Port-aux-Basques to Corner Brook via Newfoundland Route #1 along the Trans-Canada Highway
Here is the itinerary for the 220 km along #1 from Port-aux-Basques ferry dock (from North Sydney, Nova Scotia) to Corner Brook
Newfoundland was the location of a collision between the tectonic plates of the New and Old worlds, about 400 million years ago. This forced up some of the immense highlands in western Newfoundland, still seen in original glory around Gros Morne. Over the past 300 million years, the upheavals that created the Appalachian Mountain reach this far north. Repeated glacial scouring over the past two million years has resulted in various forms of glacial scarring and the province's typically rounded hilltops.
The Island had Beotuk Indians, though they move inland to avoid European settles, and became extinct back in 1828. Dorset Eskimos settled in a number of locations along the coast, including at Cape Ray.
While the plant life in Newfoundland is pretty similar to the Mainland's, only 14 species of mammals were able to cross the side waters around the island, and several of those are now extinct. Moose were only introduced to the province in 1904 and chipmunks in 1962.
Port aux Basques started as a fishing village in the 1500s, as were many other communities along the south and west coasts of the Island. Port aux Basques was the western end of the Newfoundland railway dating back to 1898. After the Trans-Canada Highway was built across the island, rail passenger service was replaced by bus service in 1968, and the rail system was shut down in 1988.
The railways right of way has been converted to the T'Railway recreational pathway which forms the eastern-most portion of the Trans Canada Trail.
The southwestern portion of the Trans-Canada lies in the Coastal Barrens eco-zone, with much exposed rock covered with fragile lichens in high areas and bog and heath in shallow areas (where they can accumulate to a depth of 2 to 20 feet. Forests in the sheltered valleys protect growths of blueberries, as well as ptarmigans and partridges. In the marshy areas, you can find tasty marshberries and bakeapples, as well as flowering plants like the sundew and bladderworts, and carnivorous plants like the pitcher plant (the provincial flower). Caribou are attracted to the lichen as well as kelp lying along the shoreline.
The west end of the Island is secured by the Long Range of mountains, which continues north to St Anthony's near the Labrador coastline. Near Port aux Basques is the 518 metres (1680 foot) Table Mountain, has had measured winds of over 160 km/hr. At Barchois Provinical Park, you can see caribou, the rare Newfoundland pine marten, chipmunks, six species of woodpeckers, as well as several species of orchids. The Grand Codroy River, is the southernmost salmon river crossing the Trans-Canada, with the annual migration in early June, well before other salmon rivers in the province.
The Humber River, at Corner Brook, is an important salmon river, and was explored by Captain James Cook in 1767, and he sailed up the first few miles.
Trans-Canada Highway Historyhistory: Port aux Basques to Corner Brooke
Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map
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