The Great Northern Peninsula is the northernmost visible extension of the Appalachian Mountains. Its eastern side is rugged and sparsely populated. The Viking Trail—Route 430 and its side roads—snakes along its western coast through Gros Morne National Park, fjords, sand dunes, and communities that have relied on lobster fishing for generations. At the tip of the peninsula, the Vikings established the first European settlement in North America a thousand years ago, but for thousands of years before their arrival, the area was home to native peoples who hunted, fished, and gathered berries and herbs.
Corner Brook boasts a fabulous natural setting on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, ringed by mountains, and with plenty of green spaces within its boundaries. It has good shopping and a lively arts scene, and the nearby Humber River is world renowned for its salmon fishing. To the south, the Port au Port Peninsula, west of Stephenville, shows the French influence in Newfoundland, distinct from the farming valleys of the southwest, which were settled by Scots. A ferry from Nova Scotia docks at Port aux Basques in the far southwest corner.