Norris Point is a small town surrounded by water on three sides on a peninsula within Bonne Bay, just off the Viking Trail on the west coast of Newfoundland. Originally called North Point by Captain Cook, it has a long history in the herring, salmon and lobster fishery. It was a Tidy Town winner in 2005 for its clean and well-maintained properties and streets and offers an exceptionally interesting shoreline with grass-covered headlands with sandy and rocky beaches. Two hiking trails wind in and around the town. There is a KOA campground and exceptional views from the Jenniex House Look-out. The Memorial University of Newfoundland operates the research facility of Bonne Bay Marine Station at Norris Point.
Sheltered from the wild, west coast of Newfoundland, the town is an ideal location from which to explore Gros Morne National Park, which surrounds the township on every side and offers wonderful views across the water, including to the most important geological feature in the park, the Tablelands.
Only the most remarkable places in Canada are dedicated as National Parks, and Gros Morne is no exception. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its remarkable geology, which is a textbook study of plate tectonics and contains fossils from 500 million years ago.
The wild coastline of the park, with its dramatic cliffs and beaches are a photographer and hiker’s dream. The mountains, forming the northern edge of the long spine of the Appalachians, are rimmed with arctic-alpine tundra. Wildlife includes lynx, black bear, caribou, arctic hare, marten and moose. The austere beauty draws nature lovers from all over the world. In addition to the hikes, which range from a few kilometers to multi-day backcountry adventures, kayaking is very popular, as are boat and nature tours and whale watching, serviced from Norris Point.
Of particular interest is the remarkable geological phenomenon of Western Brook Pond Fjord, a now fresh water fjord that was once attached to the sea, with 600-meter cliffs and waterfalls spilling into the incredibly clear lake. Access is by a moderately easy hike of 3 km through coastal bogs and low limestone ridges. Ecologically friendly boat tours are offered on the lake from June to October.