The Tablelands are located in western Newfoundland in Gros Morne National Park. They are one of the most iconic places to visit in the park and have a lot to offer including hiking, walking, and backcountry camping.
The Tablelands are one of the few places in the world where the earth’s mantle comes up to the crust and you can actually touch and see it. The mantle is this rich orange colour and is full of the most incredible looking rocks you could find. Most plants cannot survive this landscape and this area lacks most vegetation.
Fun fact: The flower on the Newfoundland licence plate is actually called the pitcher plant. It’s one of the only plants that grows here and it survives by eating bugs!
Hiking at the Tablelands
Hiking the established trail will lead you right into the centre of the Tablelands but what most people don’t know is you can hike in and around the area. Most of the established trail leading in is accessible and a portion is actually a boardwalk with seating.
This portion of the trail corresponds with an app that you can use to provide more information about the area but make sure to download it before you go because it needs to be downloaded or run on data, however there isn’t much for cell service out there. We didn’t do this and so we were unable to use the app while we hiked around.
Our hiking off the beaten path started with exploring one side of the creek that ran down the middle of the area. We then decided to climb up the spine of one of the mountains, however the one closest to us was more steep than we wanted to climb and so we decided to ford the creek and hike up the side and spine of the hill on the other side. We spent several hours climbing and exploring this area and we could have easily spent more.
Of note: you can also backcountry hike and camp in this area but you need to register and get a permit at the info centre. Make sure to check the Parks Canada Website for the most up to date information.
Accommodations Around the Tablelands
We camped at the Berry Hill Campground in Gros Morne National Park and had to drive about an hour through the park to get there. There are several other campground options in the park to choose from depending on the other activities you plan to do while you’re there.
There are also rental accommodations available in the surrounding communities: Norris Point (~1hr away), Lomond, Bonne Bay, Woody Point.
I hope you’re able to take advantage of the free passes to Canada’s National Parks this year in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday! If you have any questions about travel in Newfoundland leave em’ in the comments!