Terra Nova was designated as a National Park in 1957 designed to preserve the natural environment. It is essentially a coastal forest environment with opportunities for hiking, water activities and camping. It has faced a number of challenges including the lack of forest fires in the last twenty years resulting mostly older grow forest. The other big challenge has come from the introduction of moose decades ago. These animals have no natural predators and have flourished. The unintended result has been the destruction of new grow forest by the moose eating the new growth forest . The visitor center highlights the results from an experiment closing off an area to moose with fences. The result proved that the area protected was developing a healthy new growth forest while all the area around was damaged by the moose eating the new growth trees.
We did see our first moose on this trip to Canada leaving the visitor center, but there was no picture as it was nearly on top of us along the road and was behind us as soon as we saw it. If moose can look scared, this one did.
We dry camped in the park for two days and it is safe to say that the campground was tight and not made for the bigger rigs in our group. I will only say that one of our group will certainly not forget getting their rig up close and personal with a tree trying to get into a spot. With many of us helping, the rig was extracted with relatively minor damage. Larger rigs need to choose their spot very carefully here.
We had one free day here, but the weather was less than perfect and we did not feel like hitting the trails. Instead we opted to see the local villages. After looking at the map several coastal towns intrigued us simply because of their names. The first was called Happy Adventure and the second Salvage. Very close to each other, they were sort of the Yin and Yang of town names. First we went to Happy Adventure and found a very nice waterfront park while looking for a restaurant for lunch.
Since we had not been able to find the restaurant, Ruth, who we were riding with, ran into the street and flagged town a local pickup and asked for directions to the restaurant we had selected. He said follow him and we went up and down hills and ended up at a restaurant that was not what we were looking for but proved to have great food and beer and a fantastic waterfront view.
We then headed to Salvage, which proved to be a scenic and active fishing village. We did not see a single tourist shop.