Photo 28 (Hard)

Lowland Cove beneath the High Capes
Photo 28 of 30: Lowland Cove beneath the High Capes
Taken 2006 August 17 in Lowland Cove from the Coastal Trail
near the northern shore of the entrance to Lowland Cove
GPS 47°01.6??'N 60°37.1??'W

This iconic view to the west of south that relatively few people have seen shows Lowland Cove and the High Capes rising behind. This remote area is part of the Pollets Cove-Aspy Fault Wilderness Area along the northwestern coast of Cape Breton Island. Tittle Point and Cape St Lawrence lie to the north of Lowland Cove (i.e., in the opposite direction of this view). A trail runs from Meat Cove to Lowland Cove along the course of what was once, I was told, a drivable road thirty years ago; it is no longer, being severely eroded in places. Not long after that trail reaches the ridge above Meat Cove, a side trail leaves it for Cape St Lawrence, from which I hiked mostly along the coast to Lowland Cove. I have devoted a full photo essay to this wild, stunningly beautiful, and rarely visited place.

There is currently no maintained trail south of Lowland Cove along the coast: this web site says that Meat Cove is connected to Polletts Cove “by a long trail that follows the former route of a telegraph line, but [it is] so far inland that it [passes] through mile after mile of boggy, monotonous terrain”. As previously mentioned, this trail should only be attempted by expert hikers. Although there is no coastal trail, a group of scouts in their late teens hiked in July of 2008 for five days from Meat Cove to Red River, generally following the coast and going up and down the coastal ravines, an extremely arduous bushwhack and demanding trek involving rope work. They were hit by a suête and heavy rain in the middle of the trip and suffered through the bitter cold and misery it brought, but made it through OK. Dave Hope, one of the hikers on this trip, kindly gave me permission to post a link to his photos taken on that trip, the first third of which provide additional views of the area at Cape St Lawrence and Lowland Cove. There were some stunning views from the High Capes of the whole area to the north and the remainder were views of the coastal area to the south, including three fine views of the Cape Breton Highlands plateau and two of Blair River at Polletts Cove. Sadly, that link is no longer valid and the Wayback Machine has no copy of the photos in its archive, so I can no longer point you to these great views.

The mountain in the far distance at the far right is MacKenzies Mountain west of Pleasant Bay, up which the Cabot Trail memorably climbs (or descends, depending on your direction of travel). Several scenic look-offs are available on MacKenzies Mountain from which to admire the scenery of Pleasant Bay and the Cape Breton Highlands, but be sure to also cast your eyes as far to the north as you can along the coast—you will be looking at the beautiful area of the High Capes seen in this photo.