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A Boat Ride you Won’t Forget: Western Brook Pond, Newfoundland

If you’re in western Newfoundland, then the one must-do trip is a boat ride on Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park.

John and I had to do the boat ride out of necessity – as the boat dropped us off at the start of our four day Long Range Traverse – a backpacking trip. But this is one boat ride you’re going to want to do for pleasure.

To even get to the start of the boat ride, you must walk in three kilometers along a flat, easy path that is part dirt, part boardwalk. Allow about 45 minutes to an hour to do this. When you arrive at Western Brook Pond, there’s a sheltered waiting area where you can purchase gifts and food. There are also scattered chairs and picnic tables so even if you aren’t doing the boat tour, the hike in and out is extremely worthwhile.

You need to make a reservation with Bon Tours – either online or by calling 1-888-458-2016 0r 1-709-458-2016. The actual tour is two hours in length. It takes you to the far end of Western Brook Pond and back – with stops along the way to learn about the area – and to take photos. Cliffs tower above you for much of the ride – reaching over 700 meters above the lake. They are an awe-inspiring sight in themselves.

Here’s a look at what you’ll see on a boat tour.

Follow the trail to reach Western Brook Pond

Follow the trail to reach Western Brook Pond

The view of Western Brook Pond

The view of Western Brook Pond

Western Brook Pond has some interesting features.

  • Western Brook Pond is 16 kilometres long and 165 metres deep.
  • The only outlet of the lake is Western Brook – so it takes about 15 years for the water to completely change over.
  • Western Brook Pond is home to some of the world’s purest water.
  • More than 20 streams empty into Western Brook Pond; many of them are seasonal.
  • The pH of Western Brook Pond is close to neutral – mainly because the largest feeder stream is buffered by limestone.
  • It’s considered to be one of the last wild, oligotrophic lakes in the world. I had to look that up and what it means is

(of a lake) characterized by a low accumulation of dissolved nutrient salts, supporting but a sparse growth of algae and other organisms,and having a high oxygen content owing to the low organic content.

We're the first boat tour of the day so it's quiet

We’re the first boat tour of the day so it’s quiet

Stunning cliffs surround much of Western Brook Pond

Stunning cliffs surround much of Western Brook Pond

Boat ride on Western Brook Pond, Gros Morne NP

It’s just as pretty looking back as it is looking forward

In early morning Western Brook Pond is still calm

In early morning Western Brook Pond is still calm

One of the huge waterfalls you see near the far end of Western Brook Pond

One of the huge waterfalls you see near the far end of Western Brook Pond

The view down Western Brook Pond

The view down Western Brook Pond

Although most tours are two hours in length, we took just 25 minutes to whip down the lake as we were more shuttle than tour.

Alone at the end - and getting ready to start the Long Range Traverse

Alone at the end – and getting ready to start the Long Range Traverse

The far end of Western Brook Pond

It feels very quiet when the boat pulls away

Boat tours run from July until September 2nd. They are weather dependent and require 15 people to run. Its $56/adult, $26/youth and $20 for children. Should you be doing the Long Range Traverse, it’s $23.50 one way and/or a minimum of $195. It’s a different high-speed boat than is used for regular tourists.

Thank you to Go Western Newfoundland for covering my one way trip. All thoughts are mine – and this is truly an exceptional boat ride, especially on a blue sky day. 

Other Newfoundland posts you might enjoy:

What’s the most scenic boat tour you’ve ever done?

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Author Leigh

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure - & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project - a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

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