South Head from Long Beach Road

South Head from Long Beach Road
Photo 37 of 45: South Head from Long Beach Road
Taken 2008 June 12 in Long Beach from the Long Beach Road
1.8 km (1.1 mi) north of its junction with Highway 255
GPS 46°09.1??'N 59°51.6??'W

This view of South Head (also known as Cape Morien) at the end of the Cape Morien “peninsula” was taken north of Port Morien on the Long Beach Road. As can be seen, the headland is cliff-girt for much of its distance; its cliffs rise about 15 m (50 ft) above the water and are capped by a grassy margin, with the trees mostly found further inland. South Port Morien is at the far right of the photo and the head of Morien Bay is also to the far right, but well outside the scope of this photo.

This web site indicates that the cliffs of both Northern Head and South Head are significant breeding and nesting areas for the Great Cormorants, of which “there are only 6,200 breeding pairs […] in North America, all of which are in Canada. […] In 1992, a total of 842 Great Cormorants (representing 6.7% of the estimated North American population) nested on the Northern and South Headlands.” It also adds:

Cormorants have long had a bad reputation in North America. Due to persecution, in 1900 the Great Cormorant was thought to be extirpated from North America. But some remote colonies found refuge on Anticosti Island, Quebec and it is thought that in recent decades these birds increased in numbers and expanded their range southwards to re-colonize Maritime Canada. In many rural communities, cormorants are still often blamed for the declines in fish stocks. Additionally, many people dislike the white bird droppings that often cover the ground at breeding colonies; these often kill trees and much of the vegetation within the breeding colony. As a result of this negative image cormorant colonies are often raided, resulting in the destruction of many nests, and in some cases, the killing of dozens of birds.

Beyond South Port Morien, Sailor Dans Lane leaves the South Head Road (which continues on around the loop of the P as previously described, not reaching South Head at all) and continues northeast towards South Head; after about 1.5 km (0.9 mi), Sailor Dans Lane runs out, but the topographical map shows a trail that continues on out to the cliffs at the south end of South Head. This Destination Nova Scotia web site¹ says that “[h]ikers may follow portions of the coast to the tip of the Cape Morien peninsula”, so apparently the trail continues all the way to the end, though the topographical map does not show that continuation. In any case, the views from there, both of Morien Bay to the north and Mira Bay to the south, should be spectacular on a clear, sunny day. It is yet another spot I’ve added to my to-do list.

[2012] I returned to the Cape Morien “peninsula” in June of 2011 and again drove around the South Head Road; this time, however, I never saw Sailor Dans Lane and I was looking for it—while I might have been distracted as I passed by it, I suspect instead that it is now grown up, as I distinctly remember seeing it when I was there in 2008. In any case, I didn’t have enough time for a hike to South Head, so that remains on my to-do list.

¹ This web site has since disappeared; the link given is courtesy of the Wayback Machine archive.