My cross-Canada trip kicks off in just over a month, starting in St. John's Newfoundland. I'll be riding around the island to the ferry at Port-Aux-Basques, and hoping to mostly stay on the T'Railway. I'm planning on it taking about 2 weeks including a couple days in St. John's and another couple in Gros Morne. Has anyone else biked the long way around the island (vs just St. John's to Argentia)? Could you easily camp along the T'Railway? Easy to find drinking water? Was hoping to not have to take a filter. Would love to hear anyone's experiences cycling this part of Canada.
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月, 2016-04-25 11:26#1
Late reply, but I thought I could help maybe. Last summer I did Halifax to l'anse aux meadows via port-aux-basques. After a couple of days on the highway I decided to try out the T'Railway. It is very rough. It's definitely doable with a mountain bike or fat bike, but I wouldn't recommend it on a road touring bike.
On the small section that I did from Midway Motel partway to Corner Brook, it was muddy, rocky and there was zero infrastructure. It seemed like it was mainly made for ATVs. In some parts of it, there were still ruts from where they took the train tracks out.
If you are set on doing the T'Railway, just make sure you are self-sufficient, in that you won't have anywhere to get food or water (other than the occasional river) on the trail - you would have to go switch to the highway to do so. From the section I went on, it is all marshland and forest and I didn't really see any good spots for wild camping, although I'm sure you would be able to find some areas that you could set up a tent. No paid campsites though.
Is there a way to attach a photo to the comment? I have a few photos of what it looked like for the stretch I did.
Thanks for the info! I've read some parts are better than others with regards to trail quality, but good to know re the lack of infrastructure. Maybe I'll plan to bring a water filter, and/or stick to the highway.
It's entirely possible that the trail is much more developed closer to St Johns and the avalon peninsula, so definitely worth checking out at the very least.
Last year I rode through Gros Morne national park following the Viking trail. It is a beautiful place, best week of my life. Do be prepared for some epic climbs; they are hard, but definitely worth the effort.
I didn't carry a water filter with me, as you will see, most Newfoundlanders drink from the tap.
Newfoundland (particularly Gros Morne) is quite remote though. Be sure to stock up on water and food for the day as you may encounter few facilities along the road.
Best of luck.
Thanks! I'm actually in Newfoundland currently. Gave up on the T'Railway after the first day (deep gravel, slow going) and have biked the highway since. Didn't bring a filter but kinda wish I did as all the private campgrounds I've been to so far have had "boil water" orders. Haven't reached Gros Morne yet but I'm excited.
Gros Morne isn't actually directly on the route to Port aux Basques, but it is absolutely worth the detour! There is a pedestrian ferry across the bay from Bonne bay to Norris point which can save you about 80km of serious hills if you want to see both the south and north side of the park.
If you're into hiking, I would highly recommend the Tablelands hike. (If I remember right, on Tuesdays they do a program called Reach for the Top which is a guided hike up the Tableland. Apparently you're not supposed to do it alone unless you have gps or map/compass since there are some false summits and you can get disoriented up there.) I enjoyed the Green Gardens hike as well on the south side.
On the north side, I stayed in the hostel in Rocky Harbour and would recommend doing the Gros Morne hike.
Anyways, that's my 2c. Have fun and good riding!