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Cow Head

(click here to find Cow Head on the map)

Cow Head is the northern-most enclave community in Gros Morne National Park. Cow Head is one of our favourite spots in Newfoundland. You've got scenery, location and lots to do. The place we always stay is the Sea Breeze B&B and RV Park. Cow Head has a peninsula joined to the mainland by a narrow gravel isthmus, that you will think is man-made. The peninsula is known as 'The Head', it's also known as Summerside. The town is called Winterside. Residents would live on The Head during the summer. When fishing season ended in October, they would move to the more protected Winterside. The government re-settled Summerside to the existing town site. The Head today has a fishing wharf, several cemeteries, a couple of summer homes and a beautiful trail.

(click photos to enlarge, click caption for mapped location)

Cow Head, NL
Map of The Head, Cow Head, NL
Lighthouse Trail, Cow Head, NL
Lighthouse, Cow Head, NL

The trail on The Head is well maintained and an easy hike. There is a viewing stand where you have an un-matched view of the coastline of Gros Morne Park. You also can visit a small lighthouse that is no longer operational. You can actually go inside and climb up the ladder for a view of the ocean. There are several other interesting viewing areas along the trail.

Cow Head sits on a very shallow bay, which is called Shallow Bay. The tides here are quite noticeable, with quite a few rocks in the bay exposed at low tide. The bay is protected by some pretty islands. There are two bays separated by a sandy spit. Cow Head has one of the longest sand beaches in Newfoundland and a large area of dunes. To reach the beach, go east on Main Street. Outside of town it becomes Parks Road. If you follow this almost to the end you'll see the gravel road to the beach parking area. There are trails here and lookouts built. Take a walk on the beach, it's firmly packed sand and perfect for a hike.

(click photos to enlarge, click caption for mapped location)

Parking for Shallow Bay Beach, Cow Head, NL
Belldowns Islands, Cow Head, NL
Sand Dunes, Cow Head, NL
Parking for Shallow Bay Beach, Cow Head, NL

In town, see the Dr. Henry N. Payne Museum and learn much more about the town's history. Our guide was from Cow Head and remembers the town in the early 60's before hydro or the road arrived. The museum also has artifacts from The Head, which has an interesting history that pre-dates the arrival of Europeans. The museum also has a good selection of hand-made crafts.

Cow Head is home to the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. The plays are world class. They are performed in The Warehouse Theatre. They also have an excellent dinner theatre hosted at The Shallow Bay Motel, next door to the theatre. We saw 'Tempting Providence' twice. Once in Cow Head and once on tour in London, Ontario. We've also seen the S.S. Ethie dinner theatre.

(click photos to enlarge, click caption for mapped location)

Dr. Henry N. Payne Museum, Cow Head, NL
Sunset over the Isthmus, Cow Head, NL
Warehouse Theatre, Cow Head, NL
Shallow Bay Motel, Cow Head, NL