The views of Little Grappling Beach on this page were both taken on the return trip, but, once the houses of Englishtown and Faders Point (north of which the eastern coast of St Anns Bay turns to the northeast) were left behind, Little Grappling Beach was the next point of interest. The tour guide was busy going through her very interesting lecture on the area and its history and the birds we were to see at the Bird Islands, so I didn’t get any photos of this area on the outward bound trip.
Seeing Little Grappling Beach from the water was especially interesting to me because I had spent part of a lovely day in 2006 hiking out there from Englishtown and back, described here (I regret I still have neither trail information nor photos (except for this one, which gives a hint of the superb views available here) posted from this hike). It was one of those gorgeous clear days that the weather gods in Cape Breton mete out far too infrequently and I remember how very reluctant I was to return from this fine cobblestone beach, which offers incredible views of St Anns Bay all the way to Cape Smokey.
From this distance out, Little Grappling Beach was a bit hard to positively identify, but I am fairly confident that this is the correct part of the shore, both from its GPS coördinates and from two other pieces of evidence. First, the wooden bridge one sees in photo #2 above the beach about a quarter of the way in from the left edge appears at the same height in a photo I took on the 2006 hike (in this photo, it looks like a bridge between trees, but it is actually along the trail¹ in from the shore about 50 m/yds). Second, that bridge crosses Grappling Brook, which enters St Anns Bay across this cobblestone beach, though that entrance is not visible from this angle. The col seen in photo #1 between the two portions of the massif that ends in Cape Dauphin (at the left and way out of the scope of this photo) were obviously carved by a brook, whose path can be traced down to the location where the bridge is found. However, photo #2 also shows that neither the dead tree nor the large blue mesh ribbon someone had tied around it have survived the five years since that hike. (I regret to say that, in spite of my intentions the day of that hike, I have not since returned—after eleven years of coming to Cape Breton, I still have not exhausted all of the other hikes this beautiful island offers in abundance; nevertheless, this is definitely a place to which I wish to return on a fine day.)
¹ Google Maps shows a “road” named Black Head Road at the base of Kellys Mountain that runs out past Little Grappling Beach, but stops before reaching Big Grappling Beach beyond. I can attest from the hike that this “road”, which might once have been a cart track, is not now drivable by anything except possibly an ATV (and it is too narrow in spots for even that).↩