Gros Morne : Day 4 – The Tablelands & Lookout Trail

See short Tablelands video here.

See short Lookout Trail video here.

It was another lovely day on the West Coast of Newfoundland. We got ready and headed in Rocky Harbour for coffee at the Treasure Box Gift Shop and Cafe. This shop is across the road from the National Park Visitor centre which opens at 9:00am. We asked about our hiking options and set off to Gros Morne Discovery Centre.

The Discovery Centre is a first class facility with a fantastic geological exhibition and indigenous display. There is also a gift shop and cafe. The centre also serves as the trailhead for Lookout Trail. After spending time here we drove a few minutes down the 431 to the Tablelands. It was very busy there and parking was limited. The gravel trail had a low upward grade to the ending lookout. Like Western Brook Pond, there are benches, but no shelter from the elements, which made this a hot 21 degrees. We had fun exploring the exposed upper mantle, including jumping off of rocks 1.2 billion year old rocks (see here). It’s hard to comprehend the age of the landscape and the journey it took to get to the surface.

Following this excursion, we returned to the Discovery Centre and embarked on the Lookout Trail. First we picked up coffee and sandwiches from inside the centre. The ham and Swiss cheese was one of the best sandwiches I had in a long time! We were told to plan for 3 hours for this 5.8km loop. This was due to the steady 400m in elevation the trail climbs. We passed an older couple that was descending the trail. They told us we were half-way there. I didn’t believe him. Mike stopped to take a video (see it here). As he was preparing I looked ahead and saw that we were indeed only about half-way. When I turn to smile back at him, it’s because he hasn’t seen what I’ve seen yet. The ascent ended up taking us 48 minutes with stops for water and photographs. The panoramic view was the best reward. All the hikers who were at the top were in great spirits and proud of their achievements. We lingered a while before looping back.

Woody Point is a small town at the foot of Bonne Bay and the 431 highway switchback. We went there to checkout the gift shops and have dinner. I really liked Molly Made gift shop and the Retro Cafe for eats.

We returned to Green Point campground for our final sunset and campfire before returning home the next day.

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