Mabou Mines Beach was the first beach that I picked out of the hat. I had been to the beach once before – in the fall. I remember being struck by its beautiful location, amazing cliffs and rock formations and isolation from the rest of the world. Sometimes, we tend to remember things as being better than they actually are and I was worried about this as we set out from Sydney for Mabou Mines on the afternoon of July 3rd.
The beach was recommended to me on Facebook by Karrie Porter. She said, “I love Mabou Mines beach. It’s secluded, the water is warm, and the drive to get there is fantastic.” Her feelings about the beach seemed to echo my memories. I was quite excited to test the water and see what the beach would be like for swimming. The warmest beaches in Cape Breton are on the west coast – the Gulf of St. Lawrence. But it was still early in the summer so I thought that it might be a bit cold.
Marcie, Bailey and I arrived at the beach around 4:45 after a beautiful drive to Whycocomagh, then up to Mabou and finally out to Mabou Mines. To get there, you have to turn up by the big church in the village at the sign that directs you to Mabou Mines. Then you have to drive a few kilometres until you come to a dirt road on your right with a small sign that reads “Mabou Coal Mines”. You follow that road till you come to the coast. You will see a fishing harbour on your left at the bottom of a steep hill. Take that steep dirt road down to the beach.
When we stepped out of the car after one of the most beautiful drives on the island, we stepped out into paradise! The beach is secluded. The sand stretches quite a distance and is overlooked by green rolling hills, steep cliffs and interesting rock formations. Crows and bald eagles can be seen soaring in the sky. We had our dog with us and this was the perfect beach for her to run and swim on. We walked down the beach a ways; beyond the few other people who were there and then we were alone in this sublime paradise. I couldn’t wait to check out the water. I put my feet in. The water was refreshing after being in the car. It was also warm enough that I could quickly and easily jump in…which I did. I swam around for a bit while Marcie and Bailey played on the beach. Sierra (the dog) barked at me from the shore. She always thinks I’m drowning when I swim and she wants to save me but she is too chicken to come in. To quiet her down and restore the tranquility, I went back to the shore and threw sticks into the water for her to fetch.
All the stress of work and life slipped off our shoulders while we played on that beach. We walked up and down the beach. Bailey picked up rocks – as usual. We examined the cliffs and rock formations and imagined faces in the stone. We looked up at crevices and caves in the rock face and admired how the grass hugged the top of the cliffs and hung over like green hair. We threw rocks into the water and looked at the beautiful colours through the crystal clear sea. There was one jellyfish, which I showed to Bailey – the first one she had ever seen. It was a great, peaceful day – the perfect day at the beach. Time became meaningless and all that was important was the moment, the sand, the water, the rock, us melding into one with our amazing surroundings. If you are looking for a peaceful beach adventure with wonderfully warm and clear water for swimming and lots of stimuli for the imagination of the mind and spirit, then check out Mabou Mines.
Afterwards, you will be hungry, so head into Mabou for a meal at one of the local restaurants. We ate at The Mull and the service and the food were great!
Until next time, I’m off on another Beach Bum Adventure!