Nestled within the stunning Gros Morne National Park on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, Cow Head is a picturesque town that offers visitors an abundance of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the essentials of planning your trip to this charming destination, including how to get there, where to stay, where to eat, and the must-do activities during your visit.

How to Get To Cow Head:

Cow Head is approximately 434 kilometers (270 miles) northwest of St. John’s, the provincial capital. The most common way to reach the town is by car, as it provides the flexibility to explore the surrounding region at your own pace. From St. John’s, take the Trans-Canada Highway (NL-1) west, then switch to the Viking Trail (NL-430) north towards Cow Head. The journey takes around 5 to 6 hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions.

Alternatively, you can fly into Deer Lake Regional Airport (YDF), which is around a 2-hour drive from Cow Head. Car rental services are available at the airport, making it easy to continue your journey to Cow Head and the surrounding areas.

Cow Head Accommodations:

Cow Head offers a variety of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. Options include cozy bed and breakfasts, charming inns, and comfortable vacation rentals. Some popular choices include the Sea Breeze Bed and Breakfast, Shallow Bay Motel, and Ocean View Cottages. Be sure to book in advance, particularly during the peak summer season, to ensure you secure your preferred lodging.

Places to Eat in Cow Head:

Dining options in Cow Head range from casual cafes to more formal restaurants. Many establishments serve traditional Newfoundland cuisine, including fresh seafood dishes, hearty stews, and local favorites like toutons and fish cakes. Some popular places to dine include the Head’s Up Restaurant, which offers beautiful ocean views, and the Seaside Restaurant, known for its delicious seafood dishes and warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Things To Do In Cow Head:

Cow Head and the surrounding area offer a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. Some must-do experiences include:

Hiking in Gros Morne National Park: Take advantage of the numerous trails that cater to different fitness levels and offer breathtaking views of the park’s unique landscapes.

Related Post: How to Plan Your Trip to Gros Morne

Attending the Gros Morne Theatre Festival: Enjoy a variety of theatrical productions, musicals, and cultural performances during this annual summer event.

Relaxing at Shallow Bay Beach: Spend a day swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing at this beautiful, family-friendly sandy beach.


Exploring the local arts and crafts scene: Visit galleries, studios, and shops to discover unique, handmade items and learn about the region’s artistic traditions.


When planning your trip to Cow Head, be sure to pack the following essentials:

  1. Comfortable walking shoes: With so many outdoor activities and hiking opportunities, a good pair of shoes is a must.
  2. Layered clothing: Newfoundland’s weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared with layers that can be easily added or removed as needed.
  3. Camera: The breathtaking landscapes and charming town are perfect for photography enthusiasts.
  4. Sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect yourself from the sun and insects during your outdoor adventures.
  5. A reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated while exploring the great outdoors adventures. As you plan your visit, don’t forget to delve into the town’s rich history, which adds depth and charm to your experience.

Cow Head’s History:

The history of Cow Head can be traced back to the early 1800s when European fishermen settled in the area, drawn by its abundant marine resources. The community grew over time, relying on both fishing and logging industries for its livelihood. As you explore the town, you’ll find historical landmarks and sites that provide insight into its past.

One notable site is the Dr. Henry N. Payne Community Museum, a small but informative museum that showcases local artifacts, historical photographs, and exhibits detailing the town’s fishing and logging industries. Visiting the museum is a great way to learn about the community’s heritage and the challenges faced by its early settlers.

Another historical site worth visiting is the Cow Head Lighthouse, which offers lovely views of the coastline and the town. This historic lighthouse serves as a reminder of the town’s maritime past and provides an excellent spot for photography or simply enjoying the scenery.


Cow Head is a hidden gem on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula that offers visitors a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, and rich history. As you plan your visit, be sure to take the time to explore the town’s historical sites, which will enhance your appreciation for this charming destination. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a history buff, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Cow Head is a destination that promises to leave a lasting impression.

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