Gros Morne on the map, Newfoundland. Gros Morne National Park on the map of Canada
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Gros Morne, Newfoundland
Established: 1970 Acreage: 480,000
Gros Morne National Park contains strikingly different geological features—from mountains and cliffs, to waterfalls and lakes, to bogs and sand dunes. These fabulous geological features have earned the park international recognition as one of the world's most outstanding natural areas. Most of the landscape was created by continental drift, including the intriguing Tablelands—a piece of the earth's interior that has been forced to the surface. Found in the eastern section of the park, the Long Range Mountains comprise roughly 42 percent of the total area of Gros Morne. The mountains were formed through the erosion of massive uplifted and tilted coastal blocks. From a distance the mountains appear flat, but in reality they consist of a series of ridges and wide valleys
separated by low bluffs. Weather varies greatly in the Long Range area. A day of fog, sleet and gale force winds may be followed by one of bright sunshine. In winter, abundant snowfall provides the opportunity for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and winter camping.
Each area of the park has its own plants and animals. Along the coastline are volcanic sea stacks and caves, headlands, sand and cobblestone beaches and dunes, as well as periwinkles and sea urchins. Moose, woodland caribou, fox, lynx, beaver and snowshoe hare are among the mammals that make their home in the park. The ponds and streams of the park are filled with trout and salmon, and off-shore waters abound with cod, sea perch, mackerel, and sea trout.
Hiking on one of the park's many trails offers the best way to explore the varied scenery of Gros Morne. Trails lead through the tuckamore—tangled, twisted spruce trees—to sights of incredible fiords and waterfalls. The park also has a rich cultural heritage, still evident in the lifestyle of the local communities. For thousands of years, residents of the area have built their lives around fishing.
Right: A hiker takes a brief respite in the peaceful woods along the Southeast Brook.
Below: Gros Morne is a study in contrasting landscapes. Here a lone hiker perches high amid the rugged, mountainous terrain of Gros Morne. Not far away lie beaches and sanddunes.