Any hiking enthusiast or lover of the outdoors would be awestruck by the Green Gardens trail. This approximately 9-kilometre return hike takes you across a barren landscape with a striking view of the Tablelands, down through the thick boreal forest, and out to the coastline where there are endless grassy fields, and views that words cannot describe. When I hiked this trail, I could hardly believe that I was actually in Newfoundland. Bring your camera, journal, sketchbook– whatever you need to document this other-worldly experience.
The trailhead can be found on route 431 on your way to Trout River from Woody Point. Pass the Tablelands trailhead on your left and within a few kilometres, you’ll see the Green Gardens trailhead and a large parking lot on your right. The hike is moderate to difficult, with some easy sections and some steep inclines. You’ll want to be a comfortable hiker to tackle this trail. Primitive front-country campsites are available at the coastline– this is something we’d love to do at this location someday.
Make your way from the parking lot, first uphill, then a sharp decline to the coast. When you arrive at the coastline, stroll through the grassy fields and follow the stairs down to the beach, where if the tide is low, you can walk around the headland and into a massive sea cave with vaulted ceilings. I was not lucky enough to arrive during low tide, so if you get into the sea cave be sure to share some pictures! Be super safe if you decide to do this and do not spend too much time on the other side of the headland– tides are powerful forces and you could find yourself stranded.
Take the time on the beach to hunt for sea glass, enjoy a picnic, and take in the remarkable views. Walk the length of the beach and at the end, you’ll find a lovely hidden waterfall. When we came across it, we were surprised as it is not mentioned in the information about the hiking trail. It’s like an Easter Egg or hidden gem! You have a steep climb back to the parking lot, so don’t rush yourself. Soak it all in.
The cliffs, sea stacks, rolling fields, and waterfalls that can be seen on this hike are spectacular. It is one of my favourite trails in the province to date, by far. We did this hike almost 5 years ago (what!!) and I still think about it to this day. Writing this post is making me homesick, so I have to stop here!
Be sure to check the Parks Canada website before embarking on any of their hikes, as trail conditions change all the time. It would be unfortunate to drive a long distance and find a trail closed or partially closed.