Coast at French Mountain

Coast at French Mountain
Photo 9 of 25: Coast at French Mountain
Taken 2005 June 25 near the southern end of the side road at La Bloc off the Cabot Trail
GPS 46°41.88?'N 60°57.08?'W

In this somewhat different angle of a view that has become emblematic both of the Cabot Trail and of Cape Breton itself, here one sees the Gulf Coast north of Chéticamp below French Mountain (455 m (1493 ft)), with the Cabot Trail winding along its flank, eventually curving around it to climb to the top on the out-of-view side.

Beyond French Mountain, across a ravine carved by Jumping Brook, one can see here the profile of the (unnamed) ridge harbouring the Skyline Trail where it comes out to the coast. This trail is not particularly difficult to hike, starting at the same height as the top of French Mountain and following the ridge over most of its distance, descending only at the end on a stairway and boardwalk system built to protect the fragile plant life, but the views it offers are spectacular—on a clear day, you can see all the way to Sight Point below Inverness—and, in addition to the stunning scenery, you are very likely to see moose along the trail, eagles flying above it, and whales in the waters below. In high summer, it is a bit of a herd path, but at other times of the year, one is quite often alone

One sees many grey cobblestones (galets) along the stony shore here; they form the grey splotch at the center of the photo just below the road. The reddish coloured cliffs in the middle of the photo gave Cap Rouge its name; below them are layers of exposed rock tilted at a 45° angle. The flat rocky protruberance in the left foreground of the photo is the remains of an old pier on which one can walk when the waves are not crashing too wildly. I believe, but am not certain, that the furthest point in the middle left of the photo is Red Head, beyond which the coast continues for some distance before reaching Pleasant Bay. Insofar as I am aware, there is no other coastal hiking past the Skyline Trail, except for the two trails to Fishing Cove which are accessible from the Cabot Trail not very distant from MacKenzies Mountain.