We walked the Tablelands Trail on our last full day in Newfoundland. The weather wasn't the greatest. It was overcast, windy, and drizzly. It was supposed to be an easy 4 km hike, but I was a wimpy hiker (still am!) and the gentle slope soon made my legs feel all crampy. I told my travel companions to walk ahead of me and not to worry about me. I might make it to the end of the trail, I might not. I'd just walk at my own pace (which is a snail's pace, to be honest).
By the time I got to the boardwalk leading to the end of the trail, my travel companions were already on their way back. My husband happily walked back with me to the end of the trail where the view was glorious and the benches looked very inviting. The picture above was taken from the end of the trail.
I don't know if it would be possible to explain the science of the Tablelands without using all sorts of fancy words that I'm not even sure the meaning of, so I'll just copy the explanation from this page:
"The barren Tablelands, found between Trout River and Woody Point in Gros Morne National Park, look more like Arizona than forested Newfoundland. This is due to the ultramafic rock - peridotite - which makes up the Tablelands. It is thought to originate in the earth's mantle and was forced up from the depths during a plate collision several hundred million years ago. Peridotite lacks the usual nutrients required to sustain most plant life, hence its barren appearance. The rock is very low in calcium, very high in magnesium, and has toxic amounts of heavy metals. Peridotite is also high in iron, which accounts for its brownish colour. Underneath this weathered zone, the rock is really a dark green colour."
So now you know, and I think you should go there! It's such a uniquely beautiful spot. In fact, the whole Gros Morne National Park is breathtakingly beautiful. It's one of my most favourite places on earth. Definitely a must-see!