You'll find Rose Blanche and the Harbour le Cou Old Road Trail at the END of Highway 470. As you leave the ferry terminal in Port aux Basques, take the first exit to the right, Highway 470, Isle aux Morts. The drive is 42 km to Rose Blanche.
If you are coming towards Port aux Basques on the Trans Canada you will think you are driving into the ferry terminal. You'll pass signs thanking you for visiting the province. Relax, just before you get to the terminal, there's a final exit for Highway 470.
The drive to Rose Blanche is unbelievable in any weather. Chances are you have never seen a landscape like this! The winding road follows the coastline. It's difficult to drive more than 60 or 70 km/h for most of the route, there are no straight stretches. Although paved, it can be a little rough at times. As you approach Rose Blanche, there are signs for the granite lighthouse.
One of our facebook followers who used to live in the area pointed us to the Harbour le Cou Old Road Trail, and we are so happy he did!
As you enter Rose Blanche hwy 470 becomes Main Street. On your right you will come to a large white building. This is the Town Office and Fire Station. You are welcome to park your car there, just don't block the large doors. While there go into the building and have a chat with the lady there. She can answer any questions you may have, provide directions and point you to the washroom!
To get to the start of the trail, cross the street to Big Bottom Road and walk up it a short ways. On your left you will see a set of railings. There will be a small white shed with a sign that marks the head of the trail.
Before the road was put in this trail was the route taken by the locals to get between Harbour le Cou and Rose Blanche by foot. Once you get to the lookout you have a much better understanding of the geography and the purpose of this road. Locals still use this trail to traverse back and forth between the two communities. At the Rose Blanche end there is a cemetery in the bushes.
The trail is hilly but not difficult. There is a lookout that provides a breathtaking view of the south coast looking east. From here you can see Harbour le Cou, the Calapoose Rocks, Bay le Moine and the abandoned community of Petites.
If you are looking for a restaurant, you can stop in Isle aux Morts or Margaree on the way back to Port aux Basques. Depending on the time of year you may be able to get a lunch at the Rose Blanche Lighthouse.
We've written two blogs on topics that might interest Rose Blanche visitors. If you like to hike, there are some great trails near Rose Blanche. For lighthouse enthusiasts, we've written about the trails that we've visited on the west coast.
(click photos to enlarge, click caption for mapped location)
While walking trails we often find ourselves wondering how the various interesting formations came about. Our understanding of geology is pretty limited. We purchased a great book titled 'Geology of Newfoundland' by Martha Hickman Hild.
The book has GPS co-ordinates, photos and descriptions of 48 sites across the island. The level of information will satisfy serious rock hounds. In our case, we are able to glean enough to satisfy our curiosity. We keep the book in the truck, it does not matter what part of the island you are visiting, there will be an interesting site nearby.
We bought a copy ahead of our September 2015 trip to scout out sites we wanted to explore. The book is available on Amazon and you can purchase it through this link.
Before you head to Newfoundland, you may want to consider one or more of the great field guides that are available. We have done short reviews of the following: