This beautiful day, tired from my exertions of the previous days, I decided to visit West Mabou Beach Provincial Park. I was not in a hiking mood, so I took my camp chair with me as I set out along the Western Coastal Trail shortly after noon. I soon found a shaded spot in which to set up my chair and settled in for a prolonged period of woolgathering, scenery gazing, and beach watching down below. While I was there, I enjoyed the lunch in my backpack and dozed a bit too (I miss my midday naps when I am on Cape Breton Island—there is little opportunity to take one, so much is there always to do there).
Mabou Harbour Mountain rises across the water and Green Point lies to the left outside the scope of this photo. The mouth of the Mabou River is behind the breakwater one sees below the red cliffs in the centre of the photo. The fragile sand dunes above the beach continue inland for some distance. The outlet of Johnny Bans Pond can be seen as a line of moistened sand across the beach at the right of the photo.
This was the first really warm day since I had been on Cape Breton Island and it brought out people in droves; by the time I left around 15h, the parking lot was full (there were only two other cars when I arrived). This photo, taken at 13h36, shows some people on the beach (which extends to the left far outside the view of this photo) and two groups of youngsters in the waters offshore. Not all of those at the park were on the beach; there are numerous hiking trails in the park and many folks were out enjoying them too.
West Mabou Beach Provincial Park is maintained by a dedicated band of volunteers who deserve our sincere thanks for getting this land preserved from development, securing its status as an unfunded park for public use, building and maintaining the hiking trails, and contributing amenities such as interpretive panels in a grove beside the parking lot and benches and picnic tables along the trails. It is a true gem of a place at all times of the year, offering gorgeous vistas of the Gulf of St Lawrence, the Cape Mabou Highlands, and the Mabou River coast; it is well worth your time and your contributions.