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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
 
0 Exit #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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

4.5 WB (SB) exit #5 to Massey Drive (E) Confederation Drive (W) to city of Corner Brook, info centre, highway is divided to north 163.4

 

5.5 EB (NB) exit #5 to Massey Drive (E) Confederation Drive (W) to city of Corner Brook, info centre, highway is divided to north 157.6

 

8 Exit #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

 

21 Services at highway Fuel, diesel (Corner Brook 194.2

 

22 Passing by Pinchgut Lake SSEB 195.1

 

31 View from highway of Georges Lake to W, Beaver Pond Road 174.3

 

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

 

53 Exit #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

 

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

 

65 Highway #480 (Burgeo Hwy), E to Barachois Pond Provincial Park, campground 24.7

 

68 Barachois Pond Provincial Park (E), camping 113.1

 

76 Exit #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

 

77 Crossing Barachois Brook 14.3

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

87 Crossing Flat Bay River 60

 

88 Highway #403 W to Flat Bay (10 km), St. Teresa NSEB 67.7

 

103.6 Fischell’s Brook crossing 70.1

 

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

 

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

 

115.4 Crossing Robinsons River 58.5

 

117.2 Crossing Middle Barachoise River 36.6

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

143 Passing by Codroy Pond (E) 170.4

 

148 Rest area & highway turnout (E) 151.2

 

148.6 North Branch (E) (North Branch)  133.8

 

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

 

150 Crossing the North Branch River 123.7

 

157 Crossing the South Branch River 42.7

 

160 Roadside turnout on W side, view of South Branch River 142

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

185 Highway #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

 

190 Little Codroy River crossing 5.5

 

192 Division No 4 intersection, Little Paradise Park Campground (W), access to Mummuchog PP 45.7

 

194 Roadside Rest Area (E side) 37.8

 

196 access to Mummichog Provincial Park, camping 26.5

 

196.2 Roadside Highway Turnout (W) 27.4

 

200 Exit to Red Rock (W) 48.8

 

201.3 Roadside Rest Area (E side) 46

 

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

 

204 Highway #408 junction, W to Cape Ray, access to JT Cheeseman PP 60.4

 

207 View from highway NB 69.2

 

209 Exit to JT Cheeseman Provincial Park 33.5

 

213 Exit to Edna’s Rd 19.5

 

214 Truck Weigh Scales 18

 

215 Exit Grand Bay West Rd 19.8

 

216.9 Bridge over Grand Bay 6.1

 

217.1 Exit NB SB to High St / Grand Bay East 9.8

 

218.7 Exit Hyw #470 10.7

 

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

 

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

 

219.5 Highway Divided (Port aux Basques)  4.6

 

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

 

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

 

220 Ferry Terminal to / from North Sydney Nova Scotia, Newfoundland Visitor Information (Port aux Basques 3

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

0.5 Highway Divided (Port aux Basques)  4.6

 

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

 

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

 

1.3 Exit Hyw #470 10.7

 

2.9 Exit NB SB to High St / Grand Bay East 9.8

 

3.1 Bridge over Grand Bay 6.1

 

5 Exit Grand Bay West Rd 19.8

 

6 Truck Weigh Scales 18

 

7 Exit to Edna’s Rd 19.5

 

11 Exit to JT Cheeseman Provincial Park 33.5

 

13 View from highway NB 69.2

 

16 Highway #408 junction, W to Cape Ray, access to JT Cheeseman PP 60.4

 

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

 

18.7 Roadside Rest Area (E side) 46

 

20 Exit to Red Rock (W) 48.8

 

23.8 Roadside Highway Turnout (W) 27.4

 

24 access to Mummichog Provincial Park, camping 26.5

 

26 Roadside Rest Area (E side) 37.8

 

28 Division No 4 intersection, Little Paradise Park Campground (W), access to Mummuchog PP 45.7

 

30 Little Codroy River crossing 5.5

 

35 Highway #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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

60 Roadside turnout on W side, view of South Branch River 142

 

63 Crossing the South Branch River 42.7

 

70 Crossing the North Branch River 123.7

 

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

 

71.4 North Branch (E) (North Branch)  133.8

 

72 Rest area & highway turnout (E) 151.2

 

77 Passing by Codroy Pond (E) 170.4

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

102.8 Crossing Middle Barachoise River 36.6

 

104.6 Crossing Robinsons River 58.5

 

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

 

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

 

116.4 Fischell’s Brook crossing 70.1

 

132 Highway #403 W to Flat Bay (10 km), St. Teresa NSEB 67.7

 

133 Crossing Flat Bay River 60

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

143 Crossing Barachois Brook 14.3

 

144 Exit #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

 

152 Barachois Pond Provincial Park (E), camping 113.1

 

155 Highway #480 (Burgeo Hwy), E to Barachois Pond Provincial Park, campground 24.7

 

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

 

167 Exit #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

 

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

 

189 View from highway of Georges Lake to W, Beaver Pond Road 174.3

 

198 Passing by Pinchgut Lake SSEB 195.1

 

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

 

212 Exit #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

 

214.5 EB (NB) exit #5 to Massey Drive (E) Confederation Drive (W) to city of Corner Brook, info centre, highway is divided to north 157.6

 

215.5 WB (SB) exit #5 to Massey Drive (E) Confederation Drive (W) to city of Corner Brook, info centre, highway is divided to north 163.4

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

220 Exit #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
 

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