After returning from the base of the falls to the Devils Hill Road, I continued along it across the log bridge; it soon turns from its initial southerly bearing towards the east and steadily ascends, first through the forest and then past a brush-lined area mostly opened by logging activity in the not too distant past, to the top of Devils Hill, so named, according to local lore, from the story, more than a hundred years old, that a man offered his angry wife on returning home both late and drunk from a dance, telling her that he had met up with the Devil there on the way back. The summit is a ridge that runs parallel to New Boston Road, with excellent views of the area over 180°; it is a vantage point of the area west of Louisbourg such as I have been looking for since my first trip to the area years ago and was therefore very delighted to discover. Devils Hill Road, a mere tractor track here these days, goes down the other side of the ridge and back into the forest, taking a southeasterly bend, and continuing until it reaches Terra Nova Road; some part of Devils Hill Road is car driveable from that road, as I passed its end there but did not have enough time to explore it—next time!
Photo #1 was taken from below, but near, the top of Devils Hill. I am having a hard time matching what I see in this photo with the terrain in Google Earth, most particularly the buildings in the middle of the photo in the middle distance, which I take to be somewhere in the Big Hill area south of the Mira River but for which I find no corroboration in Google Earth. It is clear that the ridge in the far distance is that which runs on the west and north sides above the Mira River Valley, but beyond that, I’m unable to positively identify any of the other features seen here; next time, I’ll take a compass reading! In the foreground, the mixed forest of the area is very evident, with evergreens intermingling with deciduous trees in all colours, including some very vibrant reds, given the cloudy skies. I was very surprised at how much colour there was, as most of Cape Breton’s east coast has few hardwoods, being mainly tamaracks along with other evergreens.
Photo #2 was taken from further up Devils Hill than photo #1 and looks further to the north. Again, I am very hesitant to identify the features here; possibly the mountain in the centre in the far distance is one of the Coxheath Hills. In the foreground is Devils Hill Road in its current, grass-covered state; as I looked out over the forest below, I continued to marvel at the extent of the colour.
Photo #3 looks to the north at a feature the topographical map calls MacPhersons Meadows, a marshy area consisting of several small ponds south of which the Catalone River meanders. If you look carefully left of centre in the photo, you can make out a cabin on the far side of the pond partially hidden by a tree. The colours again attest to a large number of hardwoods in the forest.
Photo #4 looks towards the northeast. As best as I can make out, the farm seen at the far left lies along the Louisbourg Highway (Highway 22). The colours in this direction are not as bright and more evergreens are in the mix.
Photo #5 looks a hair north of east towards Catalone Lake, the outflow of the Catalone River, and Mira Bay beyond. It is not that far from Devils Hill to Catalone Lake, but the lay of the land is such that you can see the Lake only from below the summit. The piles of gravel one sees in the foreground are excavations made by a gravel pit below the summit of Devils Hill. Notice that the trees along the coastal areas have many more evergreens than those further inland and correspondingly show fewer fall colours.