Woody Point – Eastern Head. One of many great paddling destinations in Gros Morne National Park is the historic town of Woody Point. The seaside town is a great base from which you can choose several great day trips and I recently enjoyed a great paddle along the south shore of Bonne Bay to Eastern Head.
You can put in at a small beach located next to the fish plant along the town’s waterfront and head west past the lighthouse and the tiny hamlet of Curzon Village with a great view of the Tablelands just over your shoulder. As you paddle onwards, the rocky coastline is shadowed by an arm of the Long Range Mountains that rise up nearly 1800 feet above sea level. Moose, Fox, and Black Bears are not uncommon sights on the steep, wooded shore.
2km past Woody Point is Much’s Point. There is a great beach here to stop for lunch or to camp out for the night. I recently camped here and found it very enjoyable. After Much’s point the shore steepens considerably and there is only one other beach at Chatter’s Cove that you can use to get ashore. Luckily, the prevailing wind here in the summer is SW and most days you are protected from the wind from the steep cliffs.
As you approach Eastern Head you pass by an interesting rock formation that is know by the local people as “The Old Woman”. It looks like a sea stack raised 1500 feet above the water! From Eastern Head you can sneak out for a peak at the open 60km of ocean that separates Newfoundland from Quebec if it is not too rough and your skills are adequate. The more adventurous soul might venture south along the coast to Green Gardens and Trout River or venture the 5km crossing to Rocky Harbour on the north shore of the bay.
This route is a great day paddle for all paddlers that have the ability to react to changing sea conditions where landing sites may become very limited in rough seas. It is a little more than 8km each way which means you might have to paddle that distance back to safety if it gets very rough. Luckily though the weather is fairly predictable here during the summer and most days serve up a sea breeze of no more than 10-15knots. Always be sure to check the local weather before heading out into exposed areas.
Drive along the waterfront of Woody Point and put in at any of the local beaches provided you have a place to park your car.
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