skip to Main Content

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)
0 Ferry To Port Aux Basques (year-round) and Argentia (summertime), Newfoundland (North Sydney)  1.8
3 Exit 20 to Hwy 125 (Main St) south to Sydney (22 km) and to Fortress of Louisbourg (60 km) (North Sydney)  24.7
4 Exit 19 Hwy 305, Grand Narrows Road, E to Sydney Mines, (North Sydney)  14.9
5.2 Alder Point Rd (N), Church Rd (S) to Arm of Gold camping, Driftwood camping (North Sydney)  11.9
5.6 Crossing St Andrews Channel, railway underpass on E side 2.1
5.8 Aconi Point Rd (N) 1.8
6.5 Exit # 18 Hwy 162, W to Mill Creek 27.4
8.5 Exit #19, Boulardarie Rd, S to Boulardarie and Ross Point 6.1
9.5 Exit 21 Pleasant St (S), into North Sydney, Memorial Dr (N) access to shore Rd to Sydney Mines (3 km) (North Sydney)  8.8
12.5 Exit #16 N to Dalem Lake PP, road to Boularderie East 71
14.3 Pass Dalem Lake to NW 96.3
19 Exit 14 road To Boularderie East 60.4
19.5 East end of bridge over Bras d’Or Lake 24.1
20.5 West end of bridge over Bras d’Or Lake 5.8
20.9 West end of causeway 4
21.1 Stewart Rd (N) along coast, S to Seal Island & North Sidney KOA (902) 674-2145 14.3
25.8 Kelly’s Mountain, Bras d-Or Lookout view point, looking east 138.7
27.7 Access to hiking trails on N side of hwy 251.2
28.5 Scenic View, St.Ann’s Lookout, view west 210
31.5 Exit #12 route 312, W to Englishtown, ferry between Jersey Cove and Englishtown 107
36.5 Exit #11 Hwy 19 to Cabot Trail, N to St Ann’s (10 km), North River PP (16 km) (Cabot Trail)  18.6
41 Glen Tosh, Town of St Ann’s 17.1
41.3 Big Harbour Rd (E) to Big Harbour (4 km) on St Andrews Channel 47.2
43 Big Hill Rd (W) 58.5
44 Road east to town of Big Harbour on Great Bras d’Or 47.5
46 Route 205 NE access to Baddeck (Baddeck)  30.5
55 Exit #10 S Margaree Rd SE to Baddeck (Baddeck)  84.7
56 Exit #9, Hwy 205 (Shore Rd) Town of Baddeck (Baddeck)  54.6
57 Crossing MacGregors Pond 0.9
58 Town of Nyanza 7.9
58 Exit #8, Shore Road, S to Baddeck (Baddeck)  6.4
58.4 Town of Wagmatook 16.8
60.4 Town of St. Patricks Channel 24.7
62 Crossing Hurnes River 4.3
63 Baddeck River crossing 9.1
63 Junction of Hwy 233, Short ferry to Little Narrows and Eastmere, McKinnons Harbour and Iona, 11.6
63.8 Junction Highway 19, access to Cabot Trail west shore N to Margaree Harbor (Cabot Trail)  3.4
65 Crossing Nyanza Bay/ Back Bay 4.6
67.2 Middle River Crossing 9.4
67.4 North boundary Wagmatcook 1 Indian Reserve 17.4
70.2 South boundary Wagmatcook 1 Indian Reserve 14
74.8 Crossing Skye River 3.4
79 Exit 6 Town Iron Mines, E to Orangedale and Bras D’Or Lakes 14.3
81 Route 223 (E) 3, Short ferry to Little Narrows (2 km), Estermere (9 km), MacCornack PP (25 km) (Aberdeen/Little Narrows)  11.9
83 Town to Blues Mills 67.4
86 Town of Upper River Denys 54.3
90.6 road NE to Whycomagh PP (1 km) with 2000 ft Salt Mountain, camping (Whycomagh)  9.8
90.8 Main St (W) into Whycomagh (Whycomagh)  8.8
91.4 Exit 5 N to Hwy 395 and 252 (W), access to Glenview Campground, and Main St (E) (Whycomagh)  12.5
91.5 Skye River crossing, North boundary of Whycocomagh 2 Indian Reserve (Whycomagh)  4
93.2 Reservation Rd (W), Whycocomagh Reserve 18
96.3 Road (S) to Groves Point PP 5.5
98.2 South boundary of Whycocomagh 2 Indian Reserve 19.5
98.2 View SE to Bras d’Or Lake 19.5
98.4 road to S 14.3
99 Town Glendale 34.4
105 Glencoe Rd (W), Big Marsh Rd (E) 47.9
108 Large gravel pit on W side of hwy 37.5
110 River Denys Mountain Rd (E) to River Denys (10 km) 20.7
115.4 River Denys Mountain Rd (W) 48.2
117.1 Maple Brook Rd 36.9
121 Crossing Glendale Brook 28
122.2 W Bay Rd (E), to Cleveland and Hwy 4 13.7
124 Town of Kingsville and Crossing MacLeods Brook 11
125.4 McIntryre Mountain Rd 28
127 Crossing Rough Brook 32
129 McMaster Rd (E) to commercial gravel pit 87.2
130 Town of Queensville 71
135.8 Intersection: General Line (W) and Crossing Brown Brook 105.8
136.3 intersection: Long Stretch Rd (E), Horton Lake Rd (W) to Horton Lake 101.8
138 Port Hawkesbury Airport access (W) 104.2
140.5 Hwy 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
140.7 Exit 1, traffic circle, E to Port Hastings, W to Hwy 19 scenic coastal highway, NW to Troy (6 km) (Port Hastings)  10.7
141 Canso Causeway N end, with shipping channel and lighthouse, Highway to NE is #105 8.2
143 Canso Causeway S end, highway to SW is #104 35.1
145 Exit 40 to Hwy344, town of Mulgrave (6 km) 17.7
149 intersection, Auld’s Cove Rd (#4) 82.9
153 Exit 38, EB, N to Havre Boucher, S to Frankville 8.2
155 Exit 38, EB, N to Hyclass Camground (2 km), Havre Boucher (7 km), S to Frankville 53.6
162.4 pass Jacksons Lake (E) 36.9
163.6 Crossing Tracadie River and St Georges Bay 2.4
164.2 Exit 37 to Hwy 4 and 16, N to Tracadie, S to Boylston (32 km), Guysborough (42 km) 11
167.6 Pomqust and Afton 23 Indian Reservation 57
171.7 Road, S to Heatherton, N to Summerside 38 Indian Reservation 39.9
173 Pomqust and Afton 23 Indian Reservation 15.2
173 Afton River crossing 46.9
176 Exit 36a Hwy #4 N to Afton and Bayfield Beach 54.9
177 Exit 36 S to Heatherton, N to Bayfield 39.9
179 Pomquest River crossing 4.6
186.7 Exit 35 Hwy 316, S to Goshen (30 km) 12.5
187.2 intersection, N to South Side Harbour Road 6.7
187.4 South River crossing 2.7
190 Exit 34 N to Hwy 4 and east access Antigonish (Antigonish)  24.7
192 Beach Hill Rd intersection (Antigonish)  12.5
192.7 West River crossing (Antigonish)  8.2
193 Exit 33 Antigonish Church St intersection (Antigonish)  21.3
194 Exit 32 to Hwy 7, N to Town of Antigonish , all services, S to scenic route along east shore of Nova Scotia (Antigonish)  18.6
195 Exit 31 N to Hwy 4 and Town of Antigonish , all services (Antigonish)  17.7
197 Exit to Hwy 4, (now Hwy 4/104 to east) 39.9
204 James River crossing 53.9
206 Exit 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..

