Western Brook Pond
Gros Morne National Park
Thank you for your patience as we work hard to renew the Western Brook Pond trail surface and boat operation facilities.
As part of efforts to share information and updates regarding the Western Brook Pond project, Parks Canada team members have compiled a set of “Frequently Asked Questions” based on queries received from local residents, stakeholders and the general public. Additionally, a “Timeline” has been created to trace the evolution of the trail from its beginnings to present-day, providing insight into the origins of the infrastructure project at Western Brook Pond. Parks Canada appreciates the interest expressed by the public in our work and encourages you to visit this page often, as updates will be added here as they become available. We also invite you to continue sending us your questions so that we can provide clear and accurate information about all aspects of this project.
Fact sheets/project updates:
- Western Brook Pond Project Update - June 18, 2019
- Western Brook Pond Project Update - January 23rd, 2019
- Western Brook Pond infrastructure upgrades resume (Oct 10, 2018)
- Western Brook Pond Project Update - October 1st, 2018
- Infrastructure Changes at Western Brook Pond
Infrastructure Changes at Western Brook Pond 2017-2019
Parks Canada is investing an unprecedented $3 billion dollars over 5 years to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine; the largest investment in its history. This investment supports work to ensure Western Brook Pond remains a safe, high-quality and enjoyable experience for generations to come. Through these investments, Parks Canada is protecting and preserving our treasured places, while contributing to growth in the tourism sector.
Parks Canada invested more than $3 million in the facilities at Western Brook Pond and to carry out necessary repairs.
According to a recent visitor survey, many visitors to Gros Morne National Park who took the boat tour at Western Brook Pond describe it as the highlight of their visit (Visitor Information Program Survey, 2015. In 2017, boat tour users accounted for 40,000 hikers on this trail, a 46% increase since 2013.
Infrastructure Issues pre-2017
With such high visitor appeal, the previous parking lot was frequently beyond capacity, resulting in a public safety concern with large numbers of vehicles parked on the shoulder of Route 430. The trail, with long sections of narrow and sometimes unstable boardwalk, could not accommodate this level of use, causing problems with congestion and creating concerns regarding the safe transportation of fuel and other supplies required for the operation of the boat tour. Some sections of the trail were also prone to flooding, erosion and washouts, necessitating almost daily maintenance.
The pressure treated wood boardwalks of the Western Brook Pond trail were subject to regular flooding and are subject to deterioration over time.The work that has been completed includes:
These expansions and upgrades will help ensure the quality and reliability of visitor facilities and continue to allow Canadians to connect with nature.
All proposed infrastructure work is scrutinized to mitigate environmental impacts. Some design features and mitigations for the Western Brook Pond project include:
Timeline and Visitor Impact
The trail has now re-opened year-round.
Starting in 2019 and continuing over the coming years, Parks Canada will continue to restore and monitor re-vegetation along the trail. Plans are also underway to design and install visitor experience elements such as interpretive panels, rest areas and viewpoints to meet the needs and interests of the broad range of visitors using the trail. This finishing work will not impact visitor access to the trail.
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