Photo #1 was taken from the first stop, already 25 m (82 ft) lower than the col. Through the trees in the far distance you can see the Highland that rises above the Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountains) Trail (MacKinnons Brook Lane) on the east side of Mill Brook. Notice how green the brush, ferns, and grass are here; clearly, no frost has browned their leaves! The trees, however, are turning, with yellows and hints of oranges along with the unchanged greens.
Photo #2 looks to the side of the trail, down the mountain, at a grove of trees bearing yellow/gold and green leaves; at least some of these are birch. On this side of the mountain, evergreens are present, but they are a distinct minority.
Photo #3 looks down the MacPhee Trail on my second stop. From the first stop to the second, the trail follows above and along a steep valley on the side of the mountain between the southernmost of the “Beaton Mountains” on the north and Cross Mountain on the south, and loses another 29 m (95 ft) of elevation. How glorious these trees were in the sun! After the clearly post-peak colours on the north side of the mountain, I was quite surprised to see so much green and so many trees that had not lost their leaves, though clearly some leaves were down as those on the trail attest.
Photo #4 is a backwards glance up the trail, where orange and gold hues can be seen along with the yellows. My guess is that the darker trees are beech, but I’m no tree expert and may well be off.
Photo #5 looks up at the canopy above where I was sitting, showing a mixture of yellows and gold/orange leaves. The trunks of birches are in the two upper corners, the others are something else, perhaps beech. What a lovely spot!
Photo #6 is another look up at the canopy from a slightly different nearby spot. Here, there are more distinctly orange leaves tending towards red, which are very likely beech, intermixed with the green/yellow leaves of the nearby and higher birches.
Photo #7 was taken from my third stop, now nearly ⅔ of the way down to Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountains) Trail (MacKinnons Brook Lane) and 43 m (141 ft) lower. The trail skirts the depression, staying on the side of the southernmost of the two “Beaton Mountains”, veering first to the southeast, then straightening out and going towards the south, and, once more switching back to the southeast, making a long excursion around the previously mentioned depression, but following the terrain. Lower down the mountain, the foliage changes in character as well; here it remains mixed, but there are many more oranges amongst the yellows of the birches. There are even a few small maples as well, but they are still green here.
Photo #8 is a close-up of some of the leaves that are responsible for this change in overall hue; they agree quite well with those in my tree guide that are labelled as American beech. They were certainly in their glory in this day’s sun.
Photo #9 looks across the valley towards the Gulf, which can be seen at the upper centre of the photo in the far distance. This stop is now far enough south that Cross Mountain, whose edge can be seen diagonally ascending at the upper right, no longer blocks the view. In the centre of the photo between Cross Mountain and my vantage point is the aforementioned valley that the trail has been skirting and down into which the trail now descends on its last leg. This is the steepest part of the trail, losing 60 m (197 ft) on its way down over a distance of 390 m (¼ mi) from this stop. Several switchbacks make the descent on this leg more reasonable, the last of which runs parallel to the Cul Na Beinne (Beyond the Mountains) Trail (MacKinnons Brook Lane) as it arrives there. The total distance from the Beaton Trail junction down is 1 km (⅝ mi), not very far and a most lovely walk! Highly recommended!