Plan To Stop In Grand Falls Windsor On A Newfoundland Road Trip
On our drive through Newfoundland, we planned a one night stop in Grand Falls Windsor. It broke up our driving in Newfoundland. And provided a fascinating visit to the Salmonid Interpretation Centre.
Our ferry to Newfoundland docked in Port aux Basque. The drive from there to our stay in St. John’s was about 700km (435 miles). We wanted to enjoy the scenery along the way. So planned an intermediate stop and meandered at our own pace.
We initially considered Cornerbrook but that did not really split the driving difference. In the end we booked in a small family run hotel in Grand Falls Windsor.
We were curious about the name of the town and found that it was the result of the joining of two separate towns. In 1991, Grand Falls and Windsor voted to amalgamate and officially became Grand Falls Windsor. This made it the largest town in the central region of Newfoundland.
An Overnight Stop In Grand Falls Windsor
As we drove to Grand Falls Windsor, we got a variety of landscape views in Newfoundland. On the early part of the drive, the Newfoundland fog still hugged the landscape. But as the fog cleared, we soon learned why Newfoundland was referred to as “The Rock”.
Our one night stop in Grand Falls Windsor was at Hotel Robin Hood. We booked late and there was only a smaller room on the lower floor available. It was fine for one night. But for a longer visit we liked the spacious accommodations they had in the Sherwood Suites rooms.
We were dismayed when we found that there were no reservations available in any of the suggested restaurants in town. We finally just got in the car and went searching. A fast food restaurant by the highway was not really what we wanted.
As we wandered on our stop in Grand Falls Windsor, we saw a little of town. We caught our first sight of the colourful houses we later found when we explored in St. John’s. The local war memorials were found in a park.
Head To The Salmonid Interpretation Centre
The one thing we wanted to visit in Grand Falls Windsor was the Salmonid Interpretation Centre. We followed our GPS to the site.
The route crossed a small bridge over the river. We stopped and looked down at the water for a first sign of Atlantic Salmon. But saw no activity. We chased views of salmon again when we headed to Vancouver Island in the fall.
We knew the Rivers Edge Grill was onsite and wondered if they had room for two people with no reservations. Luckily it was almost empty and we had a great dinner. Even if they served no salmon! But David had his second moose dish on this trip. The first was a moose burger on our stop in Port Aux Basque. Here he had “Moose Mess”. This was sort of like poutine with shredded moose, cheese, wieners and gravy. It filled the spot!
From the Rivers Edge Grill we got our first view out to the Grand Falls.
Views Of Grand Falls
After dinner we wandered down the hill and got a closer look at Grand Falls from several different vantage points. We followed the viewpoint sign and saw the water as it cascaded over the rocks.
From the viewpoint, we looked downriver on the Exploits River. White water rafting trips used the rough waters we saw. Far in the distance we just made out a group geared up to head out on the water.
The Salmon Ladder
The Salmon Interpretation Centre provided exhibits on the history, biology, ecology and habitat of the Atlantic Salmon. A guide showed people around when we were there.
We got a view out over the salmon ladder. We knew that the salmon on the west coast died after it swam upstream and spawned. So we were fascinated to learn that the Atlantic salmon did not die after spawning but went up and down the salmon ladder many times. When we looked carefully we saw the salmon as they belly crawled or leaped up the steps.
A close up look at the Atlantic Salmon provided a fun stop in Grand Falls Windsor.
Exploring The Property
We walked back up the hill and wandered around the property. We found another viewpoint upriver of the dam and saw the river and falls from this spot.
Our visit to the Salmonid Interpretation Centre was a fascinating stop when we explored Newfoundland for a week.
We Enjoyed A Short Stop In Grand Falls Windsor
We had a long driving day from our stop in Grand Falls Windsor to St. John’s. Our host at the Hotel Robin Hood suggested that we detour and visit Fogo Island. Sadly we did not have time for that stop. One our our readers also suggested we visit Trinity and Bonavista along the route. But we left that for a day trip on our stay in St. John’s.
