Just beyond a shed on the left, the MacKinnon Road appears to reach a Y: the right fork is actually a driveway that leads up to the buildings at the farm seen earlier in the essay from Hunters Road, while the left fork is the MacKinnon Road itself. 400 m (0.2 mi) beyond that Y is its junction with the Churchview Road. Note that this road has nothing to do with the locality of Churchview, which is outside Whycocomagh at the junction of Highway 252 and the Whycocomagh Port Hood Road; Churchview Road is so named because it offers views of St Joseph’s Church in Glencoe Mills along much of its distance, though there are points where the road turns slightly or dips when the church becomes hidden.
I hadn’t been to the summit of Churchview Road in a while and decided to hike up there (a) because my Prius got motion sickness—indicated by a yellow skid light that comes on when it loses traction—the last time I drove up and (b) because I really needed the exercise. It took me 50 minutes, including two rest stops, and, though it turned out that I could have easily driven up thanks to some kind Samaritan who put down a good base at the spot that caused me the minor grief the last time, I was very glad I walked, as it was a perfect day for it. The sights at the summit were gorgeous (likely the best day I'd ever been up there, though some haze shows up in the distant shots I don't remember seeing in the air).
The summit offers expansive views to the southwest, west, northwest, and north, a result of logging a few years back that has opened up the summit, though, as the photos also attest, trees are growing back that are very much in the way of the camera, though the eye can easily still shut them out. This page looks at the westward views; the next will look at those to the northwest and north.¹
Photo #1 looks as far to the southwest as it is possible to do so; the slope at the far left belongs to a hillside in Upper Glencoe that blocks views any further to the south. At the far horizon, you will see a faint undulating band of blue stretching across the entire photo: this is mainland Nova Scotia across St Georges Bay—Cape George is at the right outside the scope of this photo. The area along the Cape Breton coast of St Georges Bay at the far left is the Judique area, hidden from view here by the Creignish Hills which run across the entire photo below the blue band. These hills are west of the MacLeod Settlement Road and south of Hillsdale, an area of the back country with few inhabitants and no driveable roads through them of which I am aware.
Photo #2 continues the panorama to the right (the tree at the left is at the right of photo #1). The end of the undulating blue at the horizon left of centre marks Cape George; the blues to the right are the waters of the Northumberland Strait. Cape George is south of west from the Churchview Road summit. The road which one glimpses about a third of the way in from the right is the Glencoe Road, seen as it is climbing up “Mount Glencoe”.
Photo #3 looks nearly due west, with the great ridge behind Glencoe filling much of the right of the photo. The Glencoe Road can again be glimpsed at the left of this photo about a quarter of the way in from the right; its path is especially evident at the far right of the photo, along a line of evergreen trees, as it descends into Glencoe Mills.
Photo #4 continues looking to the right. A line drawn from the summit passing through the church and continuing on for 23.3 km (14.5 mi) ends on the coast at Black Point, where the Cape Breton coast turns to the northeast north of Port Hood, so the Port Hood area lies to the left of that line behind the hills at the centre right. A little more than a third of the way in from the right, the Dunmore tower and a portion of Port Hood Island can be made out in the original, but those details have been compressed out of this much smaller version. The dark band next to the water in the centre of the photo is the coastal area from McKays Point to Little Judique Harbour.
Photo #5, which overlaps considerably with photo #4, completes the panorama, looking across to the western portion of Rocky Ridge at the right of the photo.
By the time I had hiked up to the summit, I had pretty much convinced myself that chlorophyll was in much greater evidence than changed colours in the trees lining and sometimes overarching Churchview Road, though plenty of leaves attracted my eye on the way up: close inspection, however, revealed plenty of greens still in nearly all of the changed trees. I’ve certainly seen brighter foliage from the Churchview Road summit other falls (see, e.g., this view), but this was before the first day of the festival; besides, as was brought home on the MacKinnon Road, what appears to be dull from a distance is more colourful closer up. Still, the mottled pastel hillsides seen in the distance from the summit confirmed my belief that these colours were still well before their peak.