Magnificent Cabot Trail winds around the northern end of Cape Breton

Why Travel between New Glasgow and North Sydney?

This route takes you anlong the Northumberland shorline of Nova Scotia, up to the Canso Causeway to Cape Breton. Once an isolated island on the northern tip of Nova Scotia, now considered its heart and soul. Cape Breton is home to the saltwater Bras d’Or Lake, the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and Historic Site, the rebuilt French Fortress of Louisbourg, and the bet detour off the Trans-Canada: the Cabot Trail!

Here is the Eastbound itinerary for the 255 km along Highway #104, 105 from New Glasgow to North Sydney:

From Pictou, the Trans-Canada climbs up the Pictou Highlands, with its rolling hills which expose ancient quartzite, and lava. These hills are interesting in that the hills are covered with hardwoods while the valleys have softwood conifers. The road then drops into the Antigonish Lowlands, where rich fertile soils have long been farmed. The waters offshore are rich in lobster and sea trout. The Guysborough-Bras d’Or lowlands are temperate, being a distance from the open Atlantic.

Canso Causeway view

The Canso Strait was an ancient river, pushed down by the weight of the Ice Age glaciers, and since risen back above sea level. The causeway was bu8ilt in 1955 to better connect Newfoundland (which had joined Confederation just 6 years earlier) to the rest of Canada, by removing one ferry trip. In the winter, the waters to the east are ice-free but the waters to the west of the causeway are clogged with Gulf of St Lawrence drift ice. The towns of Port Hastings and Port Hawkesbury on the north side of the Causeway are a good rest stop, with a view of the Strait.

Baddeck Lighthouse
Bras d’Or Lake became an inland sea when the ocean rose from its waterline closer to Sable Island. This lake has a tidal range of only ½ meter, and is popular for fishing and watching eagles doing the same. Ocean access is at two points, in the north at St Andrew’s Channel, near North Sydney, and in the south with a canal at St Peter’s (for small boats). About midway up the lake, is the town of Baddeck. This town is best known for its star resident, Alexander Graham Bell who built his summer house here, after becoming wealthy for his invention of the telephone, because of its similarity to his native Scotland.

Cabot Trail scenic drive
While the Ferries to Newfoundland leave from North Sydney, visitors may wish to detour east for a few points of interest. Most notably, is the French fortress at Louisbourg, begun in 1719 to defend the mouth of the St Lawrence and their colony at Quebec City. It was destroyed by the British after 1758 when they finally dominated North America, but restored in the 1970s and staffed by period re-enactors to recreate the lifestyle of the fortress’s inhabitants in 1740s.

Costumed re-enactors at Louisbourg Fortress
More infamously, in the eastern area of Sydney are the ‘tar ponds,’ a 68 hectare (268 acre) environmental wasteland caused by a hundred years of coal mining in the area which provided fuel for the coke ovens of the town’s steel mill, which deposited a million tonnes of contaminated soil into the estuary. The mill closed in 2001,and the various levels of government have been working (though glacially) to begin environmental remediation.

Also, not to be missed, while in this part of Canada is the Cabot Trail, a road that winds up and down the coastal highlands in the northern part of Nova Scotia. It circumnavigates the  Cape Breton Highlands National Park and reaches its most northern point at Cape North. South access is just south of Baddeck, and the north access is just west of Sydney.

Elevation Chart - New Glasgow to North Sydney

Elevation Chart - New Glasgow to North Sydney

Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map

Use mouse to drag/move map. Click on “+” or “” to zoom in or out. “Satellite” combines map & photo.
Note:

Itinerary Details

 

