Cape Mabou as seen from the water
off Beinn Alasdair Bhain

Cape Mabou as seen from the water off Beinn Alasdair Bhain
Photo 2 of 25: Cape Mabou as seen from the water off Beinn Alasdair Bhain
Taken 2007 August 12 from the water off Beinn Alasdair Bhain
GPS 46°09.2??'N 61°28.1??'W

This second view looking to the north is another wide-angled one, this time from the waters off Beinn Alasdair Bhain (Fair Alistair’s Mountain), pronounced [bɛn ˈɑlɪsdɛr ˈvɑn] ben AL-iss-dare VAHN, which sits roughly in the middle of Cape Mabou along the coast. Beinn Bhiorach (Steep Mountain), pronounced as [bɛn ˈvɪɾɪʧ] ben VIddich, is the prominence at the centre of the photo, with a long sloping ridge descending to the left to Sight Point. Beyond Sight Point in the far distance, the shore along the Broad Cove Marsh Road, from which the previous photo was taken, is clearly visible. At the right in the foreground is the slope which leads to the summit of Beinn Alasdair Bhain, which is not visible here. This was the first time I had seen this entire vista: since the coast bends to the northeast beyond Beinn Alasdair Bhain, there is no place on land from which one can see this gorgeous shore; needless to say, I was beyond thrilled!

The Cape Mabou Trail Club system of trails I mentioned in the introduction criss crosses the area of Cape Mabou seen in this view. Several trails lead from various directions to the summit of Beinn Bhiorach, from which there is a gorgeous panoramic view. MacKinnons Brook Trail, perhaps the most well-known trail in the system, is a very spectacular route that runs along the coastal cliffs from Sight Point to MacKinnons Brook (whose mouth is a bit left of the centre of this photo—and not easy to see in any case from this angle), well above the waters and coastal rocks far below the trail. Other trails are further inland of the coastal view one sees here, crossing the back country and the valleys through which brooks make their way. If you do not yet know this marvellous trail system, you owe it to yourself to discover it and beautiful Cape Mabou!

[2012] The area below Beinn Bhiorach was among the most devastated by the spruce bark beetle; the damage can already be clearly seen in this photo on the slopes of Beinn Bhiorach, where the dead and dying spruce are an ashy grey-brown colour, though at that point the trees were still upright — many of them have since toppled into one another, making for an impenetrable mess. All of the Cape Mabou Trail Club trails were officially closed in 2009 and 2010 and only a small subset, south of MacKinnons Brook Mouth, were officially reöpened in 2011; MacKinnons Brook Trail was officially closed, but the two-thirds of it that I hiked were in fine shape. Other trails, which I did not hike in 2011, were likely still blocked at the points where they crossed the stands of the spruce near the MacKinnons Brook Trail Head. It is to be hoped that more of the officially closed trails can be opened for the 2012 hiking season as many of them are not actually in all that bad shape.