A Huge National Park Planned For Labrador, Canada (With Photos)

An early Valentine’s Day gift to the continent, the Canadian government recently announced it will create North America’s newest national park in an isolated corner of southeast Labrador.

Mealy Mountains National Park will include spongy tundra, gorgeous mountains, soggy bogs, wild lakes and rivers, and some of the world’s oldest slow-growing boreal forest.  The area is also home to a variety of wildlife, including wolves, black bears, moose, and a threatened population of woodland caribou.

And it’s going to be a whopper

The park will protect 11,000 square kilometers of rugged wilderness, an area bigger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined. 

The provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced that a provincial park would also be created.  Adjacent to the Mealy Mountains, that park will protect the Eagle River watershed, where wild Atlantic salmon are still abundant.

I was especially thrilled to hear the announcement of the establishment of Mealy Mountains National Park and Eagle River Provincial Park, as I spent several days last summer in that spectacularly wild corner of Labrador.

Thanks to a kind invitation from my dear friend Jeremy Charles, a renowned, award-winning chef in Newfoundland, I traveled to the Eagle River last July to fly-fish for wild Atlantic salmon.  (Salmo salar -- The Leaper, The King -- once swam the rivers of New England in great numbers, but it's now, thanks to dams, overfishing, and habitat destruction, an endangered species in the United States.)

Getting to the Eagle River from Montana was not easy.  I flew from Bozeman to Denver to Boston, spent the night with my younger brother, Dan, then flew from Boston to Halifax to Goose Bay, and then took an incredible helicopter ride to the Eagle.

Arduous the journey was, but, oh, man, was it worth it.

The wildness, remoteness, and raw beauty of Labrador blew me away.  Our travel was restricted to foot, boat, plane, or helicopter.  We saw moose and caribou, and we caught (and released) several finned beauties fresh from the sea on the Eagle and other nearby rivers.

While we were there, we talked a lot about how special the Eagle watershed and surrounding area are -- and the unfortunate reality that such places are slowly disappearing from the planet or simply becoming less wild.

So when I heard the news yesterday that the Mealy Mountains and Eagle River watershed have been granted permanent protection, a big smile graced my face and chills ran up my spine.

It’s a place the earth just can’t afford to lose. 


The Eagle River

Southeast Labrador

Atlantic Salmon (Salmo Salar)

Awesome Lake and Mealy Mountains

Running Rapids on the Eagle River


Southeast Labrador

Jeremy Charles on the Eagle River


Woodland Caribou Bull (Rangifer tarandus caribou)

Paradise River

Admiring Salmo Salar

Southeast Labrador

Southeast Labrador