Satisfied with our long, lazy break, we packed up and started on the next section of our backpack.
As I mentioned earlier, the northern end of the Green Gardens trail ends at Skinner Cove. This was the section of trail we now started off on, headed south, towards our backcountry campsite at the Green Gardens (the Green Gardens is an actual spot along the Green Gardens trail). The trail generally follows the coast, but this part up here near Skinner Cove surmounts a fairly high 600-foot ridge, and it was this steep ascent that we had to now tackle.
Starting switchbacking climb
Via a combination of switchbacks and long sections of half dug-in steps, we climbed steeply up to the ridgecrest. There were beautiful sections of steep meadows in the upper portions of this climb, which gave wonderful views back down to Skinner Cove and the coast north of it. At the very height of the trail along the ridge was a strategically-placed bench.
Beyond the bench, the Green Gardens Trail descended through lush, shady, fern-filled forest. Facing the sea, this slope obviously got a lot of moisture. Down we went, but not at as steep of a grade as we had ascended. The trail conditions throughout were pefect: no blowdown, no mud, and not rough. A perfect little path.
After an easy thirty minutes of descending, we suddenly emerged into the bright open sunshine, at the edge of a huge, open grassy expanse. On the left, steeply forested hillside faced the ocean. On the right, the grassy expanse ended abruptly in forty-foot high cliffs; and beyond to the west, the deep blue of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence stretched off into the distance. We had arrived at the Green Gardens.
Arriving at the Green Gardens
North from the Green Gardens
A wonderful place this was. Apart from a narrow path in the grass, it seemed untouched. In the middle of it were two picnic tables and an outhouse -- our backcountry campsite for the night. And, it was all to ourselves - there was no one else around, and, according to the park ranger, no one else had a backcountry permit for the night. You really couldn't ask for better.
Jenn and Green Gardens Coastline