Local News

In Search of an Elephant Trail

On June 15, IAT long distance hiker Diane Arnold from Connecticut, USA joined IAT/IATNL Chairperson Paul Wylezol and IATNL Finance Director Kevin Noseworthy on an exploratory hike to the top of the Elephant at the southwest corner of Trout River Inner Pond, above the narrows. The goal was to find a new trail route on/off the mountains as part of the third stage of the IAT UltramaTrex across the Bay of Islands Ophiolites, from Lewis Hills to Tablelands.

The day began with a 3km walk along a new ATV trail following the Gros Morne National Park boundary until it turns south near Narrows Brook and heads towards Gregory River flowing into Chimney Cove.

From there, the trio scouted out moose and woodcutter trails until they reached Narrows Brook, which flows into Trout River Pond east of the Narrows.

They then forded across the shallow meandering brook several times up river

until they were near the bottom of a scree field spilling down from a lower summit, which they climbed to avoid the hill's waist-high scrub and dense trees.

The top of the lower summit provided a rear view of the Elephant's head and the last bush-weaving ascent to the top.

The Elephant

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The view behind and below showed the landscape traversed from the town of Trout River on the gulf coast.

Once at the top of the Elephant, the view to the south showed the last of winter's snowfall filling the higher depressions

which are favorite places for caribou to hang out when black flies emerge for the summer.

A short distance over the rise reveals the Tablelands, an ultramafic massif of earth's mantle looming over deep blue Trout River Pond.

This expanse of rust-colored peridotite is the most northerly of the four Bay of Islands Ophiolites, extending north from the Lewis Hills.

The Tablelands

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For adventurers new to Newfoundland & Labrador, like long-distance hiker Diane Arnold, this martian-like landscape is as novel and unexpected as the Newfoundland hospitality and culture she experienced along her L'Anse aux Meadows to Port aux Basques trek.

Diane Arnold

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The return descent to the valley floor provided Paul and Kevin with new angles to look for the ideal route to/from the top of the Elephant

as well as new opportunities to horse - or is that moose - around!

Pink Lady Stepper Diane Arnold