Photo #1 was taken from beside the Cabot Trail looking at the (unnamed) mountain on the east side of the Chéticamp River (in the foreground) that rises above the Visitors’ Centre. Although the sun is not yet out, the light is brighter than it has been and it’s easy to see autumn colours all over this beautiful scene. Once across the bridge, the Cabot Trail turns to the north and follows along the base of the Highlands through the Rigwash à Bernard (the topographical map’s spelling).
Photo #2 looks across the Chéticamp River at a lovely red tree on its banks. Even without the benefit of direct sun, this tree is brilliant, at its peak, even though many of its neighbours are still bearing various shades of green. One of the first bursts of colours I’d seen this day from close enough up to savour, it gave me hope the rest of the trip would prove equally rewarding.
Photo #3 shows the Chéticamp River running north (left) with the Cape Breton Highlands rising behind. Nicely concealed by the trees along the river’s edge, a portion of Parks Canada’s Chéticamp campground is across the river in a relatively level area between the trees and the hills further inland.
Photo #4 is another view of the Chéticamp River, looking further downstream. The rock-strewn banks and the rocky bar at the left of the photo around which the river flows on both sides have received over the æons boulders pushed there by the force of the waters, which are much higher during the spring run-off season. Numerous bare trees are seen in this view, likely because of the winds barrelling through the river valley.
Photo #5 is a close-up view of the rocky bar whose right edge was seen in photo #4, better showing the course of the river as it turns to the right beyond it. Reds are to be seen on those trees having leaves, though the scene would be even prettier in brighter light.
Photo #6 shows the lovely bridge recently constructed over the river, a replacement for the more prosaic one that was there when I first visited the park. Though it is hard to make out in this compressed version, the pillar at the right bears the year 2010 on its side. Those interested in the engineering details of replacing this 81.5 m (270 ft) bridge, and particularly the transportation of its trapezoidal steel box girders, which made the news at the time, should consult this web page. The sidewalk at the right now allows one to safely walk out onto the bridge, as I did for some of the photos on this page; getting a photo like this one from the middle of the Cabot Trail is more easily accomplished this time of year, but nearly impossible during the summer when the traffic is often heavy. If you look carefully on the far side of the bridge, you can see the green road sign directing traffic into the Visitor’s Centre. So far as I am aware, none of the mountains seen here as a backdrop is named.
Photo #7 was taken from the bridge looking upriver. La Montagne Noire (Black Mountain) is the aptly named mountain that occupies the right half of the photo; the Chéticamp River Valley turns to the left and continues out past the mountains seen at the left and left of centre. For views of this valley from Parks Canada’s lovely Trous de Saumons (Salmon Pools) Trail, see this description, which is accompanied by photos. Lots of fall colours are visible on the trees along the river; it is much more difficult to judge those in the shade on the side of la Montagne Noire, which, given the light, are likely similar to those in the foreground.