After admiring the views at the Beaton Trail Look-Off, my friend and I hiked back over the unnamed mountain to the MacPhee Trail and then down it, a steep descent to the Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountain) Trail. The other alternative was to go down the Beaton Trail, which comes out on the Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountain) Trail a short distance from the MacKinnons Brook Trail Head, but that would have meant climbing back up to the col and then back down to the Mabou Post Road Trail Head, a much longer distance and a much more difficult hike that we’d both done before many times. It was mid-afternoon, which, in October, means darkness is not far off and I was plenty tired as it was.
Photo #1 shows Mill Brook from along the Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountain) Trail, about halfway between the MacPhee Trail junction and the Mabou Post Road Trail Head. Mill Brook’s lovely song accompanied us most of the way back to the trail head (the trail is brookside much of the way) and here, tired, I stopped to photograph it and rest. Lots of green leaves are visible along with the yellow ones that first catch the eye.
Photo #2, taken about 100 metres/yards closer to the trail head, shows one of the relatively few red trees we saw along the Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountain) Trail. From these two photos, it’s clear that the colours are not very far along down in the valley.
Photo #3 shows a lovely plant that was growing on the side of a cliff across the Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountain) Trail from the location seen in photo #2. Its fine, delicate leaves are mostly green, but three have switched to bright red and one is in the process of switching. My plant-and-flowers expert friend, who has been very helpful over the years, identified it as Geranium robertianum, which bears small five-petalled purple or magenta or pink flowers in the spring and summer.
Thus ended a lovely fall hike through the gorgeous Cape Mabou Highlands using the trails in the Cape Mabou Trail Club system. Tired from the exertion, I slept very well that night!