Company hopes to draw tourists with map of N.L. backcountry

Published on July 5, 2014
A map guide book and an app by Mussio Ventures will make getting around the province’s backcountry easier for those who take the roads less travelled.
— Submitted images

A Canadian publishing company hopes to increase tourism in this province with the release of a comprehensive map of the Newfoundland and Labrador back country.

Due to the vastness of the province, Russell Mussio, co-founder and president of Mussio Ventures, says creating a map of Newfoundland’s back country proved particularly challenging.

“It wasn’t easy to get the information,” he said.

“People know where to fish, but you’ve got to ask at the local store, whereas in British Columbia they’ll have big guidebooks already.”

The maps

for this province were created through collaborations with fishing and outdoors clubs, local researchers,  park superintendents and hikers. The departments of Natural Resources and Tourism were also consulted.

Publishing maps for 20 years

Mussio Ventures has been publishing maps of the Canadian wilderness, known as Backroad Mapbooks, for the past 20 years.

The detailed maps are intended to promote safer and easier exploration of the outdoors. They are available in print and digital formats and include extensive information on outdoor activities, recreation sites, trail systems, and other essential information for explorers of the country’s less-travelled roads.

After publishing outdoors guides for every other province in the country, development began on maps of Newfoundland and Labrador two years ago. The maps were made available to the public on June 25.

“If you talk to many Canadians, Newfoundland is on many people’s bucket list to explore,” Mussio said from his base in British Columbia.

“That was one of the reasons we were so excited to do the project. After doing the research, it was proven over and over again that you guys just have so many places to go.”

Mussio says the company has a strong following and he hopes the release of this map will bring this province’s backcountry the “local and nationwide attention it deserves.”

He says residents of other more remote places have seen increases in their tourist population after maps were released for their respective areas.

Mussio encourages all residents to explore Newfoundland’s expansive wilderness, but for those wanting to begin their first backcountry adventure, he advises to start small.

“If you’re kind of new to getting out and about, you don’t want to go too far into the backcountry. You don’t necessarily have to go up to Labrador or Terra Nova — when we say backcountry, it could be as easy as exploring where that logging road goes.”