There’s lots to discover off-road on The Rock
Have you ever wanted to veer sharply away from the beaten path? Are you looking for adventure of a distinctly Canadian variety? An off-roading trip in Newfoundland and Labrador might be the perfect answer.
The Rock is home to one of the longest stretches of ATVing and snowmobiling pathways in the country. The Newfoundland T’Railway Provincial Park features a rail bed route that spans a whopping 883 km and winds through towns, counties and true wilderness.
(Fun fact: this trail is just one portion of the Trans Canada Trail, which connects St. John’s, NL to Victoria, BC and way up to Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. When finished, it will stretch for more than 22,000 km.)
If you’re looking for a more modest adventure, stick to the T’Railway for an off-roading experience that can last anywhere from a couple of days to a full week. Here are some tips and resources to help you immerse yourself in the wild.
Formerly a Canadian National railway line, the T’Railway is a recreational pathway that boasts hiking, biking, equestrian, snowmobile, ATV and cross-country ski trails. In some areas, dog sledding and snowshoeing are also permitted. Feeding into the trail system are a number of railway trails
that allow access to lots of other overland and coastal trail routes all over the island if you’d like a less linear trip.
ATVing the T’Railway
On a trike or quad ATV, travelling from coast to coast, you’ll pass through cliff-side ocean views, mountains, flat lands, rivers, lakes, beaches, waterfalls and wildlife. You can start from Port aux Basques on the west coast to the city of St. John’s on the east coast. It’s best to plot a course and stick to it. Bring your camera—the remote backcountry teems with wildlife.
Resources to help you plan your trip:
- Crossing Newfoundland by ATV: A comprehensive blog by an experienced ATVer who has run the T-Way
dozens of times. You’ll find plenty of planning, routing, packing and lodging tips.
- The Newfoundland T’Railway Council: Learn more about the railway, how long it takes to cross and information on ATV regulations.
- Outatime Tours: The “Codfather of Fun” offers guided tours of the T’Railway and other areas on the island.
Snowmobiling the T’Railway
When the snow flies, off-roaders hit the trail on their trusty snowmobiles. In backcountry Newfoundland, the season often gets started as early as December and can last until April or early May, with an average snowfall of up to 16 feet. Although there are more than 5,000 km of snowmobiling
trails across the province, the T’Railway remains popular thanks to its accessible, groomed trails for riders at all levels. You’ll still be able to
get into the wilderness with access to unmarked trails and untouched open terrain.
Check out these sites to help you plan your trip:
- Marble Zip Tours: Learn about snowmobiling throughout the T-Way and book a tour.
- Province of Newfoundland and Labrador: Get information about reputable tour operators in the area.
- Newfoundland & Labrador Snowmobile Federation: Order your trail pass early here.