Last weekend, Alice and I headed up to Gros Morne National Park to do some end of season snowshoeing. I am slightly embarrassed to say that I have never hiked or snowshoed the East Point Trail in Trout River. Well, was I in for a treat!
It was a lovely warm day with low wind and foggy clouds playing with the mountains. We parked at the end of Main Street, prepped for our hike and headed to the trail head. As is common in NL, the trail begins between someones house and shed, with no official looking signage. Here we strapped on our snowshoes and began to climb up the bank, (which will be stairs once the snow is gone). We were greeted at the top by the local sheep (yes, you read that right!). The people of Trout River have been raising sheep for a long time and these sheep can also be seen in the summer over on the Green Gardens trail where there are open meadows for grazing.
We followed the skidoo track (trail) out to East Point where you can look back into Trout River Bay and the community. The bay is still mostly ice, but we could feel spring on the light breeze blowing across the bay. Once you’re standing out on East Point, you can see the mafic pillow lava out in the ocean and right under your feet. Pillow lava is an integral part of this region being labelled as an ophiolite complex. To learn more, visit Gros Morne National Parks “The Story in Stone”.
While standing overlooking the pillow lava, Alice told me a little bit about the program that the Discovery Centre runs here in the summer, sounds like I will have to come back to attend it this summer. We continued along the coast line, heading towards where the trail loops around to head back. Here we were surprised to see eagles! Three eagles – one we thought to be the mother, was out on the ice flows, fishing. Then two younger ones, still mottled, watching mom fish from the cliffs. These powerful predators are commonly seen along the Newfoundland coastline, but never fail to take my breath away! We stopped to watch them fish and play on the breeze, capturing a few photos and videos.
Alice and I also took the opportunity to do some snowga. “Snowga” – an abbreviation for outdoor snowy yoga. After our snowshoe in and magical experience with the eagles, we felt some snowga was in order!
After a picnic lunch on the cliffs, we made our way back to the trailhead where the sheep were awaiting our return. This easy little trail (2-3km return) is a great way to spend an hour or two while you’re visiting Trout River or the southern side of Gros Morne National Park.
If you have hiked the East Point Trail in Trout River, share your experience in the comments below or leave us a picture!