Tenerife Mountain, Cape Breton
Hiking Tenerife in the fall is an enormous treat! The colours that envelop the deciduous trees is like an oil painting - so rich and vibrant in their hues. I love the smell of the forest when it’s autumn; the sound of leaves that crunch underneath your feet - it’s just so spectacular! I absolutely love the fresh, crisp air that comes with the change of season.
Once you reach the top it’s all worth it! The view from the top makes the sweat and possibly some tears worthwhile. You can see Aspy Bay where the famous John Cabot apparently landed in the ‘new world’; views into the ancient fjord - hewn over time from glaciers is visible, and the colours, just the colours - it’s exquisite!
I remember Roman exclaiming one day “we have to hike Tenerife!” and I’m one for hiking but he talked it up to being this massive undertaking. Like a 5 hours undertaking! Turns out, he exaggerated a bit - like that never EVER happens with him. HA!
We set off for the hike and I was prepared, loaded down with lots of food and water - because you know, we were going to be hiking for a good long while! The leaves fell off the trees like snow falling from the sky as we started our hike in the woods. Well, it turned out that the hike up only took about 45 minutes - unless it was going to take 4 hours to get down the hill, I figured we’d be done a lot earlier than I had anticipated.
We took about 35-40 minutes to get down. I recall carefully stepping down the first few steps because we forgot our hiking poles at home. They were hanging next to our coats when we got home - almost laughing at us for being so foolish to go mountain hiking sans-poles. Oh well!
When the rocky scrambling at the top was completed - it made for a much nicer hike down, especially on the knees! Once down the hill, the rest was a breeze. It was wonderful to walk amongst the tall trees with the copper beech leaves falling around us. Getting to the car - we threw our gear into the back seat and slapped hands into a high-five, happy to have finally completed this journey to the top!!
Hiking the trail is definitely different in the fall compared to the winter. It’s easier at the foot of the mountain, because there’s no snow to trudge through. As you ascend the mountain the climb becomes more physically demanding. You really have to watch out for loose rocks and grab onto tree branches as your scramble up. We hope you take the time to relish in all the autumn splendor.
written by Cecilia, images by Roman
Directions: From Cheticamp head about 70kms towards Cape North. At the main intersection turn left towards Bay St. Lawrence. Drive 4.2 km and look for a small parking area on your right. The trail head starts on the opposite side of the road and is marked by a small flag.