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Pinware River Provincial Park

Pinware River Provincial Park is a 68 hectare park located on route 510, approximately 32 km southwest from Red Bay. A ferry crosses from St. Barbe on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland to southern Labrador approximately 53 km south of the park. Opened in 1974, the park covers diverse terrain and vegetation.

Please note this map is for illustrative purposes only. The park boundary may not be accurately portrayed.

Natural History

The bedrock in the area around Pinware River Provincial Park is composed of a variety of very old and somewhat deformed granites. A sample of granite obtained from a small, roadside quarry near the entrance to the park has been dated at 1,466 million years old. These old granites form part of the Grenville Province which also includes rocks as young as 955 million years old. The Grenville Province extends across Southern Labrador and into Southern Quebec and Ontario and is the youngest geological province in the Canadian Shield. Boreal forest is the main vegetation around Pinware Park. It is a dense coniferous forest, broken by outcrops of ancient rocks shaped and deposited by the great icesheets that spawned across the region. Bogs, pure clean lakes and ponds, and crystal-clear rivers and streams contribute to the landscape. A variety of deciduous trees, such as the Paper Birch and Balsam Poplar, have found a niche among the conifers. Many species of plants grow in the park as well as many different and tasty berries. Wildlife includes many different species of insects, birds, and mammals both small and large. The park is adjacent to the Strait of Belle Isle where whales and seabirds are plentiful. Within the park a visitor may awake to the haunting cry of a loon and see other animals such as squirrels. Visitors will notice that these faunal assemblages are different from the island of Newfoundland.

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Park Activities

Camping

There are 22 campsites at Pinware Provincial Park. Each campsite has a picnic table, a fireplace, a garbage can, and room for a vehicle. Pit toilets are located and easily accessible throughout the park with a water tap located at the main cabin. Firewood is also available at the check point. The park has a wheelchair accessible comfort station complete with flush toilets, showers, and laundry facilities. Trailer dumping station is also available.

Picnicking

There are 25 picnic sites in Pinware Provincial Park. They have picnic tables, toilets, and drinking water taps.

Fishing

Trouting is exceptional in Pinware River and adjacent rivers, lakes, and ponds. Salmon are abundant and the success rate is high. Restrictions apply to both trout and salmon, so anglers should consult with the park staff before trying their luck.

Hiking

Pinware Park has a beautiful 1.2 km hiking trail which leads to a viewpoint overlooking the peaceful and tranquil town of Pinware, the estuary, and the captivating Pinware River. Rubber footwear and hiking boots are recommended to traverse the entire length of this trail.

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Area History

Artifacts discovered adjacent to the town of Pinware indicate, from radiocarbon dating, that Pinware Hill is one of the earliest Palaeo Indian archaeological sites in the province, dating back nearly 9000 years. Many different Aboriginal cultures lived in the area of Pinware from time to time. The longest time of habitation was probably during the Maritime Archaic period. A burial monument near L’anse Amour, just south of Pinware, dating to 7500 years ago, is attributed to the Maritime Archaic and is the oldest such mound in North America, maybe even the world. Later, Pre-Dorset Palaeo-Eskimos used the rich marine resources found at Pinware. They were followed by the Groswater Palaeo-Eskimos and then the Dorset Paleo-Eskimo cultures who also utilized the rich marine resources while continuing their migration southward to the Island of Newfoundland. Europeans were attracted to the area in the 16th century for the rich marine resources just as the Indigenous peoples were. The Basque who operated one of the New World’s earliest whaling stations at Red Bay, more than likely travelled to Pinware for various reasons, one of which may have been firewood. French fishermen were visiting the area by the 1600s. A trading post was opened and the seal hunt and salmon fishery were integral to its operation. The first year-round European settlers were probably Irish immigrants who made their way to Pinware via Carbonear in the late 1700s.

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