After you have explored the ocean front trails, you will discover a large clearing down by the ocean. If you continue to walk North on the path overlooking the ocean it will take you to a very quiet look-off. This spot is a nice place to sit, relax, chat and look at far off Cape Smokey and the wonders of the Broad Atlantic (perhaps a pod of whales will pass or some big "gray" seals that make their living fishing just off the point.
When, and if the urge strikes you, use the rope to you're left to help you down the hill.
All of life is full of hard choices and decisions and it's no different here. At the bottom of the rope you will have to decide to either, (1) turn left and walk up a very pretty little trail through the woods by the river (watch for the signs, you may find one of our swimming pools) and back up another rope or trail to your cabin.
Or (2) Turn right and continue South, beachcombing the cobbled beach below the forested cliffs. If the local fishing season is still on (until July 15th) watch the fishermen plying their trade in these sturdy little Cape Islander type, fishing boats.
Now keep walking along beside the ocean until the cliff gets smaller and smaller and eventually disappears completely, you're now very close to a small lake or pond formed behind the beach barrier. (shhhhh there could be a deer feeding in the tall grass on the other side of the water)
When you're standing looking at the pond, look to your right and you'll see a nice wide trail heading back up to the Cabot Trail.
When you get back up to the "Trail", turn right and walk up to the old time general store on your left, go in and have one of those great big lobster sandwiches or just a coffee. Now sit for a while and chat with the staff and hope that some of the locals will drop in, they might tease you a bit about not being from "Gods Country" but they're very friendly & lots of fun.
When you leave the store just continue walking north to the Cabins.
Grab a beer or an ice tea and kick your feet up and relax. Remember you gotta build up your energy, there's star watchin' to be done tonight out at the campfire.
If you've been here a few days you probably already noticed the number of magic spots on the property, no I don't mean only those quiet little look off nooks found along the trails by the ocean, I'm talkin' about those mysterious little muckles or craters. The old folks around here call them "sink holes" and they say that they formed when the limestone way down under the earth slowly collappses. You know I think their right cause trees love to grow way down in those magic places.
Well anyway those places are more of a pain in the butt to me cause I think that's where those little people live, you know those gnome folks. Now everybody knows that they are the friendliest people in the world and you never hear anything but good things about them, how they helped save lost people and all, but you know, their develish and like to do little tricks, like fer instance, I believe they steal my pennies and sometimes my nickels. I don't believe their dooin' it to be mean or evil, but just to have some fun, you know sometimes I think that way down deep inside, they really like me and just steal enough coins to keep me poor enough to have to stay around here so they can have more fun with me with their teasin' and tricks and all.
Anyway one of the things I like to do is to sneak down to the top of one of them big holes, when it gets right dark in the night, then what I do is quick turn on my flashlight and sometimes way down the bottom in amongst the roots I see them skiddlin' for their little caves. Sometimes you see their little red hats but most of the time it's just shadows you see. I love to do that just to tease them you know and they take it all in fun.
Another fun day in Ingonish is to just take a nice relaxing day and enjoy some of the meny short trails, beaches, and attractions there.
Take your time getting started and even if you don't head "down north" until 11A.M. or so, it's only a ½ hour drive to the park headquarters.
Drop into the information booth and pick up a walking trails brochure. You can walk from that parking lot and head up the trail to the place where you look out over "fresh water lake", and on out to the cliffs of Cape Smokey.
When you get back to the car, drive North past the church and the Golf Course and on to North Bay (10 minutes). Perhaps park in the back lot of the Seagull Resteraunt (by the time you get back it may be hard to get a spot), Then walk along the road by the pretty little beach that leads out to the two big wharfs. The first wharf is an active fishing wharf so, although the fishermen love to see you, try to give them a wide berth so they can do their work. (*** here's a little hint , if you want to buy lobsters, bring along a plastic bag to put them in and lots of small bills and coins so you can make the propper change). By the way you won't get them any cheeper than their buyers are paying cause the buyers give them little extra benefits. The lobsters will keep up to 10 or 12 hours in a cooler so buy them before noon and take em with ya or the fishermen will all be gone home
If you have enough time walk north on the trail along the cliffs by the ocean, it's a real pretty walk. If you make it to a large outcropping of rocks, go down to the beach and climb up inside, It's a diamond mine cave filled with rough cut diamonds. (Like I used to tell my kids when I took them there "only take as meny as you will need for the rest of your life and leave the rest").
Now walk back to the Sea Gull and go in and order the Fish & Chips (don't forget to order gravy on the chips) or order grilled fish and a great- big- hefty- delicious meal will appear. When you get the bill and see how cheep it is, tip the waitress a little better, they work real hard.
At dinner take out that brochure of the trails around Ingonish and pick one, if you go by the Omni store, pick up some fruit to snack on on the walk.
You can come back to the cabin or stop at the Muddy Rudder Resteraunt up at the head of the harbour and have another great meal at an unbelievable low price, and if you're really made of strong mettle go out for the evening cruise to see whales by sail with Sea Visions.
On the way home, the other one, (not the one driving) can fall asleep on the way back to the cabin, Genight.
Now here's a nice day trip to a golf match at Dundee Resort on the
Bras-d-Ore lakes. When you visit the other places I mention here will depend on when your T-off time is.
Anyway when you leave the cabin for Dundee you are heading South and you'll probably take the English Town Ferry(*** little hint. Drop into the Wreck Cove General Store, ----1Km. Down the road ---- and pick up 2 ferry tickets, you'll save yourself $7.00 on the round trip.)
You'll be going strait ahead at the flashing light at the Barchoise River and if you have a little extra time, stop at the long strand beach before the ferry. On the right hand side is an antique and gift shop. Most people go right on by cause the're trying to catch the boat, and that's a shame, cause they have really nice stuff and you can get some real good bargins there.
Stroll along the beach there, lots of bird life, even a good chance of seeing eagles, out by the ferry you can see anglers fiskin' mackrel right off the beach.
Jump back in your car and take the ferry the hop-skip-and-a-jump over to the Englishtown side. If you pull in just the other side of the ferry you will see a small grave yard and in the middle is one big stone, that is where "Giant" Angus MacAskill is burried and he was the strongest man who ever walked the face of the earth and the biggest non- pathanogenic giant who ever lived (7'9" and 450lbs).
If you need a few practice shots stop at the Bell Bay Golf Club and smack a few at their great driving range.
If you have a late T-off time stop at the Yellow Chello and on your way home stop in at the Baddeck Lobster Suppers (all you can eat fixins).