Routes 460 & 463
Stop, look and listen. The French Ancestors Route/La Route des Ancêtres is a study in linguistics. Explore French-speaking communities with colourful names such as Cap St-George, la Grand’ Terre (Mainland) and L’Anse aux Canards (Black Duck Brook). The Port au Port Peninsula has several unusual features, including the rocks at Three Rock Cove. The Point au Mal lookout affords a spectacular view of Port au Port Bay.
Minutes from Stephenville, visitors cross the Gravels, the isthmus connecting the peninsula to insular Newfoundland. Visit Our Lady of Mercy Church, the largest wooden structure in Newfoundland, its museum with a collection of artifacts from the Port au Port area, craft shop and tea room. Look for Abbott and Haliburton Co. Ltd. At 100 years, it’s the oldest firm in western Newfoundland.
Drive along the edge of jagged cliffs that plunge into chilly waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Travel to picturesque fishing communities where the traditional way of life is carried on much as it has been for centuries. Sheaves Cove is home to hidden waterfalls. The community of Mainland is over 200 years old. In Piccadilly ask for directions to Piccadilly Park and the “Big Hole,” a wonderful spot for digging clams.
Check out Red Island, named for its red cliffs. Visit the province’s only alpaca and llama farm. Black Duck Brook has its own French Association-Chez Les Francais, to promote the French language and culture. The Gravel’s Walking Trail is a four-kilometre walk along the rocky shoreline of Port au Port Bay featuring coves, fossils and beaches. Join a bilingual guide for a tour of Cercle Des Mémories, which represents the life of French Newfoundlanders in the early 1900s.