Nfld. & Labrador

Hold the s'mores: Stubborn snow stalls opening of 2 N.L. parks

Campers know the weather can be unpredictable if you want to sleep under the stars, but Mother Nature isn't co-operating enough for even die-hard enthusiasts to pitch a tent in two provincial parks.

Camp site, day use area in Pistolet Bay, Pinware River buried in snow drifts

Pistolet Bay and Pinware River Provincial Parks are not opening as scheduled this weekend due to snow that refuses to melt. (Courtesy of Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

Campers hoping to pitch a tent in Pinware River and Pistolet Bay provincial parks will have to wait a bit longer because the sites are inaccessible due to snow, with drifts as high as 20 feet in some places. 

"It was impossible [to open this weekend] … This is the first time I've ever seen this much snow," said Les Peddle, who has worked at the Pinware River site for 20 years. 

"We have a building, an activity centre, in the day use area … right now, the snow is still not down to the top of the door."

The beach at Pinware River Provincial Park, pictured here in sunnier times. (Marilyn O'Dell-Murphy/Facebook)

Pinware River Provincial Park is located in southern Labrador, while Pistolet Bay Provincial Park is on the tip of the Northern Peninsula. 

Pack ice problems

Peddle chalked up the delayed opening of his site to the pack ice that has invaded the coastline in parts of the province. 

The Canadian Coast Guard has three large icebreakers stationed along the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador to deal with heavy ice conditions. (Submitted by Canadian Coast Guard)

"We're right on the straits on the ocean here, and it's still packed with ice and it's just keeping the air temperature down and it's not melting as fast," Peddle told CBC Radio's Labrador Morning. 

Staff even brought in a plow operator to move the snow.

"There was nowhere to push it without doing a lot of damage to the trees," said Peddle. "Even after he plowed the road, after he left, a couple of days later it just all flounders in to the path again and blocked the road again."

But Peddle is hoping outdoor enthusiasts will soon be able to camp or take advantage of the day use area in the park. 

"We're hoping to get open by the 16th," he said. 

With files from Labrador Morning