Visit an Ancient Ocean at Table Point Ecological Reserve

Table Point Ecological Reserve

This was the scene: between 468 and 458 million years ago-a 10-million-year span that’s known as the Whiterockian portion of the Middle Ordovician Period-the Appalachian Mountains were beginning to form. At the same time, the Iapetus Ocean (ancestor of the Atlantic) was closing, and the continental shelf was collapsing and breaking apart. A carbonate belt existed along the edge of North American continent, which at the time lay across the equator. In this belt lived the distinctive brachiopods and trilobites now known as the “Toquima-Table Head Faunal Realm.”

Department of Environment, Climate Change & Municipalities

Another incredible hidden gem on the Great Northern Peninsula that is worth spending a day exploring. I’ve heard about the unique fossils that existed on this headland but didn’t realize how impressive it truly was until a visit last summer. Table Point is nestled 2 km North of Bellburns on the Great Northern Peninsula, where a few sign weathered signs give some indication of the Ecological Reserve adjacent to Route 430 on the Viking Trail. The area does not permit motorized vehicles and has a number of rules to ensure protection of the fossils, plant life and other natural assets of the area.

Fossils at Table Point Ecological Reserve

The public can visit the area for hiking or sightseeing or educational purposes. Certain activities are also permitted depending on the season and some requiring a license. There are many interesting flora and coastal views that will captivate you as you find fossils and rock formations that tell the story of changes to the continental shelf of an ancient ocean.

Here’s some of what you can expect:

The Great Northern Peninsula is full of geological and ecological wonders dating back hundreds of millions of years. If you haven’t visited Table Point, it too should be added to your very own explorer’s list!

Learn more about the Great Northern Peninsula’s more than 80 trails North of this location by clicking here.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore


Leave a Reply