Photo #1 Looks at the grassy start of the the Cape St Lawrence Trail (also known as the Lighthouse Trail) as it forks off from the Lowland Cove Trail. The ridge in the centre of the photo in the distance rises above the Lowland Cove Trail as it curves around its base towards Lowland Cove; the Polletts Cove Trail forks off from the Lowland Cove Trail below the right edge of that slope.
Photo #2 is the first view of the Gulf of St Lawrence that one sees from the Cape St Lawrence Trail; due to my inability to remember how to correct the focus for through-the-trees views, it is, alas, not the best of photos, but the only one I have from this point. This section of the trail, about 280 m (⅙ mi) from the trail head, descends in a great semi-circle along a slope that looks towards the west, so the view would be the inland area south of Tittle Point. The terrain is such that views of the coastal plain are blocked by the inland hills.
Photo #3 shows the first view of the summit of Bear Hill, as seen from the Cape St Lawrence Trail east of Big Pond, the largest of the four bodies of water that Google Earth imagery shows in the area between Bear Hill and Grey Mountain and the Highlands down which the Cape St Lawrence Trail initially descends (the topographical map shows only two of these four). Anyone who has seen Bear Hill from Cape St Lawrence will immediately recognize this rubble/gravel/rock crowned summit which vegetation has only partially been able to colonize.
Photo #4 shows the eastern end of the smallest of the four ponds; it is reached by a short side trail off the main trail. The few lily pads present show that this is still early in the year; later they will likely cover much more of the pond’s shallow areas.
Photo #5 looks to the right of photo #4, with which it overlaps, looking at the western end of the smallest of the four ponds. The topographical map clearly shows an outflow from Big Pond into largest of the unnamed ponds and its outflow descending through the gap between Bear Hill and Grey Mountain to eventually reach French Brook below (though Big Pond is not French Brook’s source—it rises on the plateau near the Polletts Cove Trail). From the Google Earth imagery, it looks as if the pond seen here flows into Big Pond; if that be the case, its outlet would be at the right of the photo.
Photo #6 shows the trail as it passes through the forest on one of its gentler sections. The tread incorporates gravel, soil, needles, tree roots, and grass in varying proportions throughout its length. The damage from the spruce bark beetle seems to be considerably less on this side of the Highlands than, for example, on the slopes above Blackrock Point in Meat Cove, where it is extensive.
Reached by a very short side trail from the main trail, the eastern end of the largest of the unnamed ponds, which receives the outflow of Big Pond, is seen in photo #7. I have views from both morning and afternoon here; the light for photography is much better in the afternoon (these photos were taken at 15h58 on the return hike), though the sky is much bluer in the morning views.
Photo #8 looks at the rest of the largest unnamed pond, whose shape is roughly triangular, larger across at the northeastern end and tapering as it moves to the southwest, where it receives the outflow of Big Pond, which is some distance, perhaps 400 m (¼ mi), on the far side of this pond in a depression at a somewhat higher elevation than this one. The Google Earth imagery seems to show this triangular pond trapped in a basin that, to cross Grey Mountain mountain southwest of Bear Hill, would somehow have to climb over the ridge; but the topographical map leaves no doubt that it does somehow manage that feat; its outlet would have to be close to where I was standing.
Photo #9 is a close-up of the Highlands seen at the centre of photo #8. The Lowland Cove Trail runs at the base of this ridge, the distance to which is better gauged from photo #8 (it’s approximately 2.5 km (1⅗ mi) to the summit as the crow flies). At the right of the photo, where the ridge dips down, the Polletts Cove Trail leaves the Lowland Cove Trail to head up onto the plateau. The valley carved by French Brook as it comes down from the plateau is also to the right of this notch.