Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Our Maritimes Road Trip - The Cabot Trail Part 1

After such a relaxed evening in our little cottage, we had a relaxed start to the morning, with a bacon and egg home cooked breakfast, hubby taking the girls down to the shore line and a complete repacking of the car. So it was around 10 am that we hit the road. 

Our first stop today was at the Visitor Information centre at the beginning of the Cabot Trail just north of Cheticamp. Armed with a map complete with suggestions for the best child friendly walking spots we headed off. 

Our first stop was at  Le Buttereau, a 30 min walking loop along one of the roads that linked the inhabitants of Le Buttereau with Cheticamp. We enjoyed (or at least 3 of us did) a short wander up the hill to a beautiful vista down along the coast back towards Cheticamp. We spotted squirrels, chipmunks and a couple of garter snakes. The Youngest decided that as this was the first walk of the day it was probably time to announce that her legs were already tired and she would require carrying for the remainder of the day. 

Hopping back in the car, and the drive up the coast provided us with stunning views, that our photos just don't do enough justice to. It was an incredibly beautiful drive all the way along, including once we headed inland. Sadly, despite being told that along this stretch was a high chance of seeing moose, they avoided us and none were to be seen. We would also have loved to have stopped and done the skyline trail, but with two small children, the 7km loop was beyond us. 

Our second walking stop for the day was at a place called 'The French Mountain Bog', 410m above sea level, a typical highland wetland. This walk was on a boardwalk that lasted roughly 15 mins. Which was a lovely stroll for Hubby and The Eldest, and an exercise for me in how not to let The Youngest find as many ways as possible to end up in the water lodged marshlands. 'I promise I won't fall in' she repeated the entire way around, whilst trying to balance on the boardwalk edges with all the finesse of an amateur gymnast. And again, sadly, no moose. 

As we continued driving, we had stunning views across the mountains, and glimpses of the ocean as we descended into Pleasant bay. 

Our next stop was at Lone Shieling, an area with 350 year old maple trees, the largest old hardwood forest in the maritimes. There is also an old shepherd's hut here that was built to commemorate the Scottish heritage of Pleasant Bay. We had a great time wandering along the tracks, exploring the hut, the streams and practising how to 'be large' in the event that we came across some coyotes. 

The fall colours continued to impress us, every mountain and valley full of glorious hues of red, orange and yellow, as we headed towards Beulach Ban Waterfall, where the girls had their first up close encounter with a waterfall. 

Halfway through the Cabot Trail! 
More to come in part 2 
(off to bed - everyone else is asleep)
Jen x

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