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Hiking Newfoundland: the Tablelands Off-Trail Loop in Gros Morne National Park

Imagine you've spent the first few days of a trip to an island off the coast of mainland Canada day hiking to a beautiful cascade and backpacking a wet, muddy wilderness route dotted with ponds and giant boulders. Then, as you're on your way to your next destination, the road abruptly turns a corner and begins winding through a landscape that looks more like Mars than the forested terrain directly behind you.

I felt like I'd been transported to another world when I saw the Tablelands, just one more glimpse into Gros Morne National Park's extraordinarily complex geology. The terrain looked so completely different than anything else we'd seen, more like the Grand Canyon than coastal Newfoundland. We'd planned a stop there as part of our week-long trip to the park, and despite still licking my wounds from the Long Range Traverse, I couldn't wait to get out and see the Tablelands up close. After all, scientists proved the theory of plate tectonics there.
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