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Boat ride on Western Brook Pond when the water is calm

Western Brook Pond Boat Ride in Newfoundland

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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 on Western Brook Pond 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.

The official start of the Long Range Traverse - a the dock at the far end of Western Brook Pond
The official start of the Long Range Traverse at the dock at the far end of Western Brook Pond

Getting to the boat tour on Western Brook Pond

To even get to the start of the boat ride, you must walk in three kilometres 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.

Follow the trail to reach Western Brook Pond
Follow the trail to reach the start of the boat tour

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 m above the lake. They are an awe-inspiring sight in themselves.

Western Brook Pond boat tour – what you’ll see

Parks Canada red chairs looking out over the "pond"
Parks Canada red chairs looking out over the “pond”

Western Brook Pond has some interesting features

  • The “Pond” is 16 km long and 165 m 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 the 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.”

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.

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
It's just as pretty looking back as it is looking forward
It’s just as pretty looking back as it is looking forward
Boat ride on Western Brook Pond
Boat ride when the water is calm
One of the huge waterfalls you see near the far end of the "Pond"
One of the huge waterfalls you see near the far end of the “Pond”
It feels very quiet when the boat pulls away
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.

Location map

                         

Further reading on Newfoundland 

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An unforgettable boat ride on Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

 

 

 

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