Last weekend, our hike was 10.5 km (6.5 mi) return and one of the most popular hikes in Gros Morne National Park because of it's variety and beauty. We began across from The Tablelands, a majestic flat-topped mountain range where you are actually walking on the earth's mantle (normally found under the earth's crust)! (Haven't done that one yet as they recommend a guide. $$$) But we were walking towards the ocean; so our walk progressed quickly from the earth's mantle to scrubland.
We were walking on a steady descent, through scrubland to forest, over barrens, down wooden "steps" and footpaths full of tree roots, with the occasional break of flat surface.
Finally, we could see the water! Through more forest, down more "steps", and then we reached our destination at Green Gardens overlooking the Gulf of St Lawrence. The sea was full of wonderful rock formation. There was also a motorized dory in the water which we were all curious about as there are no fish that close to shore.
|We had to walk down that staircase (75 steps total) to reach the beach below where we had lunch. It had warmed up considerably by then; and the sound of the surf was magnificant!|
This is the reason the hike is called Green Gardens. At the top of the cliff beyond the beach area there are several connected fields, green and lush. We were told that farmers still graze sheep here in the summer; and indeed, the evidence was underfoot!
Remember that dory we saw in the Gulf? Well, while we were in the last field, we heard the tinkle of little bells and 2 young men came through the back of the field with half a dozen sheep. They herded the sheep to the steps ..... led those sheep down those 75 steps!!! ...... then along the beach to the very end where they carried the sheep into the dory and off they went .... out to sea and onto (I assume) the farm where they belong! What a sight to see!
That last green field was the end of the path unfortunately. What is actually an 18 km hike is cut in half because of erosion which has happened on the seaside trail. So, being now fed, watered and rested, it was time to begin our uphill return journey.
|The Pitcher Plant is a|
While the rest of Canada and the U.S. are enjoying very high temperatures, the weather here in Newfoundland is seasonal. And as we have a very short summer season, the leaves are changing already and mornings and nights are actually cold. The group hopes to hike at least until the end of October. And if the weather cooperates, that will make for some spectacular hikes.