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Northeastern Quebec/Labrador/Newfoundland from USA

Hi folks,
We are looking at 2021 summer trip into areas north of Quebec City, then over to eastern Quebec (possibly Gaspe Pennisula, if time). My partner requested places by water for this trip. I’m looking at possibly Labrador and Newfoundland as part of this trip. We are not limited for time.
We will be traveling by car from our house in Vermont USA. We visit Quebec City frequently therefore QC not part of this excursion and we have a house on PEI so not interested in that; although we could make Nova Scotia part of the trip.)

Has anyone tried those areas for self driving? I read parts of this trip might be gravel roads (which is fine...our houses are on dirt roads).

Any experience driving to, using ferry for Newfoundland?

Any preferences which ferry launch point is best from (mainland) Canada?
Any advice for driving this part of Canada?
Do you have favorite places you visited in any of these locales? Recommendations ‘must see’? Towns you have stayed in?

Thank you.

Posted by
2566 posts

We found the roads on the Gaspe peninsula to be of good quality - all paved and in very good condition. We didn't encounter any gravel roads until we got off the main thoroughfares - and they were all well graded and made for easy driving.
Gaspe is beautiful and is worth a week if you have the time. The area around Forillon National Park was particularly pretty, and there are a host of beautiful hiking trails within the park if that's your thing. Gorgeous scenery everywhere.
Likewise I suggest exploring Cape Breton Island - especially the National Park at the top end of the peninsula. It too has some of the prettiest hiking trails and most beautiful seascapes you'll see anywhere. That would be worth another week in my opinion. We stayed in Ingonish Beach but all of the little villages around the area are charming in their own right - you really can't go wrong no matter how you do it. Best advice is to get a good guidebook (or three), study up on the available options, and then plan your trip accordingly.
An unexpected plus was the lack of crowds everywhere we went - had the Parks (and the roads) pretty much all to ourselves which made for a very pleasant road trip.
Though we never made it over to Newfoundland and Labrador I did research the logistics for a possible return trip. There's a ferry that departs from North Sydney - not far from Cape Breton - over to Argentia. That's probably the way we'll do it ourselves next time.

Posted by
109 posts

Thank you Robert for the fantastic feedback. Glad you pointed out the hiking options because we do hiking/backpack trips; didn’t consider that.
Will definitely look at all points you presented.
Thank you.

Posted by
5897 posts

It's been almost 30 years but our road trips in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland were highlights that still stand out. Cape Breton is great, allow several days. We really liked the Markland on the north shore of Cape Breton -- but, like I say, it's been quite awhile. Marine Atlantic offers ferry service between NS and NF. Highlights of Newfoundland for us were Gros Morne National Park, St. Anthony and L'Anse Aux Meadows (Viking settlement), the islands around Twillingate, Terra Nova National Park, and the capital St. John's. A week might be long enough, but longer is better.