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Terra Nova National Park of Canada

Port Blandford: Building on nature's bounty

Port Blandford Station, 1953
Port Blandford Station, 1953
© Parks Canada / Don McCarron USAF / 1953

Just outside the east entrance of Terra Nova National Park, nestled at the bottom of Clode Sound, is the picturesque community of Port Blandford. This charming setting has been blessed with an abundance of natural beauty that has been attracting people to the area for well over a hundred years.

Before the time of roads, Clode Sound, a long-reaching finger of the sea, gave access to the great forests of the interior, which attracted the first settlers from Keels and King's Cove. Some of the first families such as the Harrises, Hefferns and Greenings were mainly involved with lumbering and boat building.

Trestle at Southwest Port Blandford
Trestle at Southwest Port Blandford
© Parks Canada / Julie Tucker

As the railway moved through this neck of the woods in the 1890's, it brought a large influx of workers. Early families that came to work on the railway included the Fords and Webbers (from cupids) and the Garretts (of Salvage). Before the creation of the Bonavista branch in 1913, Port Blandford was the railhead for Bonavista Bay and the terminal for the Bay coastal steamer service. The growing community was named for Captain Darius Blandford, formerly of Greenspond, who was master of the bay steamer Dundee.

Even though the railway and lumbering continued to provide most of Port Blandford's employment for many years, both were in decline by the 1950's. With the creation of Terra Nova National in 1957 and a shift towards tourism and service-related jobs, Port Blandford soon experienced a rebirth as a tourism destination.

A view of Clode Sound
A view of Clode Sound
© Parks Canada / Gerri Campbell

Today, the sheltered waters of inner Clode Sound and the breathtaking boreal forest combine to make Port Blandford the perfect backdrop for the outdoor enthusiast. Bordered by three salmon rivers, a national park, a waterfowl-filled estuary and a world-class golf course; it's no wonder why this area has become a destination for many. For more information, please visit their website at: www.portblandford.com