“Don’t miss Meat Cove!” It was a beautiful fall day on Prince Edward Island. We were talking to a couple who were full-timers in their Roadtrek. We were headed to Nova Scotia. They had just come from Nova Scotia. We had asked what we should be sure to see during our one week visit. We knew we couldn’t see it all. They said to be sure to do the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island. We nodded, we had read all about it, but they caught us by surprise, “But do not miss Meat Cove”. Huh? We’d never heard of Meat Cove. It’s as far north as you can drive in Nova Scotia on a dead end dirt road, they explained, with a campground on the bluff overlooking the cove and a chowder hut with delicious chowder. Not much else there – a beautiful place.
We checked the map. Yes, there it was. You don’t pass through Meat Cove, if you end up there it is because it was your destination. It is a remote fishing village with a population of about 65. And that is likely only the summer population. It is literally the end of the road. There are hiking trails that lead into the wilderness surrounding the area, but not much else. What used to be roads beyond Meat Cove are now hiking trails that lead to former villages, a former zinc mine and a former lighthouse location. But the remote beauty attracts only a few handfuls of visitors each day when the weather is nice. It feels like the end of the world.
The campground has no hookups and rather sketchy bathroom facilities, but the view is incredible. No big rigs out here. But it is the perfect spot for a Class B. A few tent campers and a Roadtrek Agile were our only neighbors. If you are into luxury, skip it, but if you want to see the remote unquenchable beauty of Cape Breton Island this is the place. At dusk we enjoyed the view out the window while eating fantastic seafood chowder delivered to our campsite from the Chowder Hut a stone’s throw across the road.
The next morning we walked down the road to the smooth-pebble beach, and our dogs enjoyed a wild, unleashed run. Only met one other person. We could see our Roadtrek on the bluff above. Our friends were right – don’t miss Meat Cove!
We bought a book on the history of Cape Breton Island which was full of stories of survival in a remote isolated area where winters were long and dangerous times. If you are interested in history, this area is fascinating. The campground is run by the MacLellan family, one of the original families to settle the area. The campground even has a website (click here).
And while you are off the beaten path, plan a detour into Bay Saint Lawrence on your way to Meat Cove. The sunshine illuminated brightly painted fishing boats along the estuary breakwall, a photographer’s dream!