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
0Ferry To Port Aux Basques (year-round) and Argentia (summertime), Newfoundland (North Sydney) 1.8
3Exit 20 to Hwy 125 (Main St) south to Sydney (22 km) and to Fortress of Louisbourg (60 km) (North Sydney) 24.7
4Exit 19 Hwy 305, Grand Narrows Road, E to Sydney Mines, (North Sydney) 14.9
5.2Alder Point Rd (N), Church Rd (S) to Arm of Gold camping, Driftwood camping (North Sydney) 11.9
5.6Crossing St Andrews Channel, railway underpass on E side2.1
5.8Aconi Point Rd (N)1.8
6.5Exit # 18 Hwy 162, W to Mill Creek27.4
8.5Exit #19, Boulardarie Rd, S to Boulardarie and Ross Point6.1
9.5Exit 21 Pleasant St (S), into North Sydney, Memorial Dr (N) access to shore Rd to Sydney Mines (3 km) (North Sydney) 8.8
12.5Exit #16 N to Dalem Lake PP, road to Boularderie East71
14.3Pass Dalem Lake to NW96.3
19Exit 14 road To Boularderie East60.4
19.5East end of bridge over Bras d’Or Lake24.1
20.5West end of bridge over Bras d’Or Lake5.8
20.9West end of causeway4
21.1Stewart Rd (N) along coast, S to Seal Island & North Sidney KOA (902) 674-214514.3
25.8Kelly’s Mountain, Bras d-Or Lookout view point, looking east138.7
27.7Access to hiking trails on N side of hwy251.2
28.5Scenic View, St.Ann’s Lookout, view west210
31.5Exit #12 route 312, W to Englishtown, ferry between Jersey Cove and Englishtown107
36.5Exit #11 Hwy 19 to Cabot Trail, N to St Ann’s (10 km), North River PP (16 km) (Cabot Trail) 18.6
41Glen Tosh, Town of St Ann’s17.1
41.3Big Harbour Rd (E) to Big Harbour (4 km) on St Andrews Channel47.2
43Big Hill Rd (W)58.5
44Road east to town of Big Harbour on Great Bras d’Or47.5
46Route 205 NE access to Baddeck (Baddeck) 30.5
55Exit #10 S Margaree Rd SE to Baddeck (Baddeck) 84.7
56Exit #9, Hwy 205 (Shore Rd) Town of Baddeck (Baddeck) 54.6
57Crossing MacGregors Pond0.9
58Town of Nyanza7.9
58Exit #8, Shore Road, S to Baddeck (Baddeck) 6.4
58.4Town of Wagmatook16.8
60.4Town of St. Patricks Channel24.7
62Crossing Hurnes River4.3
63Baddeck River crossing9.1
63Junction of Hwy 233, Short ferry to Little Narrows and Eastmere, McKinnons Harbour and Iona,11.6
63.8Junction Highway 19, access to Cabot Trail west shore N to Margaree Harbor (Cabot Trail) 3.4
65Crossing Nyanza Bay/ Back Bay4.6
67.2Middle River Crossing9.4
67.4North boundary Wagmatcook 1 Indian Reserve17.4
70.2South boundary Wagmatcook 1 Indian Reserve14
74.8Crossing Skye River3.4
79Exit 6 Town Iron Mines, E to Orangedale and Bras D’Or Lakes14.3
81Route 223 (E) 3, Short ferry to Little Narrows (2 km), Estermere (9 km), MacCornack PP (25 km) (Aberdeen/Little Narrows) 11.9
83Town to Blues Mills67.4
86Town of Upper River Denys54.3
90.6road NE to Whycomagh PP (1 km) with 2000 ft Salt Mountain, camping (Whycomagh) 9.8
90.8Main St (W) into Whycomagh (Whycomagh) 8.8
91.4Exit 5 N to Hwy 395 and 252 (W), access to Glenview Campground, and Main St (E) (Whycomagh) 12.5
91.5Skye River crossing, North boundary of Whycocomagh 2 Indian Reserve (Whycomagh) 4
93.2Reservation Rd (W), Whycocomagh Reserve18
96.3Road (S) to Groves Point PP5.5
98.2South boundary of Whycocomagh 2 Indian Reserve19.5
98.2View SE to Bras d’Or Lake19.5
98.4road to S14.3
99Town Glendale34.4
105Glencoe Rd (W), Big Marsh Rd (E)47.9
108Large gravel pit on W side of hwy37.5
110River Denys Mountain Rd (E) to River Denys (10 km)20.7
115.4River Denys Mountain Rd (W)48.2
117.1Maple Brook Rd36.9
121Crossing Glendale Brook28
122.2W Bay Rd (E), to Cleveland and Hwy 413.7
124Town of Kingsville and Crossing MacLeods Brook11
125.4McIntryre Mountain Rd28
127Crossing Rough Brook32
129McMaster Rd (E) to commercial gravel pit87.2
130Town of Queensville71
135.8Intersection: General Line (W) and Crossing Brown Brook105.8
136.3intersection: Long Stretch Rd (E), Horton Lake Rd (W) to Horton Lake101.8
138Port Hawkesbury Airport access (W)104.2
140.5Hwy 4/104 S to Port Hawkesbury, and continuing along east shore of Bras d’Or Lake to St Peter’s (52 km) and Sydney (137 km). (Port Hawksbury) 14.6
140.7Exit 1, traffic circle, E to Port Hastings, W to Hwy 19 scenic coastal highway, NW to Troy (6 km) (Port Hastings) 10.7
141Canso Causeway N end, with shipping channel and lighthouse, Highway to NE is #1058.2
143Canso Causeway S end, highway to SW is #10435.1
145Exit 40 to Hwy344, town of Mulgrave (6 km)17.7
149intersection, Auld’s Cove Rd (#4)82.9
153Exit 38, EB, N to Havre Boucher, S to Frankville8.2
155Exit 38, EB, N to Hyclass Camground (2 km), Havre Boucher (7 km), S to Frankville53.6
162.4pass Jacksons Lake (E)36.9
163.6Crossing Tracadie River and St Georges Bay2.4
164.2Exit 37 to Hwy 4 and 16, N to Tracadie, S to Boylston (32 km), Guysborough (42 km)11
167.6Pomqust and Afton 23 Indian Reservation57
171.7Road, S to Heatherton, N to Summerside 38 Indian Reservation39.9
173Pomqust and Afton 23 Indian Reservation15.2
173Afton River crossing46.9
176Exit 36a Hwy #4 N to Afton and Bayfield Beach54.9
177Exit 36 S to Heatherton, N to Bayfield39.9
179Pomquest River crossing4.6
186.7Exit 35 Hwy 316, S to Goshen (30 km)12.5
187.2intersection, N to South Side Harbour Road6.7
187.4South River crossing2.7
190Exit 34 N to Hwy 4 and east access Antigonish (Antigonish) 24.7
192Beach Hill Rd intersection (Antigonish) 12.5
192.7West River crossing (Antigonish) 8.2
193Exit 33 Antigonish Church St intersection (Antigonish) 21.3
194Exit 32 to Hwy 7, N to Town of Antigonish , all services, S to scenic route along east shore of Nova Scotia (Antigonish) 18.6
195Exit 31 N to Hwy 4 and Town of Antigonish , all services (Antigonish) 17.7
197Exit to Hwy 4, (now Hwy 4/104 to east)39.9
204James River crossing53.9
206Exit 30 N to Hwy 4, SW to Beaver Mountain Prov Park (3 km), SE to Cameron’s Brook PP (2 km)73.5

