MacKinnons Brook Trail


Like several other trails now in the Cape Mabou Trail Club system, the MacKinnons Brook Trail began life as a cart track that the original settlers used to transport food and belongings to and from their homes on Cape Mabou. It connected the settlements at Sight Point and MacKinnons Brook, once thriving small rural communities: in the 1880’s MacKinnons Brook had a store and Sight Point had a “fish station” and a post office, according to a map from that era by A. F. Church.

Bizarrely, Google Maps refers to the MacKinnons Brook Trail from Sight Point to MacKinnons Brook (and then MacKinnons Brook Lane from there to the Mabou Post Road Trail Head) as the Broad Cove Banks Road, apparently viewing the latter, commonly held to terminate at Sight Point, as continuing on to MacDonalds Glen. I have been unable to find any justification for this strange usage.
Google Maps Name
Broad Cove Banks Road
Local Usage
MacKinnons Brook Trail
North to South
Start Point
46°11.110′N 61°25.259′W, at the Sight Point Trail Head
End Point
46°09.699′N 61°25.934′W, at the three way junction of the MacKinnons Brook Trail, the Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountain) Trail, and the Beinn Alasdair Bhain (Fair Alistair’s Mountain) Trail
4.1 km (2½ mi)
Hiking Trail
Initially grassy, becomes dirt/stones on the side of Beinn Bhiorach and needly in forested areas
Very good
Route Description
From the parking area at the Sight Point Trail Head at the end of the Sight Point Road (also known as the Broad Cove Banks Road), the trail enters the forest and soon crosses a brook unnamed on the topographical map, which it follows back towards the coast. Then ensues an open stretch on grassy terrain, with planks to assist crossing a couple of wet spots, with views of the flanks of Beinn Bhiorach in the distance. Beyond this stretch, it passes the Braighe à Bhaird (Poet’s Ridge) Trail, which connects a short distance to the southeast with the Gleann Sidh (Enchanted Valley) Trail. It then turns briefly inland to cross over Big Brook, which the Gleann Sidh (Enchanted Valley) Trail follows up to Beinn Bhiorach, and immediately returns to the coast. It soon passes the Rids An Daraich (Oak Ridge) Trail, another route up to Beinn Bhiorach, and then continues along the coast on a path high above the rocky coast below, which falls away precipitously a metre/yard away from one’s feet; the views along this portion of the trail are phenomenal, reaching as far as Cape George on a clear day. You will soon pass the Bealach Scridean (Scree Path) Trail, a short connector to the Rids An Daraich (Oak Ridge) Trail most used by those hiking from south to north. Continuing along the cliffs, you next reach the Làirig Na Creige (Rocky Hillside) Trail, easily the most difficult route up to Beinn Bhiorach, where you will have reached the end of the cliffs and the Meadows will be in view ahead. The trail then moves inland further away from the cliffs and enters the forest as it passes beside the Meadows. Past the junction with the Beinn Bhiorach (Steep Mountain) Cut-off Trail and the junction with the side trail to the Meadows, the trail turns definitively inland and follows MacKinnons Brook a short ways to the MacKinnons Brook Trail Head, crossing a small unnamed brook and passing by the main Beinn Bhiorach (Steep Mountain) Trail. The Trail Head is not, in this case, the end of the trail, which then crosses MacKinnons Brook and climbs up a short distance to end at the three-way junction of the MacKinnons Brook Trail, the Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountain) Trail, and the Beinn Alasdair Bhain (Fair Alistair’s Mountain) Trail. Highly recommended!
Vic’s Scenic Rating
If you suffer from vertigo, this is not a good trail to hike, even though the path is in a bit from the very edge. Young children will require very close supervision along the stretch directly above the coast.
This trail is among the most beautiful in the Cape Mabou Trail Club system. It offers fantastic views of the coast and of MacKinnons Brook and is certainly worth hiking its full length. As the route description indicates, the MacKinnons Brook Trail offers several choices of routes to Beinn Bhiorach and is therefore often hiked only part way to form a segment of a much larger loop using other trails.

Photo Catalogue

Click on any thumbnail to be taken to the photo essay page for that photo.

Thumbnail Date GPS Locality Where Caption
../essays/2/thumbnails/p8184199.jpg 2005
about twenty minutes north of the junction with the Bealach Scridean (Scree Path) Trail Trail Engineering
../essays/2/thumbnails/p8184260.jpg 2005
about forty minutes hike from the Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountain) Trail The Meadows and the Coast from the MacKinnons Brook Trail
../essays/2/thumbnails/p8184245.jpg 2005
about ten minutes north of the Làirig Na Creige (Rocky Hillside) Trail Rocks below the MacKinnons Brook Trail