Why Travel between Port-aux-Basques and Corner Brook?

This is the southwest corner of Newfoundland, adjacent to the Wreckhouse Mountains, renowned for their high winds. You land at the ferry dock at Port aux Basques and drive north and see the most rugged  and hilly part of the province, as you had from Stephenville up to Corner Broook, the gateway to Gros Morne National Park, and the Long Range Mountains extending north to St Anthony’s and L’Anse aux Meadows.  Along  the way, you pass many quaint fishing villages and climb some exciting mountain plateaus.

Here is the itinerary for the 220 km along #1 from Port-aux-Basques ferry dock (from North Sydney, Nova Scotia) to Corner Brook

View of BC Legislature beside Vcitoria's Inner Harbour
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. Captain Cook, after mapping the St Lawrence River around Quebec City (making the surprise attack at the Plains of Abraham possible) was charged with mapping the coast and lands  of the Colony of Newfoundland, who’s  maps were  not bested until satellite photography and mapping in the 1960s  (more on this).

Whitbourne ot St John's Elevations
Whitbourne ot St John's Elevations
Moose Caution Sign in Newfoundland
Moose Caution Sign in Newfoundland

Trans-Canada Highway History

History: Port aux Basques to Corner Brook

Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map

Use mouse to drag/move map. Click on “+” or “” to zoom in or out. “Satellite” combines map & photo.
Note:

Itinerary Details

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
Map
Add
Info
0Exit #7 Highway #440 (Riverside Drive) W to Corner Brook, across Humber River to #440, access to Bay of Islands North Shore Hwy, W to Irishtown, Meadows, Gillams (Corner Brook39.6

 

2.8Underpass to gravel pit/stone quarry to E of highway (Corner Brook) 144.8

 

3Exit #6 Highway #450a (north access to Lewin Parkway), W to city of Corner Brook, all services, accommodation, and movie theatre (Corner Brook) 153.6

 

3.5Highway rest area (W), SB access only.175.6

 

4.5WB (SB) exit #5 to Massey Drive (E) Confederation Drive (W) to city of Corner Brook, info centre, highway is divided to north163.4

 

5.5EB (NB) exit #5 to Massey Drive (E) Confederation Drive (W) to city of Corner Brook, info centre, highway is divided to north157.6

 

8Exit #4 Highway #450 (south access to Lewin Parkway), W Corner Brook (12 km), all services. W to scenic Blow Me Down Provincial Park (60 kms), camping (Corner Brook) 235.3

 

21Services at highway Fuel, diesel (Corner Brook194.2

 

22Passing by Pinchgut Lake SSEB195.1

 

31View from highway of Georges Lake to W, Beaver Pond Road174.3

 

43Highway #402, W to communities of Gallants (9 km), Georges Lake (17 km)131.1

 

53Exit #3, interchange highway #460, W to Stephenville Crossing (22 km), Stephenville (27 km), access to Port au Port Bay scenic road & Picadilly Head PP (Stephenville) 104.9

 

64Crossing St Georges’s River (pond to W is St George’s Gut)7.9

 

65Highway #480 (Burgeo Hwy), E to Barachois Pond Provincial Park, campground24.7

 

68Barachois Pond Provincial Park (E), camping113.1

 

76Exit #2, interchange highway #490 (W) /#461, north access to St George’s (10 km), acess to Black Blank PP (4 km), south access to Stephenville Crossing (7 km) and Stephenville (21 km)29.6

 

77Crossing Barachois Brook14.3

 

83Highway #461- W to St. George’s (4 km) and Seal Rocks (5 km)107.3

 

85Services at highway (E) Fuel, gas, diesel.76.5

 

86Services at highway (W) Fuel, gas, diesel.78.6

 

87Crossing Flat Bay River60

 

88Highway #403 W to Flat Bay (10 km), St. Teresa NSEB67.7

 

103.6Fischell’s Brook crossing70.1

 

114.8Division No 4, Subdivision B road (E)37.2

 

115.2Highway #404 north access. W to communities of Robinson’s (7 km), Heatherton (7 km)37.2

 

115.4Crossing Robinsons River58.5

 

117.2Crossing Middle Barachoise River36.6

 

121Highway #404 south access. W to communities of Jeffrey’s (6 km), Mckay’s,69.5

 

