Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 43 > Page 26 - Searching for the Highlands National Park, 1934

Page 26 - Searching for the Highlands National Park, 1934

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/8/1 (307 reads)

etc. Moreover, in this case, the impropri? ety of moving people away from the locus of their occupation does not exist, as in the case of Pleasant Bay for instance, be? cause the thriving settlement of Cheticamp and the only good harbour for boats on the entire west coast is within a few miles and affords much better opportunities for either fishing or farming than where they are now.... (Cautley goes on to describe his proposed southern boundary for the Park, from west coast to east. He then discusses the area from the Aspy River to the intersection of the Cabot Trail with the road to White Point. He suggests merely a Parkway, 250 or 300 feet on each side of the Cabot Trail, through this area--disturbing as few inhabitants as possible, but maintain? ing the northerly circuit of the Cabot Trail under Park administration.) Cabot Trail ... I have already stated my opinion that the section (of the Cabot Trail from Pleas? ant Bay to Cape North), although built on steeper grades than any existing Parks highway, is a good road which may be safe? ly operated as a Parks undertaking. The section (from Cape North to Ingonish) will need considerable widening and im? provement but no great expenditure is nec? essary in the immediate future. The section (from Cheticamp bridge to Pleasant Bay), however, will, in my opin? ion, have to be completely relocated and constructed as an entirely new road. As lo? cated at present, there are a great many prohibitive grades of from 127o to l77o which can only be avoided by making a new location. I made as careful a survey of the road as I could without instruments other than the speedometer of my car and some survey aner? oid readings. Subsequently, through the kindness of the Highway Department at Hal? ifax, I was able to obtain profiles of much of the road that I had been over, and found that my estimated grades were in? clined to be less than those shown by the profile. In no case did my estimates ex? ceed them. From Cheticamp bridge, the Trail follows the coast for five miles. This part of it is strictly single track road, with a few turning out places, and numerous grades of from 107o to 157o. It could be improved as to width and curvature, but it would cost a lot of money and is not worth it. Noth? ing but relocation would eliminate the grades. At the end of the above five miles, the Trail tums sharply inland up a steep- sided gully and for 0,55 miles climbs on grades from 15% to 177o. (Cautley gives de? tailed figures for the grades in the road over French and MacKenzie Mountains.) I consider that the Trail will have to be relocated, and a new road built, from Mile 0 to Mile 18.25. If it is found that this road can be built around the cliffs and benches on the sea-front all the way, it will be so outstandingly scenic that it will become internationally famous. The cost of such a road will of course be more than that of ordinary highway con? struction, but in any case, my recommenda? tion of the Cape Breton site for a Nation? al Park of Canada must depend entirely on whether the Dominion Government is willing to construct a good road from Cheticamp to Pleasant Bay. Moreover, it would probably not cost much more than a new road over the top of the mountains, which is the on? ly alternative, and the coast road would, in my opinion, be incomparably more scenic. In this connection, it may be noted that Island Crafts We House the Talents ' of Over 300 Cape Breton Craftspeople VISIT OUR STORE & SEE THE KALEIDOSCOPE OF TREASURES Handknit Fishermen's Sweaters - Kitchen Accessories Designer Mohair Sweaters - Hand Carved Clan Crests Hats & Scarves-for Every Age Group - Cookbooks Intricate Designs in Pottery - Hand Appliqued Quilts Ruffled Cushions - Wide Selection of Baby Items The Mad Potters Collection - Boats in Bottles A Good Selection of Local Literature The list is endlessl Treat yourself to ISLAND CRAFTS. Iwholesale; full line of souvenirs! The Focus of Your Visit to Cape Breton, in Downtown Sydney "Rise and Follies" performers in Island Crafts sweaters and scarves OPEN YEAR ROUND: MONDAY TO SATURDAY, 9 TO 5; FRIDAY, 9 TO 9 539-6474 329 Charlotte St., Sydney 564-5527
Cape Breton's Magazine
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