We were glad we planned a stop in Grand Falls Windsor. It was the perfect spot to break up our drive in Newfoundland. And we enjoyed our time as we explored the Salmonid Interpretation Centre.
Next time we visit Newfoundland, we might plan a longer stay in Grand Falls Windsor and use it as a base to explore more this this central part of Newfoundland.
Have you stopped in Grand Falls Windsor? What did you find to see and do?
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The island of Newfoundland is an amazing place to visit. Remember that you WILL need more time than you realize. Ensure you try fresh moose meat too!
We were indeed surprised at how many places had Moose on the menu! And here I thought we would just get seafood.
This leisurely exploration of Grand Falls Windsor is exactly the type of experience I love to enjoy. It looks like a beautiful little town that’s off the radar! You’ve found a great place to dine with a view of the falls at Rivers Edge Grille. (They’ve definitely named that dish appropriately!) Seeing the salmon spawning is pretty cool, too – even better that the salmon ladder helps extend their live. Yay! Always wanted to get to Newfoundland is this will make a great stop along the way.
We wish we had planned a longer stop in Grand Falls Windsor. Our hotel host had so many great suggestions for thing to do in the area and we just did not have enough time. We were glad we found a tasty meal after all the restaurants in town were booked. And with a view too! We even learned a bit about salmon. Definitely a good stop on a road trip in Newfoundland. Hope you get to visit one day.
What a lovely place to stop at. I like that there are so many places from where you can see the Great Falls Windsor, from different angles, allowing you to see how big it actually is. I find the Salmon Interpretation Centre very interesting, it must be fascinating to learn and then see the salmons going up the river.
Our stop in Grand Falls Windsor sure did provide some interesting sights.
Your trip to Grand Falls Windsor, on Newfoundland road trip is full of amazing vistas especially the fog wrapping the Newfoundland landscape. Watching the Salmon ladder at Salmonid interpretation center is a wholesome experience, something I would love to experience. Great to learn that Atlantic Salmons don’t die after spawning, the unlike other Salmons.
And the view of the Grand Falls from River’s Edge grille and the Moose mess platter looks really tempting.
We too were surprised at all that we learned about the Atlantic Salmon!
It’s sometimes a little sense of adventure when things don’t go as planned. Hotel and restaurants- who would have thought they would be booked? But the waterfalls make a lasting memory don’t they? Nfld is still on my list to go.
We were totally unprepared to find everything booked for dining when we got to Grand Falls Windsor. A lesson learned about planning ahead.
You had a fabulous Newfoundland Road Trip. If the hotel’s name is Robin Hood, this argument is enough for me to stay in it! Also, as I love photographing waterfalls, I would like to see Grand Falls Windsor. And the Salmon Interpretation Centre seems worth a visit as it provides exhibits on the history, biology, and habitat of the Atlantic Salmon, which is the most delicious salmon for me.
I am sure you would love a visit to Grand Falls Windsor. We wished we stayed longer in this part of Newfoundland on our visit. Next time! We too love the salmon.
There are a couple of things I’d love about Grand Falls Windsor. Already the sceneries are great – the mountain on the first pic looks almost like a copy of Mount Fuji 😉 Then, there is the hearty food – for how many people was that plate?!? Also, I love visiting places where they explain how food is produced – in this case it’s fishes and not just some produce, but still, it’s good to know where quality food comes from and how much work it is and why it’s worth it to pay a bit extra. Very nice post!
We were happy we stopped in Grand Falls Windsor and had time to visit the Salmonid Interpretation Centre. A tasty dinner and great information.
I love a good view with lunch and that restaurant looks great!
We were so glad the restaurant was open on our visit to the Salmonid Interpretation Centre.
Always informative and I love all of the photos!
We loved all the great things to see and do on our Newfoundland road trip stop in Grand Falls Windsor.
Those falls look absolutely gorgeous! Seems like such a cool area to visit and explore, thanks for putting it on my radar!
I hope you get to plan a road trip in Newfoundland one day and make this stop.
