When I was here in July there was a rather jolting drop from the bridge to the road, I am pleased with the smoothness of the new pavement. I am now on Cape Breton Island. Port Hastings area to be exact. First stop is right here. I swing into the drive way on the left. I have to take photos of the National Historic Site plaque, look at the Ceilidh Coastal Trail map and the starting point marker 0 , (also part of the greater Trans Canada Trail). Then, read what it has to say on the tourist information boards. All interesting stuff to me.
Next stop ( pretty much across the road) The Tourist Information Center. It is closed for the season but the display at the back of the building draws me in. There is a plaque and a statistic board for those that like the where, when, what’s and how’s of the building of the causeway. There is a book note for a Cape Breton must read; No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod, a mural, and a monument erected by the Nova Scotia Association of Scottish Societies, with the names of some famous Scottish-Nova Scotian..
The view to Porcupine mountain is lovely. The tourist bureau is located at 96 NS-4, Port Hastings.
Next up A road side attraction. A large carving of an Atlantic Puffin, there is a step you can get up on and take your picture with him. (of course I did:)
I continue on highway 4 towards Embrees Island and take a stroll around the Pioneer Cemetery. The headstones are mostly just rocks with no inscriptions, but the link above has the names and dates of those laid to rest here. It has a pretty view across to the main land of Nova Scotia, and Porcupine Mountain.
Port Hastings also has a historical society and a museum. Both closed on my visit.
If the Ceilidh Coastal Trail seems too ambitious for you, try the Port Hawkesbury Trails Ten kilometers of trails through a natural setting starting in Grants Pond. Plenty of parking, look for the sign on the left side of he road on Highway 4 before the hill.
There is also a board walk down at the water front, (sorry no picture) you can turn onto Granville Street, from here then take MacSween down to water street. A walk with a water front view. In the summer there are outdoor concerts, here called Granville on the Green.
After a brisk hike. I go up the hill to the veterans Memorial Park. At the corner of McSween and Reeves street. It is that time of year to pause for a moment and pay our respects to the past and present serving military members, and to those that lost their lives in the service of our country. The park is beautifully done, created around the center cenotaph. Names of local heroes inscribed on a wall, several sculptures for the art lover and a large anchor in tribute to the Navy. It was prepared for the November 11th ceremony when I took this.
I have one more stop In Port Hawkesbury; another Road Side Attraction. Located on Highway 4 just outside the plow storage garage called the Transportation and infrastructure building. An old grader parked on a very green lawn for a November day.
We leave Port Hawkesbury behind and Continue on highway 4 for about thirteen kilometers.
Cleveland’s show piece is, River Inhabitant. A tidal river that has tidal pools from the opposing force of a flowing river against and incoming tide. There is a boat launch at the end of the river, down by the highway and after a sun-shower, a rainbow is often visible
In season, fishing off the bank on the Riverside Road is possible. It is very pretty in all seasons.
Cleveland Falls We turn up County Line Road, the sign says West Bay, Dundee Marble Mountain St Georges channel. A couple of hundred meters up the road around the turn is a brook. (There is very little shoulder to park on here so be careful) There is supposedly a trail on the hill but I walked up the brook. It was challenging with lots of downed trees and unstable rocky ground requiring a bit of crisscrossing the brook. I would say it was about twenty minutes of bushwhacking to arrive at the water falls. Some people call it Ferguson Falls, after the previous land owners but it is and un-named falls. It was dry with very little water flowing but the forty-foot height of the rocks and the almost brick like wall beside it impressed me. I can’t believe I didn’t know this was here. I loved it and I will return some day after a good soaking rain.
After exiting the forest, it is back on county line road for one last stop.
This is where my family heritage is. A pretty village at the head of the bay peppered with historic homes and rich cultural roots. Many of the families that live here, have been so for generations. A hundred years ago, it was a center of commerce. Large boats docked and unload and loaded wares at the wharf. There was a tanner, a mill and a store. Today West Bay is part of the Bras d’Or Lake scenic drive, and Bras d’Or Lakes UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.. Kayaking, boating, are popular in summer and winter skating, and snow shoeing. are frequent activities. You can see Eagles Cormorants, various ducks-great for bird watchers, plus the odd seal and beaver are here to. A new fish ladder has been added at the river at the cross roads, and one Road Side Attraction; an Anchor in a rock. Several very large old Pine trees are visible in the village.
Please join me for Part three as we continue to look around familiar places. Next is
Cheers from Maritime Mac
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