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Backpacker Magazine – March 2012

Green Gardens Loop

Follow serpentine barrens and stair-steep tracks to a rugged volcanic sea coast.

by: Steve Howe

Sea stacks and isolated beaches near Old Man's Cove (Steve Howe)
Photo by BP0312CANADA_HOWE_Gros-Morne-Green-Gardens_STH6342_bjk_445x260
Sea stacks and isolated beaches near Old Man's Cove (Steve Howe)

Want a smaller bite of Gros Morne than the Long Range Traverse? Try this 10.8-mile overnighter along a cliffy coastline dotted with sea stacks. 

From the Long Pond trailhead on Route 431, descend to viewpoints at Old Man’s Cove (mile 2.4), then arrow northeast, alternating between tranquil meadows and steep sidehill track, past secluded beaches and eroded pinnacles. At mile 5.4, cliff-ringed Skinners Cove provides a quiet meadow campsite where Wallace Brook flows into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

From here, follow good trail 3.5 miles upstream along Wallace Brook, past an ankle- to thigh-deep ford, to Wallace Brook trailhead, 1.8 pleasant road-miles from your car. Or return to the start via a less-scenic connector trail (mile 7.2) and another ford of Wallace Brook.

Map NTS quad 012H12; ($16CAD for waterproof versions; 888-545-8111;

Gros Morne National Park; 
(709) 458-2417;

 Entry $10CAD/person/day; Backcountry $10CAD/person/night

Map & GPS data

Online Trip Planning Extras

Get There 
Fly into Deer Lake, Newfoundland, 42 miles distant. Rent a car or hire a taxi (see below) to reach trailheads. Campgrounds, cabins and motels are available in Rocky Harbour.

Travel Contacts
Deer Lake & Cormack (major airport towns)
>>Lodging: Rocky Brook Cabins (close to airport, reasonable prices, backyard stream, limestone cliff, and hiking paths); (877) 635-7255;
>>Transport: Gros Morne VIP Tours; (719) 458-8818;

Rocky Harbour (Gros Morne National Park gateway)
>>Camping: Berry Hill Parcs Canada Campground, (877) 737-3783;
>>Lodging: Gros Morne Cabins (luxury cabins, great views, huge lawn for picnics, kids and gear sorting); (709) 458-2020;
>>Lodging: Fisherman’s Landing Inn (quiet, out of town, hot tub, modern rooms), (866) 458-2711;
>>Restaurant and lodging: Ocean View Hotel (rooms with views, pub, restaurant, excellent music shows), (800) 563-9887;
>>Restaurant: Fisherman’s Landing Restaurant (midtown, excellent seafood, deck with ocean view, liquor store next door); (709) 458-2711;
>> Restaurant: Java Jacks (coffee, muffins, organic and vegetarian meals); (709) 458-3004;


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