Terra Nova, Newfoundland. National Park Terra Nova, Newfoundland on the map of Canada

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Terra Nova, Newfoundland. National Park Terra Nova, Newfoundland on the map of Canada

Snowshoe hare (far right, top) were introduced to Terra Nova by humans in the nineteenth century, but are now as plentiful as the native lynx, bear and beaver (far right, bottom).

Below: The Great Horned Owl, the largest and most familiar owl, is a common part of the 'night life' of the Maritimes.

Terra Nova, Newfoundland

Established: 1957   Acreage: 97,987

Terra Nova, or 'new land,' is Canada's most easterly park and was created to represent the Atlantic Uplands of the eastern portion of Newfoundland and to protect remnants of the ancient Appalachian Mountains. Thirty percent of the park is ocean water. Three tongues of Bonavista Bay indent the land—Southwest Arm (Alexander Bay), Newman Sound and Clode Sound. The land was shaped by the glaciers during the Ice Age, and the resulting rock formations, deposits of sand, gravel and large boulders, and the fiords along the coast are among the park's distinctive features.

The region owes its temperate climate to the sea. The warm Gulf Stream flowing past Newfoundland delays and moderates the onset of winter, while Labrador Current brings with it pack ice and enormous icebergs from the glaciers of Greenland and the polar cap. In turn, the moderate climate of Terra Nova affects the area's plants and animals. The rolling hills are cloaked in the greens and greys of black spruce and balsam fir. Stands of white birch and poplar are found throughout the park, interspersed by alder and red maple in the stream valleys. Bogs filled with moss, bog laurel, leath-erleaf, pitcher plant and Labrador tea are abundant, but wildlife is somewhat limited, owing to the isolation of Newfoundland from the Canadian mainland.

Most reminders of Terra Nova's cultural heritage lie along the coast. Europeans reached the area as early as the 1500s. Explorers, fishermen and pirates travelled this coast, taking refuge and settling in the many hidden caves and harbors. The use of timber for boat building developed into a major lumber industry, and in fact some mills were operating until the land was acquired for the parks in the late 1950s.

 

Terra Nova, Newfoundland. National Park Terra Nova, Newfoundland on the map of Canada