After having spent two and a half hours enjoying the fantastic views at the top of the ridge above the Meat Cove Brook valley, it was time to descend. Accordingly, I set out for the col and then climbed up to the summit of Meat Cove Mountain and down to the end of the trail just above the rock face visible from the village below (see here for the classic view). From below, one does not realize that the summit is well above the rock face because that face conceals it from below. The views from the end of the trail are spectacular, though not so wide-ranging as those from the ridge above the col; one also has to position oneself very carefully here, so as not to get too close to the edge and but not yet be blocked by the trees and brush at the end of the trail.
That it is possible to do so can be seen in photo #1, a wide-angle shot across the rocks of the rock face in the foreground looking at the village down below. Those rocks are very impressive in their own right, but one’s eyes quickly move to the area below. The new bridge on the Meat Cove Road over Meat Cove Brook that replaces the one destroyed by the 2010 flash flood is at the far left of the photo; a new parking area now sits beside the bridge across from the Meat Cove Family Restaurant and Internet Café. The rubble and debris left by the 2010 flood can be seen along the banks of the Meat Cove Brook as it wends its way through the village; the section of Meat Cove Road beyond the green-roofed building was seriously undermined by the flood and has since been restored with fill anchored in place by huge boulders quarried from Black Point along its sides. The Meat Cove Campground and the beach area are along the shore in the upper centre of the photo. Hines Oceanview Lodge is at the upper right of the photo, perched above the 90° turn in the Meat Cove Road seen there, with magnificent views over the village below. The line through the trees seen in the upper centre and continuing to the right is made by the brook which the Meat Cove Mountain Trail follows up its eastern flank.
Photo #2 is a telephoto view of the village’s shore line. Two RV’s and a tent are at the campground at this hour in the mid-afternoon; the red picnic tables for the use of campers are scattered all across the grounds, which sit roughly 40 m (130 ft) above the waters below (see this view from Black Point for a better perspective of the campground’s siting). Four rental cabins are above the white house in the lower part of the photo and to the left of the dual-track road. The beach area has been cleaned up and restored, though it is considerably changed from before the flood, and the bridge to the beach (hidden here by the slope on the south side of the brook) has been rebuilt. The storage shed that was there has not yet been reconstructed, but its foundations are still there; I do not know whether there are any plans to replace it. The presence of lobster trap floats in the waters indicate that this is an active lobstering area, though the boats which fish it are all berthed at the Bay St Lawrence marina.
Photo #3 was shot before I found the unencumbered vantage point and so has trees in the foreground that do not get too much in the way, fortunately as I have no other photo of this area that is as good. The view is of the Cape Breton Highlands slopes that rise to the north of the village and of the slope that descends to the water and ends in Blackrock Point, the westernmost edge of the waters known as Meat Cove. In the upper centre of the photo on that slope is the prominence called Little Grassy, to which a hiking trail leads with fine views of the coast in both directions.
If you follow Meat Cove Road past the campground, you will see that it curves sharply inland and starts uphill, ending at a house at the end of the road. At that point, the trail that leads to Cape St Lawrence and to Lowland Cove starts up the mountainside; you can see by the line in the trees the path that it (or the brook alongside which it runs–I’m not sure which) takes from that house as it ascends and you can see the path itself in the cut left of centre; the Fraser Trail, which begins at the bridge beside the Meat Cove Family Restaurant, meets the trail at the bottom of that cut.
You can branch off the Cape St Lawrence/Lowland Cove Trail to the Meat Cove Look-Off Trail, which leads to the open areas atop the nearer ridge seen across the Meat Cove Brook valley in photo #4, known as the Meat Cove Look-Off, which is directly across from the rock face on Meat Cove Mountain itself. The views from the look-off are very similar to those from Meat Cove Mountain and the trail is considerably less steep than the Meat Cove Mountain Trail. The Cape St Lawrence/Lowland Cove Trails run below and on the far side of the furthest ridge you can see in the centre of this photo.
Photo #5, like the others on this page, was taken from just beside the rock face of Meat Cove Mountain; unlike the others, it looks back up towards the summit of Meat Cove Mountain. As you can see, the rock face hides a considerable part of the bulk of the mountain when seen from below! One has to descend a good ways to reach the rock face at the end of the trail.
I hope you have enjoyed these photos from Meat Cove Mountain as much as I enjoyed myself once I got up there. It is a steep climb, but oh so rewarding on a clear day once you have made it up there!