This is a seasonal destination. Porter flies to Stephenville from June 28, 2017 to September 2, 2017. We hope you’ll consider joining us then.
Fly to Stephenville, to see the hidden beauty of Newfoundland’s west coast.
Tucked away on the edge of Western Newfoundland, overlooking Bay St. George, Stephenville is a city surrounded by wilderness. Rolling mountains, rivers, and calm lakes add to the outdoor appeal of this maritime locale. Whether you’re trekking the forests on foot, or braving the ocean by boat, Stephenville offers adventure for every explorer.
The highest peak in the province, the Cabox, looms near the city in the Lewis Hills. This 814-metre mountain is part of the Long Range system of mountains, the northernmost part of the Appalachian Mountain Chain.
If you’re looking for more mountains, Stephenville’s surrounding provincial and national parks are waiting for you with plenty of outdoor activities. Both Barachois Provincial Park and Gros Morne National Park contain peaks from the 1.2 billion-year-old Long Range Mountains. The proximity of this amazing section in the Appalachians is just another perk of Stephenville’s location.
For hikers seeking an easier path, point your feet towards the Stephenville Walk-A-Ways Trail Network. Along the Blanche Brook Trail and Fossil Forest Trail, you can walk among wood turned to stone, in the rocky remains of a 300 million-year-old forest. Throughout the city and surrounding area, these trails provide a convenient path into Stephenville’s wilderness.
The groomed greens of the Harmon Seaside Links can help you up your golf game during your visit to Stephenville. With a view over Bay St. George and an 18-hole course, the golfing here is sub-par (in a good way).
Swing by the Stephenville Theatre Festival for a look into Stephenville’s arts and culture scene. This summertime series is the perfect way to enjoy some entertainment before you return home.
After your flight to Stephenville, prepare to be blown away by the surrounding beauty.
This provincial park derives its strange name from the Blow Me Down Mountains. Most of the time, these striking mountains sit quietly on the horizon. However, when the breeze picks up, winds crash together on the mountains, before barrelling into the bay below.
The mountains’ name, which sounds more like “blomidon” in the local accent, comes from a sailor who had set anchor in the waters of the bay. In the local lore, Captain Messervey, looking up at the mountains, shouted: “I hope they don’t blow me down!”
Rising up 650 metres from sea level, the Blow Me Downs make for a challenging climb even on calm days. The windswept summit of these mountains is accessible by a 16 km hike, passing the sheer cliffs and deep valleys that scar the peak. If you’re looking for a more leisurely path, take the Governor’s Staircase. This easy stroll takes you through volcanic rock dating back 450 million years, sparkling with veins of quartz.
After stepping down the Governor’s Staircase, climb to the top of the observation tower. From the heights of this tower, you’ll be able to see most of Blow Me Down Provincial Park. Keep an eye out for the Blow Me Down Mountains’ shorter neighbours, Tortoise and Murray Mountains. Gaze out onto the water, to see the crowded collection of islands that give the Bay of Islands its name.
Day-trippers can take a lunch break in the park’s designated picnic area. If you plan on staying the night, close to 30 campsites are scattered throughout Blow Me Down Provincial Park. Wherever you set your tent, you’ll be treated to a stunning view of the ever-present Blow Me Down Mountains.
Set out for Terra Nova after your flight to Stephenville.
The name of this national park means “new land” in Latin. The rugged landscapes throughout Terra Nova lend to the feeling that this seemingly untouched land is still yet to be discovered.
Stretching over 200 km, the craggy shoreline of Terra Nova is where the Atlantic Ocean crashes into land, creating both violent sprays and sheltered inlets. Away from the waves, forests fragrant with black spruce and balsam fir spread across the park. Whether you hike along the headlands or wander into the woods, Terra Nova provides a path to Newfoundland’s natural beauty.
The park’s trail system covers more than 100 km altogether. Even if you don’t have the 11 hours to spend conquering the steep Outport Trail, you can still enjoy Terra Nova’s great outdoors. The 3 km long Sandy Pond Trail is a favourite among visitors, partly because you can leave the trail at any point for a quick dip in the Sandy Pond.
The Ochre Hill Trail leads to panoramic views over the park at a 215-metre summit. Keep your binoculars on hand to enhance the view of Terra Nova below. With an eagle eye, you might be able to spy bald eagles soaring overhead. If the eagles evade your gaze, the moose below move slowly enough for anyone to spot.
Venture down to sea level to see Terra Nova’s coastline up close. Look for distant icebergs drifting past and sleek seal pups swimming by as you kayak through these chilly waters. With whales below and eagles above, you may find yourself getting distracted from paddling.
At the Salton’s Brook Visitor Centre, you can learn more about the creatures that live below Terra Nova’s waves. Shake hands (or claws) with lobsters and crabs in the centre’s touch tank. In this interactive exhibit, you’ll have the opportunity to feel the animals that call the freezing Atlantic waters home, without getting frostbite.
After a long day in Terra Nova, walk or kayak over to the well-loved Newman Sound campsite. If tents make you tense, the park’s oTENTik, a hybrid of a tent and a cabin, takes set-up out of the equation.
Before you settle in for the night on your visit to Stephenville, look up and take in the sights of Newfoundland’s starry night sky.
Porter’s check-in desk is located in the departures area.
Stephenville International Airport (YJT) is about 2 km / 1 mi from downtown Stephenville.
Taxis from downtown are available.
Please allow sufficient time to drop off your car rental before your departing flight.