NL Provincial Parks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Wayne, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    For anyone interested in NL Provincial Park camping, the booking for NL Provincial Parks opens April 24, 2019. It seems like every year that more and more people pre-book sites well in advance and makes spur of the moment camping difficult.
     
  2. Trash

    Trash Active Member

    How True!
    It bothers me when I ride through a campground posted as full, and see the empty sites of those who pre-booked, and never showed up. For that reason, many of the National Parks here have decided to only offer reservations on a limited number of sites, hoping to still have availability for those who just show up. I can see both the pros and the cons.
     
  3. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    One of the problems with Newfoundland is, for fair weather campers, conditions are rarely predictable weeks (or sometimes even hours) in advance. On more than one trip to Newfoundland, my plans changed in mid-stream due to inclement weather. At least twice I cut my trip short and headed for home a few days early when there were no breaks in the long-term forecast. Other times, weather governed my itinerary and I didn't get to places I had planned to see. A scenic coastal ride isn't much fun in drizzle, fog and cold wind. I end out using those days to cover longer distances between destinations or simply hole up in my tent or hotel room if improved conditions are expected the next day.
     
  4. skibum69

    skibum69 Active Member

    Good thing camping is legal anywhere it's not private property
     
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    I know of a nice spot in New Melbourne ;)
     
  6. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    Inside joke, I assume?

    Does anyone have some recommended free camping areas that are fairly easily accessible? I have never done any "stealth" camping but would like to consider it as an option. Partly because of availability and partly because of cost. $10.69 reservation fee (per transaction) + $7.00 vehicle entry fee + $20.15 for an unserviced site. It adds up for a week or two of camping.
     
  7. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    The camp fees are ridiculous. Practically cheaper to get a hotel.
     
  8. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    If you book a number of nights at one time, I think you only pay the reservation fee once? The vehicle entrance fee used to be (IIRC) $5.00 per night or $20 for a season pass - quite reasonable, I think. Five days of camping would pay for the pass. It is now $7.00 per night or $50 for the season! Not only that but the "Senior discount" does not apply for anyone from outside the province (I don't quite qualify but would in another year). Almost seems like they are trying to discourage tourism. I wrote to the Tourism Dept. when the rates went up so much a year or two ago and didn't even get a reply from them.

    I have found that, for the most part, NL provincial parks are excellent - clean, well maintained and in some beautiful, scenic settings. Other than the cost, my biggest beef is the lack of noise regulations and enforcement of quiet hours - especially in relation to CHEAP Canadian Tire generators used by many of the RV crowd. You would think that someone who spent $50K+ on an RV could fork out an extra few hundred to get one of the almost-silent Honda (or similar) generators rather than the barely muffled piece of junk intended for domestic emergency use only.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  9. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Goodyear's Cove is a nice spot that's fairly 'central' LOL
    Google here: goodyear cove park newfoundland or here: http://www.campscout.com/campground/NL0041/

    Note Goodyears Cove is listed as an RV Campground (aren't they all?) and there was a rock crusher that started up around 1:00am when we stayed there. I think there's a quarry or something nearby so you might want to ask park staff if that's still operating during the night. We camped there off the bike on a hot summer night and it was ideal except for some noise.

    We camped off the bike at Sandbanks Prov. Park too; https://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/plan-and-book/attractions/24915819
    You'll likely need reservations if your ride coincides with 'Burgeo Days' or other scheduled holidays. Real nice ride out to Burgeo and the beaches are epic. The firewood only cost $5.00 a 'turn' but was too green to burn so we just scrounged some driftwood and all was well.

    If you're heading to Burgeo from the East you can turn off at Badger, ride out to Buchans, camp at Indian Lake campground and pick up the Burgeo Hwy that way. Otherwise there's lots of campgrounds along the TCH between Badger and the Burgeo Hwy turnoff.

    There's always gravel pit and 'stealth' camping if that works. In my experience most gravel pits have regulars who leave their RVs there all season. Just ask anyone you see there where's the best place to pitch your tent.

    Stealth camping is a bit harder to recommend as conditions can change daily. You can stealth camp anywhere along the highway that's not fenced and out of sight from the Hwy is best if only to get far enough away from traffic noise and lights. Power line access roads, woods roads etc. or any place you see a bunch of firewood cut and stacked up is usually a good spot as well. If in doubt ask someone you see in the area. Try to avoid well used ATV trails as they can be busy at all hours of the night.

    Some larger communities have little local parks with free camping as well.
     
  10. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    I found a very cool website that lists dozens of free camping areas.
    https://freecampsites.net/#!Newfoundland%20and%20Labrador&query=region

    I will have to do some reading and exploring. I initially opened the website in Internet Explorer and the site didn't work well for me. Works great in Chrome.
    Click on a tent on the map and you will get specific information. Zoom in on a number and it will "split" into multiple tent sites - all free.
    Reviews and photos in some cases. This might be a good initial source but I would welcome other specific suggestions. Anybody familiar with any of these?

