The Overfalls Trail is a 5km (3mile) backcountry hiking trail that winds along the West Branch of Trout River at the southern end of Gros Morne National Park. The 1.5 - 2 hour (one way) easy trek slowly climbs to the 500ft (150m) Overfalls waterfall, which drains Sandy Pond on the northeastern end of the North Arm Hills located between the Bay of Islands and Trout River Pond.
The trail begins on the shore at the eastern end of Trout River Pond after a scenic 1-hour boat ride along the south side of the Tablelands, a 2,000+ft (600+m) mountain range of peridotite mantle rock heaved up through plate tectonics. This "rusty" rock is very low in calcium, high in magnesium, and has toxic amounts of heavy metals that make it difficult for most plants to survive.
The view of the barren desert-like Tablelands is in stark contrast to the lush tree-clad mountains on the south side of the pond, where every nook and cranny is filled with trees or scrubby tuckamore, Newfoundland's own bonsai. The end - or "bottom" - of the pond is characterized by a low, gentle valley with thick green forests and slow-moving streams.
The trail begins at sea-level and slowly rises to an elevation of 650ft (200m) at the base of the Overfalls. The route is dry and even, with good sight lines. Along the way walkers get views of gentle streams, turbulent rapids, cascading waterfalls, and large deep pools - where one can take a refreshing dip before carrying on.
At the mid-way mark, just before the confluence of the West Branch and Overfalls Brook, a side loop climbs 400ft (120m) to a 650ft-high (200m) scenic lookout, where one gets good views of the entire valley, from the Overfalls waterfall to Trout River Pond and the Tablelands.
A trail extension will eventually wind around a hillock located to the left of the falls, before crossing over to its lip at 1,350ft (410m), then continuing on to connect with the main stem of the IATNL which will cross the North Arm Hills and descend into Chimney Cove Valley on its way to the community of Trout River.
Access to the Overfalls Trail is via a 45 minute boat ride across Trout River Pond. Boats leave from the boat dock located at the western end of the pond, near the community of Trout River. Contact IATNL for details.
Length: 5 Km (3 Miles)
Time: 4-5 Hours
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Trail Type: Wilderness Trail
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