The Viking Trail road trip of Canada

The Viking Trail road trip of Canada


This is a themed highway that focuses on both the Vikings as well as other types of settlers that colonized this region, with a number of specific historical sites, monuments, and museums concentrated along this route that illustrate the cultures of these ancient peoples who once inhabited the Newfoundland territory, specifically (in chronological order), the Maritime Archaic and Dorset Indians (at the city of Port au Choix), the Vikings (at the town of L’Anse aux Meadows), and the Basque Whalers (at the city of Red Bay).

Basque Whalers Canada

flickr image by Carrotflower Productions International

Other touring highlights will include the whaling industry that helped to shape and build this region, numeruos archaeological sites, and a number of Viking exhibitions. The other reason to take this road trip is simply for the views themselves; icebergs, glaciers, waterfalls, and rugged cliffs lend themselves to amazing scenes of natural wonder, and spectacular national parks showcase the unique natural beauty of the Canadian North American region (in fact, the national park of GrosMorne National Park is the great highlight of this and main draw fo this trip__) . Overall, this road trip is not only a cultural learning experience but also a scenic tour of the rugged beauty of this country’s region, and is one of the great road trips of North America.

GrosMorne National Park Canada

flickr image by Product of Newfoundland

The start of the Viking Trail ois considerd to be the intersecton of route 1 and route 430 nar Deer Lake in Lj’anse ua Clair, with the destination point being L[Anse auxm Meadows. Starting in the city of Labrador, the first site that you may wish to visit along this route is the Port au Choix national historic site, a preservation site of the aboriginal peoples and maritime cultures that once populated this area on the Pointe Riche Peninsula. Museums dedicated to the four ancient cultures of the Maritime Archaic Indian, Dorset and Groswater Paleoeskimo, and Recent Indians also exist here that are popular attractions as well. A number of other archaelogical sites here are also opent ot the public, both prehistoric as well as early European, that one may also wish to consider visiting; one notable such site include Philips Gardens, which highlights the remains of a Dorset community. The Pointe Riche lighthouse should also be visited before leaving as well.

Port au Choix Canada

flickr image by Haydn Blackey

Journeying on towards the city of Red Bay, one will next experience a thorough learning trip about the whaling industry that once flourished in this region. Here you may wish to visit the Red Bay National Historic site, where you will learn about the Basque people who ran this whaling operation (employing more than 1000 people at its peak) to extract whale oil to supply Europe’s lamp industry. Before leaving the city of Labrador you must also visit the renowned UNESCO world heritage site of Gros Morne National Park of Canada, a must see attraction which must not be overlooked. A stunning park filled with breathtaking beauty, natural wonders, and a widely varying number of ecological terrains, one will find here the Long Range Mountains , fiord valleys, deep glacial lakes, coastal bogs and wave-carved cliffs. A variety of ecological terrains exist within this park as well, with environments varying from waterfalls, marine inlets, and sandy beaches to fiord valleys and deep glacial lakes, to coastal bogs and wave-carved cliffs.

Red Bay Canada

flickr image by -AX-

Although the vastness, size, and sheer number of attractions of this park may seem somewhat overwhelming at first, one must nonetheless not leave this park without attempting to have a thorough tour of all of its grounds and landmark sites, and hence one may wish to take more than one day to fully view and appreciate this park. Some sites that one will not want to miss are Baker’s Brook Falls, moose, black bear, caribou, and harbor seal sightings, the Trout river, famous for its magnificent views and geological wonder of the nearby Tablelands, the Garden River Trail, with its exploration of ancient volcanic formations, Woody Settlement, the James Callaghan hiking trail, which is a day long hike that takes you to the peak of Gros Morne mountains and a panoramic view of ht entire park and mountain ranges, the amazing West Brook Gorge, Broom Point, one of the best bird watching sites on the West Coast, Green Point (which highlights ecology from different time periods), Pissing Mare Falls, and much, much more – please keep in mind that these are only a handful of the dozens of different regional parks, settlements, drives, trails and tours, bird viewing regions, animal watching regions, and more that are offered by this park. Due to the overwhelming selection, it is strongly suggested that one take advantage of a number of tours and tour guides which can help you coordinate your trip through this sprawling park.

After touring this park, the road trip will head towards its final destination of the town of St. Anthony’s and L’Anse aux Meadows, a historic site that has preserved and re-created an exact replica of a Viking village from early settlement times and has been declared a World UNESCO Heritage site; renown for being one of the Viking villages founded by Leif Ericsson (also known collectively as Vinland), this site has restored and re-created an exact replica of a Viking village as it existed in the early 1000’s, with three restored Norse buildings being the main highlight of this site, along with Other Norse village replicas, a Viking encampment, a Viking furnace hut, and a Viking boat replica have also been re-constructed to give the visitor a thorough view of what life was like in these villages. This site is famous for being the first place where Europeans landed in North America and made contact with its earliest inhabitants, and it is indeed a historic and culturally significant place of distinction in and of that reason itself. Other excursions which one may wish to make in this town are a trip to nearby Grenfell Museum and iceberg watching along the coast. Overall, this road trip will take the traveler both through some of the most magnificent scenery of North America as well as some of its most significant historic sites, and provide a bit of cultural history of Canada; a memorable trip that many consider to be an entire vacation itself, this road trip is indeed one of the more unique and diverse road trips that one can take in the world today.

Date posted: 2nd April, 2016

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