    I have stayed in seven or so different NL provincial parks and although I appreciate the amenities (toilets and showers mostly), doing maybe two nights out of three in a zero cost location extends the travel budget. Eventually, showers and laundry facilities (or crappy weather) would bring me back to civilization whether it is a provincial park or a cheap motel!
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
    Bob likes this.
  11. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    I checked your link and was glad to see Rattling Brook is there. Free camping next to an 800 ft waterfall and platforms to boot. Across the road there is a gazebo with picnic table and fire pit.
    I have also camped on the beach at Adeytown where a picnic table and firewood is provided.
    How about the beach in Little Bay? Picnic table in a shelter with open sides right in the community.
    The Dungeons near Bonavista has alot of community pasture on the road in and there are numerous places to pitch. Be mindful of the free roaming cattle and associated droppings but having grown up on a farm it does not bother me.
    In a rainstorm I have stayed in Terra Nova park at Cobblers brook. As long as you ride your bike in to the cookhouse then the staff don't check because the parking lot is empty. Roof over your head, a view of Newman sound and picnic tables with a woodstove.
    I have set up tent on grass next to the Visitor info stations on the highway right under the sign that says no camping. Nobody ever bothered me.
    Riding a dualsport makes it even easier as any logging road (not my favorite) or the T railway opens up lots of ponds with small beaches.
     
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  12. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    ^^^
    Yes, a dualsport would certainly open up a lot of possibilities!!
    While the FJR is a fantastic machine for the long haul, it is less well suited to logging roads and Trailway!
    One of these days...
     
  13. Bob

    Bob Active Member


    Nice link! I forgot you were on a FJR when I mentioned the Red Indian Lake campsite, not sure that route would be fair to the FJR. The rest I mentioned are close to the Hwy.
    If you're on the Island after July 09 pop me a PM and I'll gladly host you and show you around. I'm in Clarenville, so easy access to the Bonavista, Burin, Eastport and Avalon Peninsulas for day trips or camping.
     
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    Four years ago when the Liberal government announced all the tax and fee increases, the Provincial Park yearly "vehicle entry pass" jumped from $20 to $50. Why such the huge jump? If it had to be increased, it should of been to $25, or $30. Or maybe step increases over the four years. Grrrr....
     
  15. skibum69

    skibum69 Active Member

    Yes New Melbourne is kind of an inside joke, he's talking about my house and more specifically the apple orchard as ir's a lovely place to camp.:p
     
  16. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    Last time I camped in a PP was before they raised the fees. Lots of places to pitch and the rivers are free to grab a wash in. Private campgrounds are more cost effective. Nicholsville, River of Ponds, Jonathons pond etc charge less and have no vehicle entry permit requirements.
    Let's face the facts here. The Government wants out of the campground industry and has been trying to offload the responsibility for 20+ years. They want to charge more so people will not pay and then they can justify shutting the few remaining ones down or subbing them out to operators. They don't mind the ones where people will pay for a season to set the RV up and leave it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    Bob likes this.
  17. HunterSon

    HunterSon Active Member

    Some of the camp sites on that link are dubious. Camping at the Cape Spear Trail Head parking lot? A very public place. No where to camp there. Incinerator Road in Foxtrap? F#ck rv people can be cheap. They spend more money in gas than they would on a camp site. No wonder the province is full of garbage.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for stealth camping, but dragging a big RV around or setting up in a public parking lot is not stealth camping.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
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  18. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    The term 'stealth camping' in Newfoundland makes me smile. There's really no such thing unless you're trying to camp on private property.
    Our camping culture has been well established and respected 'in this wonderful province of ours' for ages. Does no one remember the Newfie Bullett? The Trouter's Special? Lloyd Colbourne and his buddy Bryce from 'Newfoundland Outdoors'? Everyone camped. You just had to control your camp fires and burn your garbage.
    I remember the first (of five) times we did the 'Gros Morne Traverse' from Western Brook pond to Gros Morne Mtn hike. Gros Morne National Park had just been established in 1973 and park rangers were still burning cabins locals had had there for generations, telling them where they could and could not hunt, fish, cut fire wood etc.
    Four of us Newfies paid Reg Roberts of Sally's Cove $5. bucks each for a ride up Western Brook Pond to the trail head. This year the same ride cost $65.00 each.
    A newly minted National Park Ranger (from away) tried to stop us because we didn't have a 'permit' or some such. We ripped him a new one ... figuratively of course... and he quickly conceded that we were 'locals' who 'knew the country' and promptly left us alone. It was a nice five day hike, all map and compass work of course as there were no trails to follow in those days.
    Point being that the culture of camping in Newfoundland and Labrador is long established, well respected, and if someone says you're good to pitch your tent somewhere for a night you have no worries.
    Legally you're either on Crown Land, in a municipality or on private land...
    Edit: On Crown Land no one can tell you to move along unless you are in violation of Provincial or Federal legislation as it pertains to land use. For example here are some links to copies of the Act, an example of the Glover Island Public Reserve Regulations, and related contact info:

    https://www.assembly.nl.ca/legislation/sr/statutes/l3691.htm#2_

    https://www.assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/Annualregs/2002/nr020087.htm

    https://www.flr.gov.nl.ca/department/contact_lands.html#clarenville

    I think most of the concerns raised here regarding crown land usage for overnight tenting by inmate HunterSon are covered under 'Easement' Sec. 5 and 'Unauthorized Use' 29.1(1), (2) of the Act and Sec 2.(c) and 4.1(2) of the Public Reserve Regulations as per the Glover Island example. If in doubt, call and check it out. Good catch Hunter Son:cool:

    On private land you'd need obviously the owner's permission and most municipalities either have a public park or can't afford a Bylaw Officer so either way you shouldn't worry.
    But seriously? You're on a motorcycle, you're camping, locals will want to know where you are from and where you're going. You're more likely to get invited to someone's home for a 'cup of tea' than harassed. Just saying'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  19. skibum69

    skibum69 Active Member

    Roughly 30 ADV inmates have stayed at least a night at my place.
     
  20. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    Didn't you have that many at the Soiree?
     

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