124.8Crossing Crabbe River, services at highway (West side), access to Crabbe’s River Provincial Park (west side)42.1

 

125Highway #405 W to communities of St Fintan’s (6 km), St. David’s (8 km)66.8

 

143Passing by Codroy Pond (E)170.4

 

148Rest area & highway turnout (E)151.2

 

148.6North Branch (E) (North Branch) 133.8

 

149.2Exit to North Branch (W) (North Branch) 136.6

 

150Crossing the North Branch River123.7

 

157Crossing the South Branch River42.7

 

160Roadside turnout on W side, view of South Branch River142

 

165Community of South Branch (W) ( South Branch ) 25.3

 

181Junction of Doyles Station Rd, ton of Doyles, W to Grand Codroy PP (Grand Codroy River to W of highway from here, north(35.7

 

182Junction of Highway #406 Community of Doyles. Services at highway, fuel. West to communities of Upper Ferry, Codroy (Doyles) 21.3

 

185Highway #407 junction, W to community of St Andrew (5 km). W to Searston (12 km), Codroy Valley Provincial Park (14 km), day use. (Tomkins) 6.7

 

190Little Codroy River crossing5.5

 

192Division No 4 intersection, Little Paradise Park Campground (W), access to Mummuchog PP45.7

 

194Roadside Rest Area (E side)37.8

 

196access to Mummichog Provincial Park, camping26.5

 

196.2Roadside Highway Turnout (W)27.4

 

200Exit to Red Rock (W)48.8

 

201.3Roadside Rest Area (E side)46

 

201.5Bear Cove Brook crossing, passing Big Pond (mountain to west is 600 ft, to east is 1450 ft)26.5

 

204Highway #408 junction, W to Cape Ray, access to JT Cheeseman PP60.4

 

207View from highway NB69.2

 

209Exit to JT Cheeseman Provincial Park33.5

 

213Exit to Edna’s Rd19.5

 

214Truck Weigh Scales18

 

215Exit Grand Bay West Rd19.8

 

216.9Bridge over Grand Bay6.1

 

217.1Exit NB SB to High St / Grand Bay East9.8

 

218.7Exit Hyw #47010.7

 

219.2Exit NB SB to High St, Port aux Basques (Port aux Basques) 9.8

 

219.3Highway Merged – RCMP Detachment 709-695-2149 (Port aux Basques) 10.4

 

219.5Highway Divided (Port aux Basques) 4.6

 

219.7Newfoundland Visitor Information Centre -Access from highway (Port aux Basques) 

 

219.8Port aux Basques, all services. Info Centre at ferry terminal. (Port aux Basques) 

 

220Ferry Terminal to / from North Sydney Nova Scotia, Newfoundland Visitor Information (Port aux Basques3

 

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
Map
Add
Info

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
Map
Add
Info
0Ferry Terminal to / from North Sydney Nova Scotia, Newfoundland Visitor Information (Port aux Basques) 3

 

0.2Port aux Basques, all services. Info Centre at ferry terminal. (Port aux Basques) 

 

0.3Newfoundland Visitor Information Centre -Access from highway (Port aux Basques) 

 

0.5Highway Divided (Port aux Basques) 4.6

 

0.7Highway Merged – RCMP Detachment 709-695-2149 (Port aux Basques) 10.4

 

0.8Exit NB SB to High St, Port aux Basques (Port aux Basques) 9.8

 

1.3Exit Hyw #47010.7

 

2.9Exit NB SB to High St / Grand Bay East9.8

 

3.1Bridge over Grand Bay6.1

 

5Exit Grand Bay West Rd19.8

 

6Truck Weigh Scales18

 

7Exit to Edna’s Rd19.5

 

11Exit to JT Cheeseman Provincial Park33.5

 

13View from highway NB69.2

 

16Highway #408 junction, W to Cape Ray, access to JT Cheeseman PP60.4

 

18.5Bear Cove Brook crossing, passing Big Pond (mountain to west is 600 ft,. To east is 1450 ft)26.5

 

18.7Roadside Rest Area (E side)46

 

20Exit to Red Rock (W)48.8

 

23.8Roadside Highway Turnout (W)27.4

 

24access to Mummichog Provincial Park, camping26.5

 

