For a rock in the Atlantic Ocean, Newfoundland has a lot to offer the intrepid camper. Towering fjords, vast barrens, otherworldly rock formations, roaming herds of caribou, sub-arctic plant-life and the friendliest people anyone could ask for all await those who choose to venture east into Canada’s most unique province. Whether you fly in or take the ferry, you’ll know you’re in a whole new world the second you step foot in this special place.

Wild coasts give way to an interior so expansive it’s hard to fathom. Time-worn peaks roll through the backcountry in a way that makes the last ice age seem like it was yesterday. Then there’s Labrador. For the most experienced and adventurous, this hinterland offers an experience hard to find anywhere else in the world and a chance to feel truly alone. In the list below you’ll find our top picks for places to set up your tent in these lands that time forgot.

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The locations on this list are wilderness areas or remote rugged sites. These are not conventional campsites and have few, if any, amenities or signs. They’re delicate places where you can sleep for a night or two if you are respectful. Leave no trace, check online whether it’s okay to have a fire and watch where you step—many of these areas are home to rare plant species and roosting birds. Some are near parking areas, others are a long hike—or paddle—away. If you’re heading out to these isolated spots, prepare accordingly. Keep these special places wild for future campers to enjoy.

 

 

Avalon Region:

Avalon Wilderness Reserve

Site overview: The reserve contains over 1,000 sq-km of sprawling barrens, bogs and forest. Many wild sites available throughout the area.  

Amenities: None 

Site address: Horse Chops Road and Cape Pond road run deep into the reserve, but are only for rugged four-wheel-drive vehicles. Hikers can access the park via the D'Iberville Trail, Riverhead Trail, Biscay Bay Trail and Daniel's Point to Holyrood Pond Trail.

Additional information: An entry permit is required before entering the reserve. They can be found online or at participating locations across the province. 

Portugal Cove/Blast Hole Ponds

Site overview: Sheltered area spread across a rocky plateau dotted with dark ponds.   

Amenities: None 

Site address: The trailhead can be accessed from North Point Rd. Follow the ascending trail until you reach the ponds on the plateau.

Additional information: This hike only gets better the farther you get away from the trailhead. The best camping is found on the headland before Brocks Head Pond.

Motion Path/Miners Point

Site overview: This small wilderness campsite with several raised platforms is a classic resting place for those hiking the East Coast Trail.

Amenities: Pit toilets, raised tent platforms.   

Site address: Easiest access is from Petty Harbour. Follow the ECT south toward Motion Head.

Additional information: As part of the ETC network, please only camp at the designated sites. The Motion Path is very exposed and subject to severe and rapid changes in weather. Pack accordingly.

Little Bald Head

Site overview: Located near the Spout, a natural geyser, this small wilderness campsite is a classic resting place for those hiking the East Coast Trail.

Amenities: Pit toilets, raised tent platforms.  

Site address: Little Bald Head is located on the Spout Trail, a section of the ETC. The campsite can be accessed via the trailhead at Shoal Bay Road or Bay Bulls. 

Additional information: As part of the ETC network, please only camp at designated sites. The Spout Trail is a difficult hike with many climbs, descents and exposed sea cliffs. The area is home to bald eagles, whales and dramatic coastal rock formations.

Roaring Cove

Site overview: Located on the Flamber Head Path, this small wilderness campsite is a classic resting place for those hiking the East Coast Trail.

Amenities: Pit toilets, raised tent platforms.  

Site address: Roaring Cove is located on the Flamber Head Path, a section of the ETC. The campsite can be accessed via the trailhead at La Manche or Brigus South. 

Additional information: As part of the ETC network, please only camp at designated sites. The Flamber Head Path passes through La Manche Provincial Park, which is home to a spectacular 50-metre suspension bridge.

Lance Cove

Site overview: Located near a beautiful sandy beach, this small wilderness campsite is a classic resting place for those hiking the East Coast Trail.

Amenities: Pit toilets, raised tent platforms.

Site address: Lance Cove is located on the Cape Broyle Head Path, a section of the ETC. The campsite can be accessed via the trailhead at Cape Broyle or Calvert. 

Additional information: As part of the ETC network, please only camp at designated sites. Lance Cove is home to an isolated and striking sandy beach. It's the perfect place for a dip in the ocean!

Gallows Cove

Site overview: Not far from the spectacular Berry Head Sea Arch, this small wilderness campsite is a classic resting place for those hiking the East Coast Trail.

