Newfoundland and Labrador

Humber Valley – Where to Stay – Where to Play

In the last post I visited a number of places associated with Captain James Cook in the Corner Brook/Bay of Islands area. In this post we’ll leave Corner Brook and head north on the Trans-Canada Highway, but we won’t be going very far. Just outside the city the highway enters the Humber Valley, one of the most scenic stretches on the entire length of that trans-continental route. The Humber River has carved its way to the sea through the Long Range Mountains in a valley that runs from Deer Lake to its mouth at Corner Brook. Please join Alison and I as we spend some time exploring this four season paradise.

This is not our first visit to the Humber Valley. In the past we have visited in winter to downhill and cross country ski. We have visited in the autumn to enjoy the spectacular fall foliage and do some zip lining. On this trip in early August 2021 we will finally get to play the best golf course in Newfoundland and Labrador and one of the best in Canada, Humber Valley Resort.

This is a photo from a few years ago during our autumn visit.

Humber Valley in Autumn
Autumn in Humber Valley

Marble Inn

Marble Inn, Humber Valley

There are a number of places we have stayed at in the Humber Valley over the years, but without question our favourite is the Marble Inn which is just off the TCH in the village of Steady Brook. It is a four and a half star resort right on the banks of the Humber River. It offers a variety of accommodations from standard hotel rooms to multi-bedroom condos. On our recent visit we were initially booked into a room with a king bed, but I opted to pay the really quite modest amount to upgrade to one of the two bedroom condos. It was a good decision. The condos are exceptionally well equipped for a longer term stay such as a week long skiing or fishing trip.

This is the kitchen.

Kitchen Area

The living area complete with gas fireplace.

Living Area, Marble Inn Condo

And one of the two bedrooms.

Bedroom, Marble Inn Condo

Sometimes when you are on the road for a couple of weeks, as Alison and I are, it is nice to each have your own bathroom and the ones in these condos are great featuring jacuzzis and large shower areas.

Now I’m going to give the most important tip on selecting a room or condo at the Marble Inn. Since you are in the Humber Valley you must have accommodations that provide a view of the Humber River which is literally a stone’s throw from some of the buildings. Each of the condos has a nice deck and your stay will be much more relaxing if you have a view of the river rather than the Trans-Canada Highway. By all means pay the extra price for a river front room.

Aside from the great accommodations, the Marble Inn is a great base in summer for Humber Valley river activities such as canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding. However, if the Humber River is famous for just one thing, it is the legendary size of its wild Atlantic salmon. Fishermen come from around the world to fish this river and during our time in the Humber Valley we saw many people engaged in the zen-like art of fly fishing which is the only type allowed on the Humber River.

Humber River Overlook, Humber Valley
Humber River Overlook

I took this picture from an overlook of the river on a short path you can pick up right beside the Marble Inn. There are actually three boats in the photo. In a few months those trees lining the shore will be ablaze with fall colours.

Steady Brook Falls, Humber Valley

Steady Brook Falls, Humber Valley
Steady Brook Falls

From the Marble Inn it is only a short distance to one of the Humber Valley’s best know attractions, Steady Brook Falls. The photo above is how it looked in August 2021. The photo below is how it looked in October a few years earlier. As you can see there is considerably more volume at that time of year.

Steady Brook Falls in Autumn

But there is a lot more you can do at Steady Brook Falls other than just look at it from the viewing platform. You can literally zip by it from hundreds of feet up on one of nine zip lines that make up the Marble Zip Tours experience. We did this on our autumn trip and it was definitely one of the highlights of our western Newfoundland adventure.

At Steady Brook Falls, Humber Valley
Ready to Zipline at Steady Brook Falls

We have zip lined in many places around the world including the world’s longest in Copper Canyon, Mexico, but our experience at Steady Brook Falls remains one of the most memorable. The feeling of being suspended over the falls and considerable canyon below is exhilarating. Although I did get a few snippets of video, this one from the public domain gives a better idea of what to expect when you take on the Steady Brook Falls challenge in the Humber Valley.

If the zip-lining is not enough excitement for you, then you can take on the Spider Challenge at Marble Mountain, also run by Marble Zip Tours. Essentially it’s an obstacle course, but one done at three storeys high that gets progressively harder with each stage. I’ve done these before with my son Dale and they are physically and perhaps surprisingly, emotionally draining, but the elation you feel on successfully completing the course creates a high that even zip-lining can’t compete with.

Madison’s at the Marble Inn, Humber Valley

Once you’ve spent your day in the great outdoors in the Humber Valley, no matter what your activity, you are going to want some decent food and Madison’s at the Marble Inn won’t disappoint. Here are a few of the items we enjoyed during our most recent stay.

Beet Salad

Parm fries seem to be a thing in western Newfoundland and the ones at Madison’s were done to perfection with just the right amount of crispiness and not so much parmesan that it could overwhelm the fries.

Parm Fries, Madison's, Humber Valley
Parm Fries

It was a very pleasant surprise to see a mid-Eastern flavour to many of the menu items. I love curry and this lamb version at Madison’s fit the bill.

Lamb Curry

This is a chicken kebab with house made tzatziki – great to look at, better to taste.

Chicken Kebab, Madison's, Humber Valley.
Chicken Kebab

We really enjoyed our two nights at the Marble Inn in the Humber Valley and I can’t wait to return, maybe to do some serious salmon fishing next time around. That concludes this short post on the many temptations of the Humber Valley.

Wait. You said there was going to be golf. Yes there will be, as the entire next post will be a hole-by-hole description of what it’s like to play the Humber Valley Resort course. Please join us there and bring your A Game. You’ll need it.

 


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