Riverside International Speedway, a 1/3-mile high banked asphalt oval, is located in James River..

212Exit to Hwy 4 (now Hwy 4/104 to west)142.6
218Exit to Hwy 4, community of Broadway (now Hwy 4/104 to east) (Broadway) 87.5
226Exit to Hwy 4, community of French River (French River) 100
230.8Exit 29 to Hwy 4, N to Avondale, S to Barneys River61.6
231Crossing French River48.2
237Crossing Sutherlands River & Mengomish Harbour3.7
237Exit 27 to Hwy 4 and 245, scenic coastal road N to Merigomish (8 km) and Lismore (22 km)13.1
239Junction of Hwy 4, Access N to Melmerby Beach PP (11 km), Powell’s Point PP (12 km)39.9
246Exit 26 to route 347 (Vale Rd) S to Coalburn (New Glasgow) 48.5
247Crossing Shale Brook (New Glasgow) 31.7
250Crossing East River of Pictou (New Glasgow) 1.8
250Exit 25 to route 348 (E River Rd) N to town of New Glasgow, all services, airport, S to Stellarton (1 km) E to McLellans Brook (2 km) (New Glasgow) 8.8
251Exit 24 to route 374 (Foord St), N to town of New Glasgow, all services, S to Stellarton (New Glasgow) 18.3
252Exit 23 to Hwy 289, S to Westville, E go New Glasgow, all services (New Glasgow) 37.5
253.5overpass for Munroe Ave (no access) (New Glasgow) 65.8
254underpass Mount William Rd (no access) (New Glasgow) 81.4
255Exit 22 N to Hwy 106, town of Pictou (14 km), Ferry to PEI (19 km) (New Glasgow) 51.5
KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)

 

KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
0Exit 22 N to Hwy 106, town of Pictou (14 km), Ferry to PEI (19 km) (New Glasgow 51.5
1underpass Mount William Rd (no access) (New Glasgow) 81.4
1.5overpass for Munroe Ave (no access) (New Glasgow) 65.8
3Exit 23 to Hwy 89, S to Westville, E go New Glasgow, all services (New Glasgow) 37.5
4Exit 24 to route 374 (Foord St), N to town of New Glasgow, all services, S to Stellarton (New Glasgow) 18.3
5Crossing East River of Pictou (New Glasgow) 1.8
5Exit 25 to route 348 (E River Rd) N to town of New Glasgow, all services, airport, S to Stellarton (1 km) E to McLellans Brook (2 km) (New Glasgow) 8.8
8Crossing Shale Brook (New Glasgow) 31.7
9Exit 26 to route 347 (Vale Rd) S to Coalburn (New Glasgow48.5
16Junction of Hwy 4, Access N to Melmerby Beach PP (11 km), Powell’s Point PP (12 km)39.9
18Crossing Sutherlands River & Mengomish Harbour3.7
18Exit 27 to Hwy 4 and 245, scenic coastal road N to Merigomish (8 km) and Lismore (22 km)13.1
24Crossing French River48.2
24.2Exit 29 to Hwy 4, N to Avondale, S to Barneys River61.6
29Exit to Hwy 4, community of French River (French River) 100
37Exit to Hwy 4, community of Broadway (now Hwy 4/104 to east) (Broadway) 87.5
43Exit to Hwy 4 (now Hwy 4/104 to west)142.6
49Exit 30 N to Hwy 4, SW to Beaver Mountain Prov Park (3 km), SE to Cameron’s Brook PP (2 km)73.5

Riverside International Speedway, a 1/3-mile high banked asphalt oval, is located in James River.

