As my hiking companion Etienne says, “The hike from Meat Cove over to Pollett’s Cove is an experience worth doing over and over again. It’s one of those adventures that holds new surprises, new ways of getting there and trusted old friends to share it with”. The same crew was on-board once again; Derry, Etienne, Laura, and myself. We started Saturday at 10am and hiked for 8 hours. We hiked Sunday for 10 hours and arrived at Pollett’s Cove at 6pm. There is NO TRAIL … just map and compass work to get from Meat Cove to the trail head of Pollett’s Cove in Red River. We completed this adventure a couple years back and thought we would attack it again. This year we added the coastal portion of Cape St Lawrence and the coastal meadow along the shore to Lowland Cove.
There are numerous thick trees and groves of alders. At times the underbrush also took its toll as we could not see what was in front of us. One wrong step, over a fallen log, could easily result in a broken leg or ankle! I remember once that we were crossing a bog at our feet, laced with tuckamore at our thighs, and facing very thick alder bushes all the way through as well. This short short trek to the other side took what seemed like forever. Another memorable event was when we could see what looked like a beautiful grassy field in the distance. This looked to be an amazing place to set up camp on night 1. After struggling through the alders, over a brook and to the other side … our beautiful little grassy area was soaked with water underneath and we could NOT set up camp in this area. So off we travel to find dry land.
cape st lawrence
on route to Low Land Cove
on route to Low Land Cove
Figuring it all out
getting water in among the alders and bogs
alders, tuckamore, bog
our Tent site
crossing one of the many bogs
a place to eat, rest
through the trees
here i am navigating
bush whacking through the trail
looking out over the mountains
Looking out over the mountains
decending down the brook
looking up at the mountains
following the brook down from the mountain
entering Pollett’s Cove and setting up camp
Laura, Kasper and I went to Cape Breton for the weekend. We decided to spend Friday night at Corney Brook campground which is near Cheticamp in the national park. For night two we hiked into Pollett’s Cove for a quick overnight visit. This was only a two hour 8 km hike into our favorite Nova Scotia beach. The only way to access this location is through hiking in or by boat. Some years there has been cows as well as horses that reside at the beach. This year there were six horses and no cows. One mare had a young foal. There’s usually other hikers and this year there were about 10 other tents set up in the valley. A few people even came in as day hikers.
going into Polletts Cove
Otter Brook pumping water
Horses going up Pollett’s hill
enjoying the view
just resting away
our backyard view
Am i a Horse Whisperer
looking back at Pollett’s Cove
on the trail
nice green trail
pick up for Kasper
Kasper in the grass at Otter Brook
on the Polletts Hill
Pollett’s Cove is one of our favorite places in Nova Scotia. You can have a beach pretty much to yourself with only a short 10km hike to get there. It is home to wild horses, cows, seals and eagles.
at the start, Pollett’s Trail head
on the trail from Red River
beautiful trail trees
Looking into Otter Brook
decent to otter brook
looking down into Pollett’s Cove
Kasper at Otter Brook
heading into polletts cove
Kasper Playing in the waves
Kasper keeping out of the sun
HOT … Needed Shade
Never Stop Exploring
kas in tent at sunset
our friends Derry and Jen happened to be here as well
sun set at polletts
snuggles with Kasper
our sun set
Pollett’s Cove is a wilderness estuary on the northwest coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. It is accessible only by boat or on foot via a simple 10 km hike along the coastline from Pleasant Bay, heading north (about 2 hours hike). It is truly a place to get away from it all. No cell reception and civilization.
Laura, Kasper and I decided to hit the trail this Thanksgiving weekend (October 6/7) and join some hiking friends at Pollett’s Cove. We hit the trail at noon on Saturday and were pleasantly surprised with the sun shining and how warm it was for this time of year (20 plus degrees). What a beautiful day! The trail was very busy and I was shocked to see so many other hikers around. We hiked in with Etienne, Sheryl, Keith and Rio. We pitched on the beach as we always do and had a wonderful fire with lots of fun stories shared. It was a beautiful star lit night without a cloud in the sky.
