The Caribou Trail

Distance - 148km

The Road to Burgeo

A few kilometres past Barachois Pond Provincial Park is the intersection with Route 480 - the aptly named Caribou Trail - which winds 148 kilometres through the forests and barrens of the rugged interior to the south coast community of Burgeo. This is an excellent area to see some of the 60,000 woodland caribou that inhabit Newfoundland.

Burgeo is one of the largest towns on the south coast of Newfoundland. The name of the town was originally Portuguese "virgio," which evolved in two stages into Burgeo. It's about 95 km east of Port aux Basques, and can also be reached by coastal boat from Rose Blanche on Route 470. Burgeo is located on an island connected to the main portion of Newfoundland by a short causeway. Settled by Europeans in the 1700s, it has grown into a major service and transportation centre for the western half of the south coast. From here you can get a coastal boat west to La Poile and Rose Blanche, and east to Ramea, Grey River, Francois, Macallum and Gaultois.

A main attraction in the area is Sandbanks Provincial Park. Sand dunes are relatively rare in Newfoundland, but you'll find them here. These fragile dunes are covered by grass and beach pea, and are easily eroded, so please stay on the trails. Plants and animals that tolerate both fresh and salt water are found here. Salt water flows up Grepsey Brook to Heron Pond at high tide, while the reverse happens at low tide. The park is also a good place to see shore birds like sandpipers and water fowl such as ducks and geese. Sea kayakers will find this an excellent place to dip a paddle.

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