51James River crossing53.9
58Exit to Hwy 4, (now Hwy 4/104 to east)39.9
60Exit 31 N to Hwy 4 and Town of Antigonish, all services (Antigonish) 17.7
61Exit 32 to Hwy 7, N to Town of Antigonish, all services, S to scenic route along east shore of Nova Scotia (Antigonish) 18.6
62Exit 33 Antigonish Church St intersection (Antigonish) 21.3
62.3West River crossing (Antigonish) 8.2
63Beach Hill Rd intersection (Antigonish) 12.5
65Exit 34 N to Hwy 4 and east access Antigonish (Antigonish) 24.7
67.6South River crossing2.7
67.8intersection, N to South Side Harbour Road6.7
68.3Exit 35 Hwy 316, S to Goshen (30 km)12.5
76Pomquest River crossing4.6
78Exit 36 S to Heatherton, N to Bayfield39.9
79Exit 36a Hwy #4 N to Afton and Bayfield Beach54.9
82Pomqust and Afton 23 Indian Reservation15.2
82Afton River crossing46.9
83.3Road, S to Heatherton, N to Summerside 38 Indian Reservation39.9
87.4Pomqust and Afton 23 Indian Reservation57
90.8Exit 37 to Hwy 4 and 16, N to Tracadie, S to Boylston (32 km), Guysborough (42 km)11
91.4Crossing Tracadie River and St Georges Bay2.4
92.6pass Jacksons Lake (E)36.9
100Exit 38, EB, N to Hyclass Campground (2 km), Havre Boucher (7 km), S to Frankville53.6
102Exit 38, EB, N to Havre Boucher, S to Frankville8.2
106intersection, Auld’s Cove Rd (#4)82.9
110Exit 40 to Hwy 344, town of Mulgrave (6 km)17.7
112Canso Causeway S end, highway to SW is #10435.1
114Canso Causeway N end, with shipping channel and lighthouse, Highway to NE is #1058.2
114.3Exit 1, traffic circle, E to Port Hastings, W to Hwy 19 scenic coastal highway, NW to Troy (6 km) (Port Hastings) 10.7
114.5Hwy 4/104 S to Port Hawkesbury, and continuing along east shore of Bras d’Or Lake to St Peter’s (52 km) and Sydney (137 km). (Port Hawksbury) 14.6
117Port Hawkesbury Airport access (W)104.2
118.7intersection: Long Stretch Rd (E), Horton Lake Rd (W) to Horton Lake101.8
119.2Intersection: General Line (W) and Crossing Brown Brook105.8
125Town of Queensville71
126McMaster Rd (E) to commercial gravel pit87.2
128Crossing Rough Brook32
129.6McIntryre Mountain Rd28
131Town of Kingsville and Crossing MacLeods Brook11
132.8W Bay Rd (E), to Cleveland and Hwy 413.7
134Crossing Glendale Brook28
137.9Maple Brook Rd36.9
139.6River Denys Mountain Rd (W)48.2
145River Denys Mountain Rd (E) to River Denys (10 km)20.7
147Large gravel pit on W side of hwy37.5
150Glencoe Rd (W), Big Marsh Rd (E)47.9
156Town Glendale34.4
156.6road to S14.3
156.8South boundary of Whycocomagh 2 Indian Reserve19.5
156.8View SE to Bras d’Or Lake19.5
158.7Road (S) to Groves Point PP5.5
161.8Reservation Rd (W), Whycocomagh Reserve18
163.5Skye River crossing, North boundary of Whycocomagh 2 Indian Reserve (Whycomagh) 4
163.6Exit 5 N to Hwy 395 and 252 (W), access to Glenview Campground, and Main St (E) (Whycomagh) 12.5
164.2Main St (W) into Whycomagh (Whycomagh) 8.8
164.4road NE to Whycomagh PP (1 km) with 2000 ft Salt Mountain, camping (Whycomagh) 9.8
169Town of Upper River Denys54.3
172Town to Blues Mills67.4
174Route 223 (E) 3, Short ferry to Little Narrows (2 km), Estermere (9 km), MacCornack PP (25 km) (Aberdeen/Little Narrows) 11.9
176Exit 6 Town Iron Mines, E to Orangedale and Bras D’Or Lakes14.3
180.2Crossing Skye River3.4
184.8South boundary Wagmatcook 1 Indian Reserve14
187.6North boundary Wagmatcook 1 Indian Reserve17.4
187.8Middle River Crossing9.4
190Crossing Nyanza Bay/ Back Bay4.6
191.2Junction Highway 19, access to Cabot Trail west shore N to Margarees Harbour (Cabot Trail) 3.4
192Baddeck River crossing9.1
192Junction of Hwy 233, Short ferry to Little Narrows and Eastmere, McKinnons Harbour and Iona,11.6
193Crossing Hurnes River4.3
194.6Town of St. Patricks Channel24.7
196.6Town of Wagmatook16.8
197Town of Nyanza7.9
197Exit #8, Shore Road, S to Baddeck(Baddeck) 6.4
198Crossing MacGregors Pond0.9
199Exit #9, Hwy 205 (Shore Rd) Town of Baddeck(Baddeck) 54.6
200Exit #10 S Margaree Rd SE to Baddeck (Baddeck) 84.7
209Route 205 NE access to Baddeck (Baddeck) 30.5
211Road east to town of Big Harbour on Great Bras d’Or47.5
212Big Hill Rd (W)58.5
213.7Big Harbour Rd (E) to Big Harbour (4 km) on St Andrews Channel47.2
214Glen Tosh, Town of17.1
218.5Exit #11 Hwy 19 to Cabot Trail, N to St Ann’s (10 km), North River PP (16 km) (Cabot Trail) 18.6
223.5Exit #12 route 312, W to Englishtown, ferry between Jersey Cove and Englishtown107
226.5Scenic View, St.Ann’s Lookout, view west210
227.3Access to hiking trails on N side of hwy251.2
229.2Kelly’s Mountain, Bras d-Or Lookout view point, looking east138.7
233.9Stewart Rd (N) along coast, S to Seal Island & North Sidney KOA (902) 674-214514.3
234.1West end of causeway4
234.5West end of bridge over Bras d’Or Lake5.8
235.5East end of bridge over Bras d’Or Lake24.1
236Exit 14 road To Boularderie East60.4
240.7Pass Dalem Lake to NW96.3
242.5Exit #16 N to Dalem Lake PP, road to Boularderie East71
245.5Exit 21 Pleasant St (S), into North Sydney, Memorial Dr (N) access to shore Rd to Sydney Mines (3 km) (North Sydney) 8.8
246.5Exit #19, Boulardarie Rd, S to Boulardarie and Ross Point6.1
248.5Exit # 18 Hwy 162, W to Mill Creek27.4
249.2Aconi Point Rd (N)1.8
249.4Crossing St Andrews Channel, railway underpass on E side2.1
249.8Alder Point Rd (N), Church Rd (S) to Arm of Gold camping, Driftwood camping (North Sydney) 11.9
251Exit 19 Hwy 305, Grand Narrows Road, E to Sydney Mines, (North Sydney) 14.9
252Exit 20 to Hwy 125 (Main St) south to Sydney (22 km) and to Fortress of Louisbourg (60 km) (North Sydney) 24.7
255Ferry To Port Aux Basques (year-round) and Argentia (summertime), Newfoundland (North Sydney) 1.8
KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)