Captain Cook's Trail

Corner Brook and Humber Arm

Distance - 53km

About one hour's drive from Stephenville, Corner Brook is located at the mouth of the Humber River, one of the province's most beautiful scenic areas. The city has a population of 22,000 and is a bustling industrial centre with a huge pulp and paper mill built in the 1920s. The city has many facilities for the traveller - hotel and motel accommodations, restaurants and nightspots as well as historic sites and an Arts and Culture Centre. It's also known for some of the best salmon fishing anywhere in the Humber River.

Experienced rock climbers will find plenty of challenges, and the city has many natural scenic attractions including Margaret Bowater Park, a picnic and recreational facility situated in a wooded river valley that runs to Humber Arm, near the city's pulp and paper mill. But it's February that Corner Brook has become famous for. Its Winter Carnival is the high point in a winter-long skiing adventure centered on Marble Mountain, just a 10-minute drive east of the city. Marble has some of the best and most reliable skiing in eastern North America. Downhill and cross-country enthusiasts, snow boarders - and even back-country heli-skiing fans - have discovered the great hills and trails and snow. Anyone who appreciates winter will want to visit Marble Mountain when it's in its glory.

Corner Brook is a good base from which to explore the surrounding countryside, whether you're driving or bicycling. Certainly, Capt. James Cook found it an excellent base when he charted this part of the coast in 1767. Cook was marine surveyor of Newfoundland from 1763 to 1767. His detailed charts made life safer for mariners, and his work was so good that many of his charts can still be used today. Cook's maps were published in winter between his voyages, and were the first to use accurate triangulation. Cook also discovered that feeding his men citrus fruits prevented scurvy. He went on to explore much of the pacific and was killed in Hawaii in 1779.

On Crow Hill in the Curling area you will find the Captain James Cook Memorial lookout. It provides a panoramic view of Corner Brook and the Bay of Islands area. Another attraction is Prince Edward Park, a pleasant municipal facility situated near the mouth of the Humber River.

Route 450, along the southern shore of Humber Arm, is a twisting highway that, in many places, had to be blasted through solid rock when it was constructed in the 1960s.

The Corner Brook-Bay of Islands area is blessed with a series of fine hiking trails of various lengths and degrees of difficulty. Ask for information at the Visitor Information Centres in Western Newfoundland. As you drive along this sheltered arm of the Bay of Islands, you can look to the left to see weather-worn ridges that extend inland to form a low mountain plateau and watershed.

On the far horizon the Lewis Hills, peaking at 815 metres, is where you'll find the highest point of land on the Island of Newfoundland. The Serpentine River and Lewis Hills area has no highway access but, with an experienced guide, the serious naturalist can enjoy a 2-to-3-day wilderness hike through these spectacular mountains.

Further west are the small communities from Halfway Point to Frenchman's Cove. A few kilometres more brings you to the Bay of Islands and an opportunity to view and photograph Guernsey, Tweed and Pearl islands which rise high out of the surrounding sea to give the area its name.

York Harbour and Lark Harbour were named for two of Captain Cook’s ships, the HMS York and HMS Lark. York Harbour was the site of a copper mine from the 1880s to 1913. As you come to the end of Captain Cook’s Trail you will find Lark Harbour, a breathtaking community surrounded by beautiful mountains and crystal clear water. Bottle Cove and Little Port are part of the community. A naturally carved “sea cave” is visible on the south side of Bottle Cove and is fascinating to view. At the road's end you may want to bargain for a meal of seafood or visit Blow Me Down Provincial Park, a small campground with a nature trail and picnic/recreation facilities

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