Photo #1 shows the beribboned evergreen above the rock face that marks the end of the trail. This view faces a bit north of east, with the Cape North Massif in the far distance and “Black Point Mountain” on its near side. The grass at the summit gives way to brush and evergreens like those seen here, through which the trail winds as it descends to the rock face.
Photo #2 looks to the east at the Cape North Massif in the far distance. Because of the lower elevation, more of the Massif is hidden from view by “Black Point Mountain”. The rock face offers the best views of the rocky ridge that rises above the unnamed brook bed up which the Meat Cove Mountain Trail ascends to the col. Given the large number of channels down its sides, the rock must be relatively soft.
Although the Cape North Massif and St Paul Island will surely draw your eye from there, if you are like me, much of your attention will be focussed on the scene laid out at the foot of Meat Cove Mountain, captured in photo #3, a wide-angled view showing the view to the north and west of the rock face. The rocks in the foreground are part of the rock face itself; it is wise to keep well back from the edge since erosion may have loosened those at the edge! The large U shape of the Meat Cove Road traverses both sides of the Meat Cove Brook valley, leading out to the Meat Cove Campground where the road turns to the west (it continues a short distance and ends at the house seen surrounded by trees on a line just to the right of the summit of Little Grassy, forming a nice little curlicue on the U that is invisible here). In the fall of 2014, work was underway paving portions of the Meat Cove Road on the steeper hills, so this scene may be somewhat different when you view it in 2015. The scars of the flash flood of 2010 are still visible along the valley, where land and trees were torn away by the force of the raging wall of water.
Photo #4 is a telephoto view of the new bridge over Meat Cove Brook, reached after making a 90° right turn at the bottom of the Meat Cove Road’s descent from the eastern side of the valley (its guardrails can be seen in the lower right of the photo). The Old Fraser Road Trail begins at the northwest end of the bridge and leads past the white rope railings on the near side of the utility pole with the large white sign in the upper right and turns inland near the upper right edge of the photo; this trail connects to the Lowland Cove Trail, which it joins further up the mountain. The outside deck above Meat Cove Brook and the buildings of the Meat Cove Restaurant are hidden by the trees that surround it, but is to the right of the parked cars seen right of centre near the bottom. With free wi-fi access to the Internet and excellent food, it is a great place to stop before or after a day spent hiking. The new parking area across from the restaurant is a convenient place to leave one’s car for a day of hiking in the area.
Photo #5 looks further to the north along the Meat Cove Road to the central portion of the village. The grey bank at the centre of the photo, once lined with lush vegetation, was badly torn up during the flash flood to the point of compromising the road at its top; it has been restored and reïnforced with huge rocks taken from the quarry at Black Point, but none of the vegetation has yet returned. The Meat Cove Boardwalk, which connects the Meat Cove Restaurant and the Meat Cove Beach, also destroyed by the flood, has been made walkable once again; its course is through the forest, so is not visible in this view.
Photo #6 looks at the north end of the village; the campground is along the cliffs at the upper centre of the photo and a small portion of Blackrock Point is visible at the upper centre of the photo. Its curving form is pretty clear here, actually forming the western part of the cove for which the village is named. The foliage here is only beginning to change; the chlorophyll in the large number of dark-coloured trees is still so green that the underlying oranges and reds aren’t far enough along to make them stand out yet, though a few individual trees are beyond that stage and have taken on their fall colours.
The next three photos, all telephoto views taken with “Big Bertha”, form a connected panorama, from right to left (east to west). Photo #7 looks at the Meat Cove Beach area; the mouth of Meat Cove Brook is at the left, concealed from view behind the cliff. Three of the red picnic tables at the Meat Cove Campground are on the cliff at the left above the beach area. Like much else in Meat Cove, the beach area suffered considerable damage during the flash flood, but the area has since been nicely cleaned up, with a restored road down across a new bridge over the brook to the parking area adjacent to the beach.
Photo #8 looks to the left of photo #7 at the cliff and the eastern end of the Meat Cove Campground. The height of the buildings at the left and the flagpole gives you a way of gauging the height of these cliffs, which fall sharply into the waters below.
Photo #9 looks to the left of photo #8 at the western side of the campground along the cliffs across most of the width of the photo; a small portion of Blackrock Point is visible in the the upper left corner of the photo. The Chowder Hut is mostly hidden in this view by the large tree on the bank above the white building right of centre; it is open to everyone, not only those camping at the campground, offering fresh lobster, snow crab, and mussels, among other dishes. The red picnic tables scattered across the campground are, however, available only to the campers.
Photo #10, also a telephoto view taken with “Big Bertha”, looks at a portion of the Lowland Cove Trail that is visible through the trees. You can see this view in context in photo #3, where it is the straight line segment seen on the nearer slope about two-thirds of the way down the slope (to the left of a line to the summit of Little Grassy). The views of Meat Cove Mountain while descending this section of the trail are very fine, since this small portion of the trail is in a direct line with the rock face. This photo also gives a very good idea of the early state of the colours on this portion of the western Highlands, somewhat more advanced than those seen closer to the village.
The next two photos show selected colourful areas on the western Highlands above the village. Photo #11 looks at one of the most colourful of those spots, an area seen at the far left of photo #3 where a brook, currently completely dry, runs down the mountainside. A pretty good variety of fall colours in this photo includes even some reds along with the oranges, limes, and yellows, though the surrounding greens really set off the colours.
Photo #12, taken with “Big Bertha”, is another selected area of colour, this one outside the scope of photo #3 and further down in the Meat Cove Brook valley rather closer to the brook. Like photo #11, it too presents a considerable variety of fall colours, though the reds are missing here—they need more time to develop.
With this page, my presentation of this year’s fall colours at Meat Cove has reached its end. I hope you have enjoyed these views as much as I do, reliving this wonderful fall day as I looked at and described them.