I had hoped to hike the Simon Point¹ Trail, which I had first done in 2008, in better weather than that grey October day. I drove out there on my June trip, but the weather wasn’t conducive to photography the evening I was there, so, when I had the opportunity on my August trip, I seized it.
The Simon Point trail head is beside the bridge over Fresh Water Brook on the Kennington Cove Road in the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada, roughly half way to Kennington Cove. The The Nova Scotia Atlas shows Wolfes Landing as the locality in which the trail head is located, though the site of Wolfe’s actual landing is further west, just east of the beaches at Kennington Cove, where it is marked by the cairn seen in this photo.
The Simon Point trail is an easy fifteen minute hike through Atlantic coastal terrain, boggy in spots and forested otherwise, to the coast. The trail is mostly flat with some very easy up and down; protruding small boulders and tree roots occasionally require high stepping, but boardwalks get you across all the boggy spots with dry feet. At the coast, the trail crosses an arched wooden bridge over Fresh Water Brook, which empties into the ocean a short distance away, climbs up and over a grass-covered coastal cliff perhaps 10 metres/yards high, and comes down to its end on the rocky shore. It’s a lovely short hike I recommend to anyone who does not have knee trouble and the trail is family friendly. The photos on this page were taken from the trail.
Photo #1 looks east along the Kennington Cove Road at the Simon Point trail head. The parking area for the trail head is at the right and mostly outside the scope of the photo: there is room enough for a three or four cars. The bridge over Fresh Water Brook is at the left of the photo, just beyond the MAXIMUM 34 TONNES sign and the smaller green sign at the centre of the photo clearly identifies it as Fresh Water Brook.
Photo #2 was taken a short distance down the trail from the trail head, looking backwards (the road can be seen in the distance). Rocks like the one in the foreground give one’s knees a decent work-out.
Photo #3 was taken perhaps a quarter of the way down the trail as it passes through the forest. I do not know what accounts for the state of the trees here: it might be damage caused by the spruce bark beetle but it might also be the proximity to the severe weather conditions at the coast that has stunted their growth, as I have seen this phenomenon elsewhere along the Atlantic. Most of the trees in the other photos on this page show a much healthier forest.
Photo #4 shows one of the several boardwalks, this one about two-thirds of the way to the coast, that make it simple to cross boggy terrain without getting wet or muddy and without impacting the terrain. This trail is a fine exposition of Cape Breton’s Atlantic coast, showing its varied forest, bog, and coastal terrains. According to Google Earth’s imagery, the rills underneath this boardwalk run into a pond to the east through which Fresh Water Brook also flows.
Photo #5 is another view of the Simon Point Trail as it passes through the coastal forest. As these photos should indicate, this is a very easy trail to follow and one perfectly suited for children.
Photo #6 looks at the wooden bridge over Fresh Water Brook near the trail’s end at the coast. The bridge requires an ascent and a descent over the brook, using the cross pieces on the flooring to prevent slippage up and down.
Photo #7 looks upstream at Fresh Water Brook as it makes its way over the rocks just above the bridge. The water reflects the pure blue sky which was directly overhead and the bright sun and dark shadows caused the camera to overexpose the one and underexpose the other.
Photo #8 looks downstream at Fresh Water Brook from the bridge. The mouth of the brook is in the light-hued rocks at the centre, where it makes a 90° turn to the left to enter the ocean. Like much of the Atlantic coast, the shore is littered with rocks of varying sizes.
Photo #9 shows the Simon Point Trail about 100 m from the bridge. After crossing the brook, the trail climbs up a grassy field on a cliff perhaps 10 metres/yards high and continues over the top and down the other side to Simon Point. Numerous wildflowers were scattered throughout the field, including cranberries near the bridge.
Photo #10 shows the trail looking backwards along the cliffs, just before it descends to its end on the coast at Simon Point. The mouth of the Fresh Water Brook is where the brighter hued rocks are seen left of centre on the shore below; like so many brooks, its mouth is very narrow.
Photo #11 looks back at the trail as it ascends the cliff seen in the two previous photos. The end of the trail is on a grass-covered surface, where it is comfortable to sit and enjoy the scenery and the waves crashing along the shore. One can also walk down to the water, which is immediately at hand, but the coast is rocky and rough, so it’s not an ordinary beach walk, should you choose to do so.