Route of the French along Newfoundland’s western coast
The weather was breezy and a cool 60-degrees but skies were clear when we left Robinson NF and drove 60 miles to a campground in Kippen, a little town near Stephenville.
Sheaves Cove on the Route of the French Ancestry, or Highway 460. Newfoundland.
Sixty-miles is a seldom enjoyed walk-in-the-park trip for RV travelers who are accustomed to 300 to 400 miles daily.
We arrived at Zenzville Campground about six miles west of Stephenville around lunchtime and after settling-in, drove the tow car onto the southern highway part of the Port au Port Peninsula and found an extraordinarily impressive rocky and rugged coastline.
Highway 460 runs west out of Kippens about 25 miles to its terminus at Cape St. George then circles back to the north and east on Highway 463 and returns to the mainland. We had originally planned to drive the entire Peninsula but made frequent stops soaking up the scenery and ran out of daylight.
The Peninsula extends into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a major seaway that stretches from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes. The Peninsula is a hidden gem for visitors to the island.
The area is known as the French Shore, recognizing France’s early fishing expeditions here in the 16th century, and boasts the largest number of French speaking residents in Newfoundland. This became obvious after a quick stop at a small store for refreshments where customers and management were speaking French.
We passed a large limestone quarry at Lower Cove then stopped at Hidden Falls and took pictures of cliffs and unusual rock formation along the shoreline near Sheaves Cove. We talked with locals here who said winter did not leave the area until early July, a reminder that we are far north from home in Florida.
The road followed the shoreline most of the trip to Cape St. George, a bald, treeless area with high cliffs overlooking the ocean and home to a huge colony of kittiwakes. I tried taking pictures of the birds soaring among the cliffs but north winds were so strong that getting out of the car and holding the camera stead was impossible.
In hindsight we should have stayed here another day and toured the northern end of the peninsula.
NEXT: Camping on the beach at Port au Choix.