Leaving Port aux Basques, turn right and exit on Route 470. This Route will take you to the communities of Margaree/Fox Roost, Isle aux Morts, Burnt Islands, Diamond Cove and Rose Blanche/Harbour le Cou.
These communities are rich in fishing history. One must remember that the road to these communities was not established until 1960 and electricity did not come to these communities until 1961. This is a winding road with lots of turns and hills, so please be aware of the speed limits.
The first community you will come to is Margaree/Fox Roost. Enter into the community and follow the signs to visit the Misery Point Fishing Livyer's Station. This is a home that was moved from another community by schooner in 1944. It is well over 100 years old. This site reflects the way that fishermen and their families lived in the late 1800s. The name Misery Point comes from the unpredictable weather conditions on this point. Stories tell of how the sea rose so high that it would come into the home and how winter sea ice would break windows of the home. The site has a fishermen's store, fish flakes, root cellar, kitchen garden – all amenities of early settlement. The site also has a small craft store. Admission is by donation.
After leaving Margaree/Fox Roost, continue to the community of Isle aux Morts. This community translated from French means "island of the dead", so referred to because of the numerous ship wrecks in the area. Visit the Walters House, which was the first church and school in the community; later, a small addition was built on to have a store attached to the house. This house, well over 100 years old, is the last A-frame house in the community. The history of Isle aux Morts is portrayed in this home. Admission is by donation.
Walk the Harvey Trail in the community and wonder at the natural beauty of the ocean and the rugged shoreline. This trail is dedicated to the heroic Harvey family, which in 1828 rescued 163 people from the shipwrecked "Despatch" and ten years later repeated their heroic endeavours by rescuing 25 people from the sinking "Rankin". This is a straight line trail and the return trip is approximately 7 kilometres. There are interpretation panels along the way with rest stops. At the end of the trail is a mural depicting the Harveys and their Newfoundland dog, "Hairyman", who also took part in the rescues, and a replica of the small boat that was used to help with the rescues.
Leaving Isle aux Morts, continue on to Burnt Islands. Burnt Islands, like most small communities in Newfoundland, depend on the sea for their livelihood. The Hook & Line Interpretation Centre is dedicated to the fishery. Stop by and see the fishermen baiting their gear, and learn how and why the fishing industry is so vital to the economy of Newfoundland. Admission is $2.00 per person. There is a small craft store and coffee shop on site.
After leaving Burnt Islands, the visitor is then presented with spectacular views of oceans and barrens and the occasional natural waterfall. The drive to Rose Blanche will be filled with the awe of Mother Nature at her finest in the scenery.
The small community of Diamond Cove, so named because of the quartz crystals in the cliffs that gleam like diamonds in the sun, is a small fishing village. There once was a copper mine in this community and if one looks closely at the cliff, you can still see the entrance to the mine.
Harbor le Cou is one of the most scenic fishing communities in the area. Visit with the fishermen at their sheds and view the deep fiords that you can see from the wharf at the end of the road.
Rose Blanche lighthouse is a must-see for all visitors. It is the last remaining granite lighthouse on Canada's Atlantic Seaboard. It is the only lighthouse in the world restored from ruins, and the first lighthouse in the province that was given the designation of being a registered historic structure. Although it was decommissioned prior to confederation with Canada, it became a Canadian lighthouse in 2001 by the installation of a harbour entrance light in the tower. The original lighting apparatus was made by D & T Stevenson of Scotland, the family of the noted author Robert Louis Stevenson. All mail leaving Rose Blanche during the summer season is cancelled out by a stamp of the lighthouse – a sure collector's item. Visit and learn how the lighthouse was restored, why lighthouses play a integral role in the history of our province and about the community. There is a craft store on site, along with other amenities. Admission is $3.00 per person.
While you are in Rose Blanche, there are several community paths or trails that one can walk that will take you around the community, which is a delight for camera buffs and artists.
There are several places to have a meal along Route 470, and convenience stores along the way for that cold drink and snack. Enjoy your day in our coastal communities and return back to St. Christopher's Hotel in Port aux Basques for a well-deserved night's rest.