Sunday, August 26, 2018

Have You Been to Meat Cove?

Meat Cove from he end of the trail

I knew where Meat Cove was, and drove by the sign for the road to Meat Cove, but in 50 years of living in Nova Scotia I have never made that turn and actually drove to Meat Cove. This year while spending a week in Cape Breton, I finally visited this community.

According to Wikipedia, Meat Cove is a fishing community located at the most northern tip of Nova Scotia. I discovered that this is partially true . . . .

The road to Meat Cove branches off from the Cabot Trail at Cape North and is very much a “Secondary Road”. It twists and turns up and down through the highlands along the coast. Starting out paved it becomes dirt than paved then dirt then paved and finally dirt into the community. In places there is a shear drop off the hillside with no guardrail on the side of the road. Although the road does not actually “end" in Meat Cove, it deteriorates into a rutted washed out track requiring more ground clearance than my Camary provided.
Beer & Seafood at the Chowder House

Although Wikipedia called this a “Fishing” community I would say this was more history than current fact. There was no fishing wharf, no boats and no fishermen. There is a campground perched on a cliff and a restaurant along with a few houses and that is about it. There is actually little evidence that there was ever much more there; if fact, the cove is so small there is not room for much more. Listings say there are 65 residents, but that must include people living on the road into Meat Cove.

Regis taking in the views
The fact that there is little here did not seem to matter on the day we drive to Meat Cove; arriving at the end of the road we had a difficult time finding a place to park to have lunch at the little Chowder House restaurant across from the campground, there were that many people here.

After a delicious lunch, we took the server's advice and followed a unmarked but well used hiking trail to an elevated headland which gave a wonderful view back over the area as well as both the Atlantic Ocean and The Gulf of St Laurence.

Then we walked down into the cove itself to discover a beach covered with Inukshuks. It looked like all these little statues I saw on this summer's drive to Lac Seul had been magically transported here to Meat Cove. Leaving the cove I discovered another hike this one a boardwalk along the river leading down to the cove. I took the hike while Regis went to retrieve the car.

BUT, I'm still not sure why it is called Meat Cove?
Wow Inukshuks Here in Cape Breton