Hiking: Just west of town, the Blow Me Down Mountains offer truly exceptional hiking. Some 360 million years old, they consist largely of peridotite, a rock type usually found deep in the earth’s mantle that is poisonous to most plant life. It’s the same barren red rock that makes up the Tablelands area, 60 kilometres north in Gros Morne National Park, home itself to 100 kilometres of hiking routes that flirt with the 2,000-foot walls of its famous fjords.
Biking: Local cyclists saddle up for a 45-kilometre ride that passes through small fishing villages on the way to Bottle Cove on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Fishing: More than 70 percent of Canada’s viable salmon rivers are found in Newfoundland, and none have a greater run than Corner Brook’s own Humber River.
Skiing: Just above the Humber, Marble Mountain’s 1,700 vertical feet host 34 of the East’s best ski runs. But if chairlifts seem too mainland, head for the backcountry. Blomidon Cat Skiing in the Blow Me Down Mountains is the only cat-skiing operation in the East and promises 13,000 vertical feet in a day.
Corner Brook has culture coming out the wazoo. It’s home to Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, one of the province’s only professional theatre groups, which puts on a number of productions each year and the Gros Morne Theatre Festival every summer. Corner Brook’s Arts and Culture Centre also hosts touring ballet companies, comedy acts and musicians. When it comes to food, Corner Brook has an impressive number of pizza joints (perhaps because it’s a university town—College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University). For those wanting something a little more upscale, there’s Sorrento, recognized as one of Corner Brook’s top eateries for its fresh organic ingredients and hand-kneaded pasta.
British explorer James Cook first surveyed the area in the summer of 1767 » hosted the 2001 Raid the North Extreme adventure race » twice hosted MuchMusic’s SnowJob » the town’s pulp-and-paper mill was once the largest in the world