After the oh-so-busy Skyline Trail, we headed for White Point – an out-of-the-way, short, scenic trail. We wandered the network of boot-beaten paths for just over an hour, and met just one other person (a local) the entire time. We chatted with him a bit, but mostly enjoyed bird-watching, seal-watching and sea views. 🙂
White Point is not located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It’s not even on the Cabot Trail. Driving the Cabot Trail clockwise, turn onto White Point Road at South Harbour and follow it to the very end. Driving the Cabot Trail counterclockwise, turn off onto New Haven Road at Neil’s Harbour, drive about 9 km (5.5 miles) and then turn right onto White Point Road. Go as far on White Point Road as you can and find a spot in the small, rough “parking area.
There are no trail signs here, so we set off on the obvious, well-established trail heading northeast from the parking lot.
Cresting the hill, a lovely view opens up along White Point. We soon discovered it’s not possible to walk to the end – it’s a small island!
To the east is another small rise overlooking an old cemetery.
Post-trip research suggests the large, white cross marks the grave of the Unknown Sailor.
What doesn’t come across in these photos is the constant background of bird calls. Since the far tip of the point is actually an island, it is a good nesting ground for several kinds of gulls. They seemed to enjoy the wind currents along the north shore of the point, taking advantage of the updrafts created by steep-sided dark coves facing into the sun.
Mr GeoK hunkered into the rocks near the tip of the contiguous land mass. It provided a bit of shelter from the gusting winds and was a good spot to watch a couple of seals having fun on the rocks off shore.
We’re definitely not up on how to identify seals, so if you know what type of seal this is, please leave a comment to let us know.
With the sun slowly sinking towards the horizon, we reluctantly turned back towards the parking lot and headed off to Ingonish, our home for the night.
White Point has a small network of social trails, boot-beaten through the heather. It’s fairly flat, with gently rolling terrain. A short and winding drive off the Cabot Trail, it’s a good choice for those who like to hike alone.
Total distance – varies, we did a rough loop of about 2.4 km (1.5 miles)
Elevation gain – 78 meters (32 net)
Hiking time – roughly one hour, including 30 minutes for photography and seal watching