I often call the Southern part of Cape Breton the neglected part of the island. Isle Madame, L’Ardoise, Grand River and Framboise are just some of the small villages located in this part of the island that few people think to visit. I’m not sure why that is; the area is vastly different from other parts of the island but the rugged and serene beauty rivals anywhere else in Cape Breton. Framboise is most popular with locals as a fishing and hunting destination but it is also a great place to spend the day if you love being, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere.
There are two ways to get to this part of the island; via Marion Bridge or via St. Peter’s along Route 4. Framboise is actually an area made up of several small communities including l’Archeveque and Fourchu. There are no museums, no gift shops, no amusement parks and, most importantly, no crowds in this part of the island. There are only long, sandy beaches, lonely lakes and gravel roads to the deep interior. The countryside is lined with Victorian-era homes, some long-abandoned after their owners went away for work decades earlier. Hunters enjoy an abundance of wild game including partridge, rabbit and deer and fishermen enjoy entire lakes to themselves where trout and other species are plentiful and salmon run at certain times of the year. The most popular beach in the area is Morrison Beach. This long, sandy beach is a great place to take a refreshing dip in the ocean, to beachcomb for unique rocks and seashells and have a fire after the sun goes down. The beaches in the area are also popular with treasure hunters who come with their metal detectors hoping to find coins or other valuables from one of the many sunken ships that met their end in the rough waters offshore. Historians have a field day walking through the woods where one often happens upon old foundations and cemeteries long forgotten.
Andrea MacEachern is a freelance travel writer and amateur photographer living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. anotherdayforgrace.blogspot.ca