The Tablelands is a large mountainous area in the southern half of Gros Morne National Park, that stretches from Woody Point, to Trout River. It's one of the only areas on earth where the mantle is exposed. The make up of this ancient rock shows as a light rusty looking colour. The rocks and soil are not suitable for the growth of trees or other plants. There is snow in these mountains for a good part of the summer months. The melting snow feeds several small waterfalls and rapids.
Drive into the southern section of the park on Route 431 from Wiltondale. Just before you get to Woody Point follow the sign for Trout River to stay on 431. It's quite a sharp switch-back turn. You'll climb a steep hill and The Tablelands appear before you. Take note; when you are returning on this road this last section is quite dangerous. Slow down, or you'll end up in Bonne Bay.
You'll see the Gros Morne Interpretation Centre first on your right. Stop here if you'd like to learn more about the area's geology or to find out when the next guided tour along the Tablelands Trail is.
Next, on your left there's a pull off and a nice 'Kodak' spot. A little further down the road on the left is a large parking area at the start of The Tablelands Trail. The trail is both gravel and boardwalk. It's not a difficult trail, but you are going to want to have a bottle of water and a snack.
If you are unable to hike, just continue driving to Trout River. The Tablelands are on your left side over the entire route. It's another Newfoundland scenic drive that you shouldn't miss.
(click photos to enlarge, click caption for mapped location)
Hikes of Western Newfoundland by Katie Broadhurst and Alexandra Fortin is an excellent guide if you like to do trails. The book covers Western and Central Newfoundland as far east as Twillingate. They don't cover every trail, that's almost impossible. You'll find information on a good range of trails that you should consider.
You start with the area map where they show the trails that are covered by the book. The pages about each trail include GPS co-ordinates of the trailhead and a good map of the trail. They also tell you the level of difficulty and distances.
We bought a copy ahead of our June 2015 trip to scout out the trails we wanted to do ahead of time. The book is available on Amazon and you can purchase it through this link.
While walking trails we often find ourselves wondering how the various interesting formations came about. Our understanding of geology is pretty limited. We purchased a great book titled 'Geology of Newfoundland' by Martha Hickman Hild.
The book has GPS co-ordinates, photos and descriptions of 48 sites across the island. The level of information will satisfy serious rock hounds. In our case, we are able to glean enough to satisfy our curiosity. We keep the book in the truck, it does not matter what part of the island you are visiting, there will be an interesting site nearby.
We bought a copy ahead of our September 2015 trip to scout out sites we wanted to explore. The book is available on Amazon and you can purchase it through this link.