The Main River is located at the southern end of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula. From its headwaters in the Long Range Mountains, it flows southeastward to Sop's Arm, in White Bay.
The Main is a wilderness river-no highways wind along it, though there is a paved road leading to the mouth of the river in Sop's Arm. An unpaved woods road from the community provides access 13 km upriver, to the Kruger bridge. A few points are accessible by float plane or helicopter, and by rough hiking tracks. ATV use is not allowed in the Heritage River area except on the woods road leading from Sop's Arm. Snowmobiles can be used during winter months. *The closest regional airport is located in Deer Lake (YDF) approx. 1hr drive from Sop's Arm.
Reaching the rough portage trails that lead to the Four Ponds Unit (near the river's headwaters) begins by taking a wood-harvesting road from Route 420, which leaves Route 420 about 22 km from the Trans-Canada Highway/Route 420 junction. (Note: wood-harvesting roads are best suited for four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance only.)
View a Map of the Main River (790 KB)
Access to the Four Ponds Unit is by float plane, helicopter, or by a five-hour walk on a rough portage trail from the nearest forest access road (refer to map).
Hikers and anglers can get to the Big Steady Unit via a rough hiking trail that begins where the wood-harvesting road leading upriver from Sop's Arm ends (refer to map). The hike from there to the Big Steady takes about 2.5 to 3 hours. Conditions will be wet; sturdy, waterproof footwear is a must. Vehicles can be left where the hiking trail begins, on the side of the woods road.
Canoers, kayakers, and white-water rafting enthusiasts gain access to the Deep Valley Unit from the same, rough 17-km woods road that leads to the Kruger Bridge from Sop's Arm. In 2004, a small gravel parking lot and two outhouses were constructed adjacent to the bridge to accommodate river users. This area is for day use only, not camping.
Further details about access are available from individual local outfitters, and from the Natural Areas staff.
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