Photo 9 (Moderate)

White Point, Aspy Bay, and the Cape North Massif
Photo 9 of 30: White Point, Aspy Bay, and the Cape North Massif
Taken 2007 October 2 from the White Point trails near their northern end at White Point
GPS 46°52.9??'N 60°23.6??'W

White Point, seen here in the foreground, is at the southern end of Aspy Bay; the Cape North Massif encloses Aspy Bay on the latter’s northwestern side. Home to one of Cape Breton’s most celebrated Scottish traditional musicians, Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald (1914-1987), White Point is a small fishing community with a wharf located inland of this scene. The land furthest out in the foreground is White Point Island, which is severed from White Point by “The Tittle”, a cut between the point and the island; when I was there, I saw no way of accessing the island from the point without the use of a boat (or swimming).

White Point is often missed by those “doing” the Cabot Trail, because it is off the trail: the Cabot Trail goes inland from Cape North village to Neils Harbour, cutting off a spectacular drive along the coast from South Harbour to White Point (the drive from White Point to Neils Harbour, however, is also inland—no roads lead out to the Atlantic Coast at Long Point). To my mind, the White Point route is much the better choice, even though it is not in as good condition: the views from the road along South Harbour (the water) get prettier the closer you get to Aspy Bay and from there it climbs, giving one from Smelt Brook to White Point especially fine panoramas of Aspy Bay and its coasts on both sides of the bay.

I do not know how White Point came to be so named; I assume that it is from its rocks, which are clearly light in colour, though, to my eye, more pink than white. The white rock in the immediate centre left foreground is gypsum and evidence of other deposits of gypsum are easy to find in the vicinity of the point. It is quite possible that gypsum deposits along the shore not visible from the top of the cliffs where I was hiking might have had a rôle in establishing its name.

Hiking trails at White Point lead from the harbour out to The Tittle and along the Atlantic coast quite some distance down the coast; I am not sure exactly how far the trails continue, but I made it to Burnt Head before I had to turn around because it was getting late. The trails involve a little bit of climbing, but not much, as they stay quite close to the coastline. It is certainly a gorgeous place to be on a fine day! The view seen here is one of the two I take as icons of White Point; the other is from the road to White Point that looks down into the harbour and beyond to White Point Island.

[2012] Since this was written, I have hiked to the end of the trail, a bit south of Burnt Head (at GPS 46°52.392'N 60°20.204'W). If there be any continuation beyond that point, I missed it. The trail to White Point and then along the coast to Burnt Head is one of my favourite ways to pass a beautiful day in this area; its views are fantastic!