Getting close to the Grand Falls Windsor appears to be tough. It’s amazing that there is also a restaurant (Rivers Edge Grill) where you can dine and enjoy the falls from afar, not to mention their food looks delicious! The Salmonid Interpretation Centre was another perfect feature. I’m hoping to take a Newfoundland road trip and see these spectacular scenery soon.
I hope you do get to Newfoundland and plan a stop in Grand Falls Windsor. We were happy to have such a tasty meal before we enjoyed the Salmonid Interpretation Centre.
I love your series of posts on Newfoundland. Thanks to your photos I too now understand why it’s called the Rock. Not finding restaurants, esp. when you’re in smaller towns & faraway places is something I dread. I was in one such situation with my toddler and we had to get a taxi to the next city! Good to know you can head to the waterfalls right from River Edges Grill.
I am happy to be sharing all our great experiences in Newfoundland. It was a real treat for us. We too now better understand why it is called The Rock. We had fast food options but were glad we got a much better meal at the Rivers Edge Grill.
Grand Falls looks like an awesome stop on a Newfoundland road trip! The views of the falls are really lovely, and the Salmonid Interpretation Centre sounds very interesting!
We were glad we rolled into Grand Falls Windsor early enough to enjoy the sights.
Watching the life of salmon from documentaries always fascinated me. I know I will enjoy a visit to Salmon Interpretation Center in Grand Falls Windsor. Too bad there’s no salmon when you were eating at the on-site restaurant, but David’s Moose Mess from the other restaurant looks interesting. I would like to give it a try.
We were happy we visited the Salmonid Interpretation Centre when we stopped in Grand Falls Windsor. And David’s dinner was certainly a treat.
Wow loved this article. Full of very informative tips and info. This place looks wonderful to spend some quality time in the nature
It is always great to find gems like Grand Falls Windsor on our road trip in Newfoundland.
Great Post ! I have read your other posts which are really informative for any traveler. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful informative information on the blog. Articles that have meaningful and insightful comments are more enjoyable.
I appreciate your comments. We do love to share our travels and the insights we get when travelling.
Finally saw scenes of Newfoundland, the only province we haven’t visited in eastern Canada. Love that yellow house, the salmon ladder, and Grand Falls. That resto gave you such good views already!
There was indeed so much to love about Newfoundland! We were so glad we visited.
What a neat trip! The views walking along Grand Falls is gorgeous. I’d be excited to see the salmon at Salmonid Interpretation Centre as it’s amazing to watch them swim up the ladders. I saw this up in Oregon and loved it!
This was the first time I actually saw salmon jumping up the ladder. Fun and educational too.
Wow! The view is wonderful. We have been to Newfoundland twice but we never had to chance to stop and explore Grand Falls Windsor. We’ll make sure to drop by next time. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience and hopefully, they have salmon available when we visit.
We had a few choices of where to break the long drive to St John’s. We were glad we stopped in Grand Falls Windsor.
Grand Falls really does look grand, and I love those fabulous rock formations around that falls. It is so, sooo cool to see the salmon ladder in use too!
The stop at the Salmonid Interpretation Centre was much better than we expected. Great sights and interesting to see the salmon.
Who would have thought that you will end up discovering something great? I am glad you said not to the fast food restaurant in favour of the “Moose Mess”. I would love to try it, same for the poutine.
We do love to try local spots whenever possible when we travel. And were surprised at how much “moose” we found in different forms for meals.
Loved reading about your trip in Newfoundland. I’ve never had Moose before, I found it interesting that it was offered in so many places. Sorry to hear that many of the places were booked, but you still had a lovely time!
We learned some lessons about stops in smaller towns on our visit to Newfoundland. Several times we found lots of food places closed. Better research or reservations would have helped.
Looks like you had a very special trip. Salmon swimming upstream fascinates me. Great photos!
We always love to find interesting new spots to visit on our road trips.
That Salmonid interpretive center looks so interesting – makes me want to go explore some of the ones near us here in the Pacific Northwest. I love how the town got its name too – people are so funny sometimes. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos and fun places!
I hope you do visit some of the salmon sites in the PNW. This inspired us to look for salmon in BC and we were less successful.
