This year was the first year I had hiked the full length of the Braighe à Bhaird (Poet’s Ridge) Trail; I did it the easy way, starting from its junction with the MacEachen Trail. There is some climbing involved, but it is fairly moderate and there’s only a little bit of it at the start; the rest of the trail is glorious vistas and either level or down-hill.
I had never before seen this view, with the north side of Beinn Bhiorach in the centre of the photo and a fine view of the path the Rids An Daraich (Oak Ridge) Trail takes as it climbs the long ridge at the right to the summit of Beinn Bhiorach. The cleft spanning most of the photo diagonally from upper left to lower right is Gleann Sidh (the Enchanted Valley); I was well familiar with the wonderful trail of the same name which runs through this valley, having hiked it several times, always from the col below the summit of Beinn Bhiorach, and remember with joy and fondness the lovely singing brook that accompanies nearly the entire trail, adding magic to the hike through the forest which blocks much of the sun. But I had never before pierced through that forest canopy to see what lies above. Another gorgeous view of the Cape Mabou Highlands! And what a debt we owe to the Cape Mabou Trail Club for creating and maintaining this wonderful wilderness trail system that provides access to so many stunning vistas!
 The Braighe à Bhaird (Poet’s Ridge) Trail and the Gleann Sidh (Enchanted Valley) Trail were both officially closed in 2009-2011. I nevertheless hiked the Braighe à Bhaird Trail from the MacEachen Trail to the MacKinnons Brook Trail on 2011 August 24 and found it still in generally good condition, though overgrown in a couple of spots. The views were as gorgeous as ever and they continue throughout much of the descent to MacKinnons Brook Trail. While the vast majority of the trees seen here are deciduous, evergreens do stick out in the photo above along the upper slopes; in 2012, most of them are as green as in the photo on this page. There was considerable damage in the grove in the col below Beinn Bhiorach where the Gleann Sidh Trail starts its descent (some work cleaning up the mess there was done in 2011) and some damage is visible close to the coast, but otherwise surprising little spruce bark beetle damage is visible in the photos I took that day.