Trout River Pond

 July 21, 2005

 By Brian Newhook

 Weather: Sunny, cloudy periods, 27 degrees C
Trip Length: 6.25 hrs total, approx. 16 kms return
Paddlers: Brian Newhook, Angie Brace
Kayaks Used: 2x Seaknife SK-17 Pro

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Our paddle route is marked in red, along with a small hike on the Tablelands (thumbnail - click on image to enlarge)

We awoke in the morning to blue skies and no wind; a great day for a paddle. After breakfast and a quick shower, we left Trout River Pond campground. In our opinion, this campground is the best of all those in Gros Morne with larger, private grassy sites. It is just a few minutes drive to the boat launching area, shown on the map above. Another couple from Maine were leaving the same time as us. As we were chatting, the clouds and fog began to roll in and it looked like a breeze was starting to blow. Great. So we quickly set out on the pond at 10:30 in the morning.

The outer pond (called Trout River Small Pond) has beaches along both sides, but the ones on the north eastern (left) side looked a little more inviting than that of the south western side. The water in the pond is very dark, and very deep, 130m at its deepest point. It was very nice to be able to dip your water bottle in the pond to get a drink of cold, clean water, a pleasure you seldom get kayaking. There is a tour boat that leaves several times a day, so keep an eye out for it, as it can leave a large wake on the pond. The operator was nice enough to slow down when he passed us and everyone was on deck taking pictures and video of us. We looked further up the pond and it appeared very sunny and nice in on the inner pond (called Trout River Big Pond) and we hoped it would stay that way.

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Tthumbnail - click on image to enlarge

After an hour of paddling we arrived at the “Narrows” separating the inner and outer ponds. This is an amazing place, about 5 kms from the boat launch and I recommend stopping for a break and a few pictures. You can really see how deep the pond is when looking down into the dark waters of the narrows and how it just drops suddenly.

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Thumbnails - click on images to enlarge

I am not really a geology buff, and I know little about it, so I won’t go into a description of the area, but I do know that the 600m Tablelands are the reason Gros Morne was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are amazing to look at, and you can really see the contrast between both sides of the pond, one the brown/red Tablelands, with little vegetation and the other steep gray cliffs with lush green vegetation. It’s quite a view when you are paddling up through the pond. 

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Thumbnail - click on image to enlarge

After leaving the Narrows we headed into Trout River Big Pond. The sun was shining and all the clouds had gone away. Another half hour or so, and there is a beautiful beach along the north eastern shore. The couple from Maine were stopped for a lunch along this beach, so we continued a little further to the very end of the beach and stopped for a lunch and a little hike up the side of the Tablelands. This beach was very nice, with a small stream running to get some cold water, a little colder than that of the pond.

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Thumbnails - click on images to enlarge

With our lunch finished, we took off our sandals and put on our socks and hiking boots. I recommend taking them if you plan to do any walking in the area, as its mostly loose rocks. We walked up the side Tablelands for about an hour, basking in the scenery, it was quite amazing. We came across a large rock and decided that was a good place to stop and turn around.

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Thumbnails - click on images to enlarge

We made our way back to the boats and got ready to continue our paddle. We paddled a small distance up the pond, to examine a valley of the Tablelands, and then we crossed to take a look at the other side of the pond and make our way back. It was then that the wind picked up. It was around 1:30 pm, and we started to get nervous about the long paddle ahead facing into the wind. White caps started to form on the waves as they got larger and the winds picked up. This confirmed what we had read about this pond, that the winds can be very unpredictable and could increase at any time. The worst part was that the southwestern side of the pond has very few places to land, just rocks and cliff faces. Very nice to look at, but didn’t provide much shelter in the wind.

It was tough on the arms, and very exhausting, but we paddled to the Narrows, where we had a little shelter from the wind and took a well deserved break. It was then time for the last push to the car and we finally arrived on the beach at 4:45pm. It took us just over three hours to get back, almost twice as long as it had on the way in. Boy were we happy to see the car! 

I’d like to note that we are novice paddlers, having bought our kayaks in February of this year, so we get a bit nervous whenever it is windy. We recommend you pay close attention to the wind and weather; they can be very unpredictable and change quickly. Also, be sure to give the pond the same respect you would the ocean, it can get very rough. That being said, this paddle is amazing and one of the nicest we’ve ever done.

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