Running water was scarce; luckily I found these ice fishing holes near our camp. Unfortunately, they were frozen over the next morning.
It went down to -18C our first night and -15C our second.
Our camp on Matty’s Pond.
The start of Day 2. Blue sky and no wind.
The riding was fantastic.
Click on the image above to enlarge it, then look for Darren on the ridge line to get perspective on the vastness we were riding in.
We did it!
Everyone wants their photo taken at The Gorge.
Parks Canada staff were checking for park passes. Yes, we had ours.
Leaving The Gorge.
We stopped to watch the sledders high-pointing.
A friendly snowmobiler offered me a beer.
Stats for the trip from our camp to Western Brook Pond look off and back. Check out that max speed!
The descent down onto Matty’s Pond was a scream; the climb back up, not so much…
Snowmobilers were always courteous and encouraging. We were loosing elevation on the way out and the trails were firmer, so it only took 4 hours to reach the car versus 7 hours to get in. (Jeff Spurrell photo)
The weather was lousy all day Tuesday but we did manage to get in a night ride on the Wigwam Pond trail.
Ten Mile Pond
Ten Mile Pond sits at the base of Gros Morne; anyone who has climbed to the summit has looked down onto this pond. We went looking for the chance to be on the pond looking up at the summit.
Logistically, this is an easy ride. Park at the Gros Morne Visitors Centre in Rocky Harbour. Ride up to Route 430 and across the road you will see a road that leads to Eastern Arm Pond. Follow the snowmobile tracks.
Heading in to Eastern Arm Pond. That is Gros Morne to the right.
On Eastern Arm Pond.
After crossing Eastern Arm Pond the trail twists and turns through a small forest.
A river, a forest, mountains and a twisty-turny snowmobile track to follow; fatbiking doesn’t get any better than this.
Careful where you step, though…
(a Darren McD photo)
The entrance to Ten Mile Pond.
(a Darren McD photo)
Ten Mile Pond with Gros Morne in the background.
(a Darren McD photo)
Click to enlarge for the full perspective. (a Darren McD photo)
At the end of Ten Mile Pond.
Returning from Ten Mile Pond with The Tablelands in the distance.
Stats for our ride into Ten Mile Pond and back.
Tablelands / Trout River
This was our view of The Tablelands. Visibility was poor so we didn’t venture up there.
The postmaster came out to ask if we were the fellows who biked to The Gorge. She had heard the piece on the radio and seen our picture on Facebook.
Link to the radio interview on CBC Corner Brook: click here.
The beach at Trout River.
The bumper sticker says it best.
- Tim C for use of your GPS and your local knowledge
- Darroch W for letting us stay at your house while we were in Rocky Harbour