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Those looking for urban pleasures will feel no big city buzz in Western Newfoundland. Tracing the shoreline for 683 km (424 mi.), this edge of the island doesn't boast glitzy mega-malls or a late-night club scene and skyscrapers here are noticeably absent. But a pair of signature attractions—one a superlative national park, the other a haunting heritage site—plus ample oppor- tunities for outdoor adventures and cultural interactions—make it a natural choice for many diff erent types of vacationers ( www. ). LANDSCAPE LOVERS Although the province is famous for camera-ready vistas, those in gorgeous Gros Morne National Park, roughly half- way up the coast, are truly unparalleled ( More than a year-round playground for nature lovers, this ruggedly beautiful 1,805-sq.-km (697-sq.-mi.) locale is a natural wonder almost 500 million years in the making. The Tablelands, which helped earn Gros Morne a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1987, is one case in point. Created eons ago by a massive tectonic upheaval, the red-hued, fl at-topped mountain is always ready for its close-up. The scenery of Western Brook Pond—a freshwater ord formed during the last ice age—is equally compelling. Most people are content to view its glacier-carved granite walls and dramatic 610-m (2,000-ft.) waterfalls from the photogenic boardwalk or the deck of a tour boat; however, energetic types can launch out from here on the Long Range Traverse, a hiking route which ranks among the world's most memorable. HISTORY HOUNDS Back in 1497, when John Cabot dubbed the island Terra Nova (or "New Land"), this region already had a long history. The Viking Trail (, which starts just below Gros Morne and extends the length of the Great Northern Peninsula before crossing into Labrador, lets you experience life in the past lane. Remains of three ancient Aboriginal cultures can be seen at Port au Choix National Historic Site (, while evidence of the fi rst Europeans to arrive in the New World lies further north at L'Anse aux Meadows ( www.parkscanada.gc. ca/meadows). FOUR WAYS TO ENJOY WESTERN NEWFOUNDLAND BY SUSAN MACCALLUM-WHITCOMB TABLELANDS, GROS MORNE NATIONAL PARK • NL TOURISM/BARRETT AND MACKAY NL 137

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