The Road into Meat Cove

The road into Meat Cove
Photo 5 of 25: The road into Meat Cove
Taken 2005 October 13 in Meat Cove from the Meat Cove Road
beside the picnic area across from the Chowder Hut
GPS 47°01.590'N 60°33.583'W

Meat Cove is the most remote community in northern Cape Breton, nestled in a rugged site below mountains on a cliff above Bay St Lawrence, literally at the end of the road. That road is gravel with a number of switch backs and goes both up and down hill along its course; hardy indeed are the souls living here year round, as they must often be cut off in the winter due to impassible roads. But it is well worth the trip in the summer, offering incredibly beautiful views of the northern Gulf Coast all along its length.

Meat Cove is said to be named from the practice of fishing boats landing there in days gone by to stock up on fresh meat. Long before the community had been permanently settled, a landing party would come ashore and quickly slaughter enough moose (and caribou, now no longer found), then plentiful and easy to hunt because they were not often in contact with humans, to feed the crew for some time to come. In the days before refrigeration, fresh meat was a welcome relief from the salt-preserved and often putrid contents of a ship’s larder long out of port.

For the seven generations it has been settled, Meat Cove has been primarily a fishing village; today, it also caters to hardy tourists with a beautiful campground area and a number of trails. See this web site for additional information about this community.

In this photo, the community itself is not visible, but you can see the road into Meat Cove as it winds halfway down the mountain in the background, clad in its incipient fall colours. From the road itself at this point, you can see the community lying in what appears to be the valley below (it actually sits on a cliff), giving you an even better appreciation of your altitude. To appreciate the height of the cliffs you see here, consider the height of a single tree superimposed on the cliff! In the centre of the photo is a waterfall from a stream cascading down to the mostly placid (on this day) waters of Meat Cove. It is indeed a scene of quiet, rugged beauty!

The play of the bright sun against both shining water and dark backgrounds taxed my camera to its limits, rendering some areas of this photo too dark to distinguish features that were readily visible to the naked eye. It’s just one more reason why no mere photo can capture the whole scene; at best, it can simply recall to mind the lovely memories of a beautiful place.