Friday, January 15, 2010

Labrador Access on the Trans-Labrador Highway

Wow, two posts in a week, let alone a year. This is just a brief note about improved access to rivers in southern Labrador. Over the holidays I saw a news article that was about the first two vehicles to travel over the recently completed trans-Labrador highway. This is great news for paddlers. It is now possible to drive from Blanc Sablon on the south coast of Labrador to, well, anywhere on the continent.

When I first started map research in the province I noted several runs east of the Pinware River which have the right topo characteristics to be great creeking. Until now access was a bit miserable though, but the new road comes very close to the headwaters of several of these runs. The road may also provide access to rivers that were previously accessible only by flying. At the very least you'll only have to fly to the put-in. However, the challenge remains in getting back to civilization once you hit the ocean. Communities are far and few between here, but I'm sure locals would be amenable to fishing boat pick-ups.

I hope this highway heralds a new era of river exploration in southern Labrador. Even the ability to drive gear and supplies to Goose Bay will reduce costs for getting teams into the more isolated northern rivers. Anyone want to go and see what the Torngats have to offer?

If you take advantage of the highway for paddling, hopefully you'll let me know and contribute to the database of river knowledge in the Newfoundland and Labrador.

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