26Roadside Rest Area (E side)37.8

 

28Division No 4 intersection, Little Paradise Park Campground (W), access to Mummuchog PP45.7

 

30Little Codroy River crossing5.5

 

35Highway #407 junction, W to community of St Andrew (5 km). W to Searston (12 km), Codroy Valley Provincial Park (14 km), day use. (Tomkins) 6.7

 

38Junction of Highway #406 Community of Doyles. Services at highway, fuel. West to communities of Upper Ferry, Codroy (Doyles) 21.3

 

39Junction of Doyles Station Rd, ton of Doyles, W to Grand Codroy PP (Grand Codroy River to W of highway from here, north(35.7

 

55Community of South Branch (W) ( South Branch ) 25.3

 

60Roadside turnout on W side, view of South Branch River142

 

63Crossing the South Branch River42.7

 

70Crossing the North Branch River123.7

 

70.8Exit to North Branch (W) (North Branch) 136.6

 

71.4North Branch (E) (North Branch) 133.8

 

72Rest area & highway turnout (E)151.2

 

77Passing by Codroy Pond (E)170.4

 

95Highway #405 W to communities of St Fintan’s (6 km), St. David’s (8 km)66.8

 

95.2Crossing Crabbe River, services at highway (West side), access to Crabbe’s River Provincial Park (west side)42.1

 

99Highway #404 south access. W to communities of Jeffrey’s (6 km), Mckay’s,69.5

 

102.8Crossing Middle Barachoise River36.6

 

104.6Crossing Robinsons River58.5

 

104.8Highway #404 north access. W to communities of Robinson’s (7 km), Heatherton (7 km)37.2

 

105.2Division No 4, Subdivision B road (E)37.2

 

116.4Fischell’s Brook crossing70.1

 

132Highway #403 W to Flat Bay (10 km), St. Teresa NSEB67.7

 

133Crossing Flat Bay River60

 

134Services at highway (W) Fuel, gas, diesel.78.6

 

135Services at highway (E) Fuel, gas, diesel.76.5

 

137Highway #461- W to St. George’s (4 km) and Seal Rocks (5 km)107.3

 

143Crossing Barachois Brook14.3

 

144Exit #2, interchange highway #490 (W) /#461, north access to St George’s (10 km), acess to Black Blank PP (4 km), south access to Stephenville Crossing (7 km) and Stephenville (21 km)29.6

 

152Barachois Pond Provincial Park (E), camping113.1

 

155Highway #480 (Burgeo Hwy), E to Barachois Pond Provincial Park, campground24.7

 

156Crossing St Georges’s River (pond to W is St George’s Gut)7.9

 

167Exit #3, interchange highway #460, W to Stephenville Crossing (22 km), Stephenville (27 km), access to Port au Port Bay scenic road & Picadilly Head PP (Stephenville) 104.9

 

177Highway #402, W to communities of Gallants (9 km), Georges Lake (17 km)131.1

 

189View from highway of Georges Lake to W, Beaver Pond Road174.3

 

198Passing by Pinchgut Lake SSEB195.1

 

199Services at highway Fuel, diesel (Corner Brook)194.2

 

212Exit #4 Highway #450 (south access to Lewin Parkway), W Corner Brook (12 km), all services. W to scenic Blow Me Down Provincial Park (60 kms), camping (Corner Brook) 235.3

 

214.5EB (NB) exit #5 to Massey Drive (E) Confederation Drive (W) to city of Corner Brook, info centre, highway is divided to north157.6

 

215.5WB (SB) exit #5 to Massey Drive (E) Confederation Drive (W) to city of Corner Brook, info centre, highway is divided to north163.4

 

216.5Highway rest area (W), SB access only.175.6

 

217Exit #6 Highway #450a (north access to Lewin Parkway), W to city of Corner Brook, all services, accommodation, and movie theatre (Corner Brook) 153.6

 

217.2Underpass to gravel pit/stone quarry to E of highway (Corner Brook) 144.8

 

220Exit #7 Highway #440 (Riverside Drive) W to Corner Brook, across Humber River to #440, access to Bay of Islands North Shore Hwy, W to Irishtown, Meadows, Gillams (Corner Brook) 39.6

 

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
Map
Add
Info