I can’t wait to make it over to Newfoundland and explore its unique points of interest. This looks like the perfect place to stop!
I hope you do get to Newfoundland one day. So many great spots to discover.
I’ve never had moose before, but I would also have liked to try the salmon! Grand Falls looks like an interesting place to explore and your great post is filled with lots of information.
David had not tried moose before this trip but he sure got a few chances. Mostly we did search for great seafood! Grand Falls Windsor was a great stop for sure.
This seems an unforgettable place to stop and discover! Nature is absolutely phenomenal! Also, I love how is written the article, all the information is provided! Great job
Glad to provide more information about Grand Falls Windsor. An interesting and beautiful stop.
What a pretty place to visit in Newfoundland. I love fresh salmon, especially Atlantic, so it would be interesting to learn more about it. The yellow house and scenery is so pretty too!
There were so many different things to enjoy on our stop in Grand Falls Windsor as we road tripped around Newfoundland.
What a beautiful outdoorsy locations! I’d love to learn more about salmon. My friend’s family are fishermen in Alaska, so it would be interesting learning about salmon in the Atlantic!
We do love salmon to eat. So great to learn more about the Atlantic salmon. I am sure salmon in Alaska is awesome!
I think I’ve mentioned before how much I want to get up to Newfoundland. Hopefully soon. The scenery looks much like washington State but more rugged. And yes, Moose Mess would be something I would try!!
Newfoundland is indeed a beautiful and rugged spot. With Moose for dinner in all kinds of creations!
Newfoundland looks like an excellent travel destination. I especially like view to Exploits River. Amazing. Thanks for sharing!
We too loved all the views we got on our stop in Grand Falls Windsor.
Love reading all your road trip posts. I have only been to Toronto and really want to explore more. Newfoundland particularly appeals – maybe next year!
There are so many great spots to explore in Canada. Newfoundland took us a long time to finally visit. But a very different part of the country.
Newfoundland looks lovely. I would love to see the Salmon Ladder and the educational center associated with it.
We were impressed with the great variety of things to see and do that we found on our road trip to Newfoundland.
Grand Falls Windsor sounds like such a quaint town! Definitely adding it to my Canada travel inspo – thanks for sharing this post 🙂
There were so many quaint towns we found as we travelled around Newfoundland. We were sure glad we stopped in Grand Falls Windsor.
The scenery looks beautiful. What did you husband think of the actual taste of the moose? My sons would love to try moose mess.
David loved the moose mess. And all the other versions of moose he tried in Newfoundland. A new discovery for sure.
I have enjoyed learning about salmon in Seattle and Alaska, and I’m sure I would have liked this experience too. And too funny the restaurant didn’t actually serve salmon! I have only visited Toronto and Victoria in Canada, and really want to explore more when I get the time. Your blog always makes me want to visit 🙂
I am glad to be showing you a new part of Canada. Love the coasts in Canada for great seafood.
Newfoundland has long been on our wish list, maybe for a fall road trip. So this one goes right onto the travel planning list!
I hope you guys do get to plan a long road trip to Newfoundland. We had 10 days and enjoyed every stop. We were so happy we planned a stop in Grand Falls Windsor. It broke up a very long drive day. And offered some great spots to see. And our host said there was ton to see if you stayed there and did some day trips.
Having grown up in Seattle, I am familiar with visiting salmon ladders and other spawning grounds. It would be really cool to learn about Atlantic salmon at the Salmonid Interpretation Centre. I am always so surprised to see such dramatic rocky and mountainous landscapes in Eastern Canada and I think that alone would be reason enough to check out this region. Also, the moose mess sounds and looks so delicious! I would order that in a heartbeat!
We too have chased salmon runs on the west coast so we could not pass this chance to see the salmon ladder at Grand Falls Windsor. And a tasty dinner was a bonus!
Looks like a great trip! I’m from Manitoba, live in New Zealand now but I haven’t yet visited the east coast- would love to! Although I’m really loving the mountains, the Canadian shield is pretty spectacular!
We have spent a lot of time on the west coast in Canada. So it was great to spend more on the east coast and discover coastlines like the Ovens Natural Park.