The side trail through the vegetation of the Meadows is not part of the CMTC system, but it is well worth the few minutes it will take and leads to two lovely places where one can rest, picnic, and admire the views. It leaves the MacKinnons Brook Trail about three minutes west of the MacKinnons Brook Trail Head at the point where the trail turns north. There, it goes off through the vegetation heading towards the coast. As you get fairly close to the coast, you will see a Y, the left branch of which leads through a stand of evergreens to a sharp, but short, descent on a dirt and stone trail into the the stream bed carved by MacKinnons Brook, arriving at a grassy area beside the brook just above its mouth, shown in this photo. This is a popular picnic spot, as the brook sings beautifully as it tumbles over the rocks. It is also a dangerous spot, as one must be very careful of falling rocks if one goes closer to the shore. Indeed, I saw a lot of newly fallen rocks in 2005 at the mouth on the left side, which looks particularly unstable. The Gulf can be a beautiful blue, as you’ve seen in other photos, but it can be grey when the sky is cloudy, as here.
The right fork leads straight on to the cliffs at the coast, whose edges you should not approach too closely (10 m/yd should be safe) as they are eroded underneath. Many youngish evergreens provide some shade if it is needed and you have a great view of the coast, the meadows themselves (where once the inhabitants of the community known as MacKinnons Brook had their homes), and of the magnificent Beinn Bhiorach dominating the entire glorious scene. Today, the Meadows are a protected conservation area.