Parks Canada sites in western Newfoundland and southern Labrador ready to officially kick off the 2021 visitor season

News release

Visitors are asked to plan ahead to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience                     

May 21, 2021                            Rocky Harbour, NL                      Parks Canada Agency

National historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas offer Canadians places to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of being outdoors and opportunities to discover history, while respecting the guidance of public health experts.

Gros Morne National Park, and Port au Choix, L’Anse aux Meadows, and Red Bay National Historic Sites are pleased to welcome visitors for the 2021 visitor season. Gros Morne National Park is open year-round with the various visitor facilities and campgrounds opening at different times. We encourage visitors to check out the website for Gros Morne National Park for more details. Port au Choix, L’Anse aux Meadows, and Red Bay National Historic Sites all open on May 31, 2021.

All travelers planning to visit the province of Newfoundland and Labrador are reminded that there are travel restrictions in place. Out of province travelers should consult the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador website:

The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians is of the utmost importance to Parks Canada. Before visiting, there are a few things that everyone should remember:

·         Plan ahead. The Parks Canada website provides detailed information on what locations are open, what to expect, how to prepare, and what services are available. Be sure to check the website before you travel.

·         Follow travel restrictions and respect the guidance of public health experts. We all need to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep one another safe. It is important to always follow travel restrictions, even when visiting national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas.

·         Make safe choices. Choose activities that correspond with your level of experience in order to avoid injury and/or getting lost and help minimize the demands placed on emergency response, search and rescue teams, and on the health care system.

·         Be self-sufficient. Pack a kit that includes extra hygiene supplies such as hand sanitizer, soap, masks or face coverings, garbage bags and a tablecloth. You should be prepared to bring your own water and food.

·         Leave no trace. Help us keep these special places clean by using appropriate garbage containers or by taking all your garbage with you.

·         Respect wildlife. Learn more about the wildlife in the Gros Morne National Park before you visit, remember to never feed wildlife, always give them space, maintain a clean campsite, respect closures and speed limits, and keep your dog on a leash at all times.

Further information and tips to help ensure a safe and enjoyable visit are available on the Parks Canada website at:



“Over the past year, so many Canadians have benefited from the health and wellness benefits that come from being outdoors and in nature. I too have taken every opportunity to get outside. National historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas offer countless opportunities for Canadians to safely connect with nature and history while following the guidance of public health authorities to help limit the spread of COVID-19. I am looking forward to the 2021 visitor season as Parks Canada places allow us to enjoy the outdoors and create lasting memories close to home at Gros Morne National Park, and Port au Choix, L’Anse aux Meadows, and Red Bay National Historic Sites.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“For Parks Canada, the health and wellbeing of visitors, employees, and all Canadians are of the utmost importance. The Parks Canada team is working extremely hard to provide a safe, clean, and healthy experience at Gros Morne National Park, and Port au Choix, L’Anse aux Meadows, and Red Bay National Historic Sites, and everyone can play an important role. Visitors should make every effort to plan ahead, respect travel restrictions, follow the guidance of public health experts, make safe choices, and leave no trace when visiting outdoor spaces. By working together, we can ensure a safe and enjoyable 2021 visitor season for all.”

Ron Hallman
President & Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada 

Quick facts

  • Gros Morne National Park consists of 1,805 square kilometres of wilderness on Newfoundland’s west coast. Its natural beauty and a unique, geological showcase earned Gros Morne UNESCO World Heritage status in 1987. It stretches inland from the Gulf of St. Lawrence coastline through lowlands where waterways meander towards the Long Range Mountains and Tablelands. 

  • Indigenous peoples have lived all over Newfoundland and Labrador since time in memorial. On the west side of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula, at Port au Choix National Historic Site, you’ll find the crossroads of 6000 years of human history. The sea’s bounty drew Maritime Archaic people, the Dorset people, the Groswater people and the recent Indigenous people here long before Europeans arrived. 

  • At L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site - at the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula -lies the first known evidence of European presence in the Americas. Here Norse expeditions sailed from Greenland, building a small encampment of timber-and-sod buildings over 1000 years ago. Against a stunning backdrop of rugged cliffs, bog, and coastline, discover the fascinating archaeological remains of the Viking encampment, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. 

  • In 2013, Red Bay National Historic Site, the most complete example of early industrial-scale whaling in the world, was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for its outstanding universal value. During the mid-16th century, large numbers of right and bowhead whales drew whalers from the Basque region of Spain and France to the Strait of Belle Isle, where they established a major whaling port at Red Bay.

  • Twelve electric vehicle charging stations will be available for visitors to use at the Discovery Centre near Woody Point and Visitor Centre near Rocky Harbour in Gros Morne National Park with an additional six charging stations located at the L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. The charging stations are not currently operational, but will be completed and available for use later in the 2021 season. 

  • The Parks Canada app makes trip planning for first-time visitors to Parks Canada locations across the country even simpler. Visitors can now find Learn-to Camp content in the app and can obtain information on proper camping equipment, tips, and recipes. Visitors can even plan their entire trip itinerary and create a camping checklist.

  • Visitors must follow local and provincial or territorial travel restrictions, including provincial/territorial requirements for self-isolation. Visitors to Parks Canada places must be aware of any travel restrictions or requirements and plan well in advance. Visitors must complete any provincial or territorial requirements for self-isolation before arriving. It is not possible to complete self-isolation periods at Parks Canada places.

Associated links


Moira Kelly
Press Secretary    
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

Greg Knott
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit

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