But … at exactly midnight, a huge wind storm rolled in. Our beautiful calm night was no more. To quote my friend Etienne “I was thrown from my tent, upside down, with gear spread everywhere. Bam, from a comfortable sleep to wondering where the hell I am”. I was also shocked that the wind hit us as hard as it did, I have never seen wind flip a person and their tent before. Two of our beach campers had to tear down and leave for a more sheltered pitch. I surveyed the land as day break came upon us, lots of tents and gear was thrown about. The wind was quiet at this time and I figured we had the worst behind us. Then in a matter of minutes, a major rain and wind storm rolled in and created a sand storm on the beach. Laura, Kasper and I crawled back in our tent but not before getting soaked, pelted and covered in sand. We had plans on exploring but opted to pack up and move out.
“Never Stop Exploring” … after coming out of Pollet’s Cove, the four of us (Derry, Etienne, Miss Laura, and myself) decided to hike into Money Point and spend the night. Money Point is located on the northeast tip of Cape Breton Island. We pitched at the site of where the lighthouse use to be located. We watched whales and seals and the coastal beauty was amazing.
What an Extreme Back Country Adventure! It started the night before we left, Laura and I enjoyed “NO” sleep while our tent was pitched on an ocean cliff with 95km/h winds. The next morning, four of us (Laura, Derry, Etienne, and myself) set out for the 3 day challenge of bushwhacking through the Cape Breton Highlands from Meat Cove to Pollett’s Cove. No trail, just compass and a bearing of South, South West and West. 80% of the time we had no idea where we were. It rained hard for most of the trip with a very high humidity as well. The bogs were numerous, the forest was narrow with lots of blow downs, and the alders were so painful to go through. How could you not have fun!
the SKYLINE Trail is located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park (Nova Scotia) and is one of the “must do” hikes in the Highlands. It is a very easy, family style hike that offers forest views, the ocean, and wildlife. It is loop that covers just over 9km at an elevation around 1,200 ft. You may notice that the forest seems to be disturbed, this was caused by a forest fire in the 1950’s. At the end of the trail, you will find an elaborate network of viewing decks, boardwalks, and benches. You can peer down on the Cabot Trail, or turn and look for whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We were fortunate enough to view whales breaching and turn around and see moose on a cliff. I recommend that you hit the trail early so that you can avoid the crowds, we were on trail at 7:30am and never saw another soul for about 3 hours. On our walk out was a highway of tourists.
I joined a group of like minded individuals (Susan and John Walsh, and Etienne) for the 3rd Annual Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge, held on July 21st. It was a great success with 24 teams participating in this year’s event. The 3 Peaks Challenge requires teams of four members to hike three mountains in one day. The three mountains hiked in this year’s challenge were Cape Smokey, Meat Cove, and Sugar Loaf.
Cape Smokey: A semi -maintained and moderately challenging trail that travels up and down Smokey mountain. The view at the end of the trail is outstanding – you can see Middle Head and Keltic Lodge as well Ingonish Harbour and Ingonish Island. This trail is 11 km long.
Meat Cove: The trail is a steep steady climb up a valley through small hardwood. The trail then follows the top of an open ridge. To the left one looks up the MC River valley and to the right one looks out over the ocean.
Sugar Loaf: Climb from near sea level for about 2 km to 1400 feet. The first part of the trail follows an old wood road. Very scenic with views at the top of Aspy Bay, Sugar Loaf mountain and beach reaching to Dingwall and South harbor. Also, view the highlands and Bay St. Lawrence from a look-off.
Miss Laura was in Florida visiting her sisters Lisa and Beth so Kasper and I cleared out to do a little exploring of our own. We hit the trails of Cape Breton for a few days and nights.