The Most Unknown and Unsigned Park in Newfoundland (Maybe?)

Monday, our last full day in Newfoundland, we drove to St John’s from Port Blandford. On the way, we decided to go to Salmonier Nature Park and Cataracts Provincial Park.

At Salmonier, animals are shown in their natural habitat. We heard very good thngs about it. Cataracts was fairly close and was described in our guidebook:

A deep river gorge with two cascading waterfalls provide a scenic setting for photographs. Stairs and walkways enable the visitor to descend the gorge and cross the river. Thirty-five percent of the known mosses and liverworts in Newfoundland have been identified in this park. Picnic sites and pit toilets are available for day users.

Sounds great, right? The only problem was the directions. We found “The park is located on the Avalon Peninsula south east of Placentia” and “the park is 25 km southwest of Salmonier” and “the park is 5 km west of Cloinet on route 91.”

Every other park we’ve visited (and ones we haven’t!) has been well-signed from the roads (TCH 1 and all of the routes). So I put rte 91 in Colinet in our GPS, followed the signs to 91 and drove along on my way.

Except we never saw a single sign for Cataracts. Salmonier, Witless Bay, Avalon Reserve? Sure. Cataracts? Nope.

I checked recreation: parks/gardens in my GPS and they had Cataracts listed, so I plugged it in.

And we drove. And drove. And found ourselves on yet another gravelly under-construction road.

“I don’t think this is it,” Good Man said, looking around.

I figured it didn’t matter. We’d see some sort of a sign. We always had before.

We passed several bridges. I wanted to stop and take photos, but Good Man wanted to find the park first.

When we got to the park’s location per GPS? Nothing. It was grass and trees and gravel. And over a 10-15 km stretch, about three houses. We drove a few km past the park point per GPS and finally turned around, deciding to give up and go to Salmonier.

I stopped at the bridge I’d wanted to take photos of and found!

Waterfall at Cataracts?

I poked around some more. Hey, that looks like a walkway over the gorge!

Walkway at Cataracts?

I went and got Good Man, “I think this is the park.”

Good Man looked around, “I do not see sign, this is not park.” He was right about the signs. If you’re looking for Cataracts, you won’t find signs. Of any sort. Anywhere. Good luck realizing this is a park when you’re actually driving. (As a side, if anyone is looking for the park, the GPS coordinates are 47.242406,-53.63156.)

No Sign

No Sign

We spent just a few minutes doing the walkway path. The views were nice, the park was deserted. When we were done, Good Man vetoed Salmonier. “It was too hard to find this place. That is our sign to skip Salmonier!”

Cataracts Park

Cataracts Park

I let Good Man have his way. We headed back to St John’s and relaxed for the evening, before heading home Tuesday morning.