Amenities: Pit toilets, raised tent platforms.  

Site address: Gallows Cove is located on the Spurwink Island Path, a section of the ETC. The campsite can be accessed via the trailhead at Aquaforte or Port Kirwan. 

Additional information: As part of the ETC network, please only camp at designated sites. Keep an eye out for Lady slippers, candlestick orchids and pitcher plants, all found in the area.

 

Eastern Region:

Bay Du Nord Wilderness Reserve

Site overview: The reserve contains nearly 3,000 sq-km of dense forest, raging rivers, dark ponds, fens and unique rock formations. Hundreds of beautiful tenting options exist throughout the area.

Amenities: None 

Site address: The reserve can be accessed from several hiking trails off of Route 360 near Jipujijkuei Kuespem Provincial Park.

Additional information: Bay Du Nord lies with the range of the 15,000 animal strong Middle Ridge Caribou herd. Visitors must pay special attention to their impact in the park when near the herd. Like with the Avalon Wilderness area, a entry permit is required for this reserve.  

Fortune Head

Site overview: Stretching south from the Fortune Head fossil site, the gravel beach and grassy interior offer many wonderful places to pitch a tent.  

Amenities: None 

Site address: The beach area can be reached from the Fortune Head Ecological Reserve, located just 2 km from the town of Fortune.  

Additional information: Visit the world-class geological site at Fortune Head Reserve.

Champney’s East/Fox Head

Site overview: On the top of an isolated headland overlooking Fox Bay sits a flat plot of land perfect for a tent. 

Amenities: None 

Site address: Walk from the parking lot in Champney’s east toward Fox Head. Cross the rocky bar and use the ropes to ascend to the top of the promontory.

Additional information: From the top, wide vistas of Trinity Bay and the Skerwink sea pillars are easily visible.   

Maberly

Site overview: Several isolated coves lie south of the puffin colony at Maberly. Tent on the beach or in the wooded area back from the cliffs.

Amenities: None 

Site address: Park near the puffin viewing area in the community of Maberly and head south along the coast to a small river delta beach area.   

Additional information: During the summer months, thousands of puffins can be seen in the area during their seasonal roosting.

 

Western Region:

Main River Canadian Heritage River Area

Site overview: From its headwaters in the Long Range Mountains, the Main flows 57 km to the sea, giving nearly unlimited camping potential on the diverse banks of this important ecosystem.  

Amenities: None 

Site address: The mouth of the river is accessible from Sop’s Arm, while an unpaved road can get you 13 km inland to Kruger’s Bridge. The headwaters can be accessed with all-terrain vehicles using a woods road off of route 420.  

Additional information: The Main is a white-water paradise for intrepid backcountry canoeists, but the hiking is also outstanding. Make sure you go equipped properly. This is rugged terrain, home to moose, caribou and black bears.  

Blue Beach

Site overview: This long, narrow, sandy spit reaches far into the sea and offers some of the most spectacular sunsets in all of Newfoundland. Tent on the beach and watch the sun dip into the sea.

Amenities: None 

Site address: Park at the wharf in the tiny community of Blue Beach (ask first), and then watch along the spit, crossing to the ocean-side whenever convenient.  

Additional information: This is a wild place, home to wild winds, big waves and ever-changing weather. Plan accordingly.

Wild Capelin Cove

Site overview: This remote cove is flanked by high hills and rugged cliffs. Unpack on the beach and enjoy seclusion in the Bay of Islands area.

Amenities: None 

Site address: Park at the Cedar Cove trailhead and follow the trail south to the beach.

Additional information: There are many short and beautiful hikes in nearby Bottle Cove that shouldn’t be missed if you’re in the area.   

 

 

Labrador:

Redfir Lake-Kapitagas Channel Ecological Reserve

Site overview: The site contains over 80 sq-km of protected forested area divided into two distinct regions: Redfir Lake and Kapitagas Channel.

Amenities: None 

Site address: The reserve is located 160 km from Labrador City and has no road access. The easiest way to get into the reserve is by plane or boat from Lab. City.

Additional information: This area is home to the only naturally occurring stand of Jack Pine in Labrador. The surrounding region is also visited by the Lac Jospeh Caribou herd during the summer.

 

 

Have you camped at these remote wilderness sites?

Tell us about your experience - comment below!

 

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