Parsons Pond Tourism Committee Hikes Trail
On July 29 after a meeting of the new Parsons Pond adventure tourism committee, IAT Chairperson Paul Wylezol led some of the members on a tour of the new Jacques Cartier Memorial Trail on Parsons Pond Head. Continued development of the trail is one of the items on the committee's agenda, as well as development of improved docking facilities at Parsons Pond and the creation of a "trail park" in the Parsons Pond watershed.
Joining Paul on the 2.5 hour trek was Parsons Pond Mayor Brenda Biggin, INTRD development officers Carolyn Lavers and Denise White, and Parsons Pond resident Sheri Bombic.
(Left to Right) Front: Denise White and Carolyn Lavers Back: Sheri Bombic and Brenda Biggin
The 4 kilometer (2.5 mile) looping trail rises to an elevation of 120 meters (400ft), and provides good views of the community of Parsons Pond, the Gulf coastline from Portland Creek to Cow Head, the Long Range Mountains from Western Brook to the Flat Hills, and 13 kilometer (8 mile) long Parsons Pond.
The trail was named in honor of Jacques Cartier, who explored the west coast of Newfoundland (and anchored off Cow Head) during his first voyage in 1534. In the 18th century, the French were granted fishing rights on the coast, which became part of the French Shore of Newfoundland.
View of Cow Head (top right) where Jacques Cartier anchored during his first New World voyage in 1534
Parsons Pond Head and the Jacques Cartier Trail are located just beyond the northern boundary of Gros Morne National Park. It is hoped that the trail will receive funding in order to bring it up to community (as opposed to backcountry) standards, including an improved parking area, additional signage, crushed stone surface, look-off platform, viewing telescopes, and park benches. It would serve as a good introduction and marketing opportunity for the larger Parsons Pond backcountry "trail park", where a network of IAT trails weave among the watershed's 6 inland fiords and dozens of large waterfalls.
View of Parsons Pond and the surrounding mountains and fiords, known locally as gulches
As Paul was soon to find out, Parsons Pond Head is also a good place for berry picking, from dewberries to raspberries and blueberries.
Picking ...and eating...their way to the top of the south ridge, Parsons Pond Head
A ripe dewberry found along the Jacques Cartier Memorial Trail
....just remember to bring yer bucket!!