Photo 22 (Hard)

Panorama from the summit of Salt Mountain
Photo 22 of 30: Panorama from the summit of Salt Mountain
Taken 2006 August 9 in Whycocomagh from the second look-off on the summit of Salt Mountain
GPS 45°57.85?'N 61°05.79?'W

This view a bit to the south of east from the summit of Salt Mountain in Whycocomagh, named for the saline springs said to be on its slopes, shows the northern part of the Bras d’Or Lake in the background and the waters of Whycocomagh Bay in the foreground. At the far right of the photo, the eastern end of MacInnis Island is seen jutting into Whycocomagh Bay. The land between Whycocomagh Bay and the Bras d’Or Lake is a peninsula, unnamed so far as I know, nearly but not quite cut in two on the south by Portage Creek; beyond Portage Creek, the peninsula expands into the wider Washabuck Peninsula whose western end can be seen at the far left of the photo (the short portage at Portage Creek made it a popular spot for moving canoes between the Bras d’Or Lake and Whycocomagh Bay). The road which traverses the peninsula can be seen above the cleared fields right of centre; known as Portage Road, it attests to the time when canoes were the principal means of transportation here. Near the middle of the photo across the lake is Benacadie Point, from which the Boisdale Hills can be seen rising to its left. Behind Benacadie Point lies the arm of the Bras d’Or Lake known as East Bay; the East Bay Hills line the far side of the Bras d’Or Lake from right to left across the far background of the photo. The point to the left of Benacadie Point about a quarter of the way in from the left is Derby Point, which is directly across from Hectors Point, above which Highland Village is located in Iona.

The views from Salt Mountain are splendid: this photo shows only a small portion of the wide-ranging panoramas across most of the compass rose which lie at one’s feet. The Highlander trail up the mountain is the easiest path to the summit; a loop trail at the summit offers several look-offs with marvellous breath-taking views of the beautiful countryside round about; all four of Cape Breton Island’s counties are visible (it is my best guess that Richmond County is not visible in this photo). There is no other site of which I am aware that offers such a fine bird’s-eye view of the terrain around the Bras d’Or Lake as these look-offs, from which it really seems as if one can “see forever”.

The Whycocomagh Provincial Park lies at the foot of Salt Mountain just off the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 105); you can download the park’s brochure as a PDF file here. It offers a lovely campground, for which reservations are required—see the park’s web site for details and conditions. On the other side of the highway is a provincial day park, which provides access to the shores of Whycocomagh Bay and offers swimming and picnic areas; no reservations are needed for it or any of Cape Breton’s day parks.