212 Exit to Hwy 4 (now Hwy 4/104 to west) 142.6
218 Exit to Hwy 4, community of Broadway (now Hwy 4/104 to east) (Broadway)  87.5
226 Exit to Hwy 4, community of French River (French River)  100
230.8 Exit 29 to Hwy 4, N to Avondale, S to Barneys River 61.6
231 Crossing French River 48.2
237 Crossing Sutherlands River & Mengomish Harbour 3.7
237 Exit 27 to Hwy 4 and 245, scenic coastal road N to Merigomish (8 km) and Lismore (22 km) 13.1
239 Junction of Hwy 4, Access N to Melmerby Beach PP (11 km), Powell’s Point PP (12 km) 39.9
246 Exit 26 to route 347 (Vale Rd) S to Coalburn (New Glasgow)  48.5
247 Crossing Shale Brook (New Glasgow)  31.7
250 Crossing East River of Pictou (New Glasgow)  1.8
250 Exit 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
251 Exit 24 to route 374 (Foord St), N to town of New Glasgow, all services, S to Stellarton (New Glasgow)  18.3
252 Exit 23 to Hwy 289, S to Westville, E go New Glasgow, all services (New Glasgow)  37.5
253.5 overpass for Munroe Ave (no access) (New Glasgow)  65.8
254 underpass Mount William Rd (no access) (New Glasgow)  81.4
255 Exit 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)
 
0 Exit 22 N to Hwy 106, town of Pictou (14 km), Ferry to PEI (19 km) (New Glasgow 51.5
1 underpass Mount William Rd (no access) (New Glasgow)  81.4
1.5 overpass for Munroe Ave (no access) (New Glasgow)  65.8
3 Exit 23 to Hwy 89, S to Westville, E go New Glasgow, all services (New Glasgow)  37.5
4 Exit 24 to route 374 (Foord St), N to town of New Glasgow, all services, S to Stellarton (New Glasgow)  18.3
5 Crossing East River of Pictou (New Glasgow)  1.8
5 Exit 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
8 Crossing Shale Brook (New Glasgow)  31.7
9 Exit 26 to route 347 (Vale Rd) S to Coalburn (New Glasgow 48.5
16 Junction of Hwy 4, Access N to Melmerby Beach PP (11 km), Powell’s Point PP (12 km) 39.9
18 Crossing Sutherlands River & Mengomish Harbour 3.7
18 Exit 27 to Hwy 4 and 245, scenic coastal road N to Merigomish (8 km) and Lismore (22 km) 13.1
24 Crossing French River 48.2
24.2 Exit 29 to Hwy 4, N to Avondale, S to Barneys River 61.6
29 Exit to Hwy 4, community of French River (French River)  100
37 Exit to Hwy 4, community of Broadway (now Hwy 4/104 to east) (Broadway)  87.5
43 Exit to Hwy 4 (now Hwy 4/104 to west) 142.6
49 Exit 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.

51 James River crossing 53.9
58 Exit to Hwy 4, (now Hwy 4/104 to east) 39.9
60 Exit 31 N to Hwy 4 and Town of Antigonish, all services (Antigonish)  17.7
61 Exit 32 to Hwy 7, N to Town of Antigonish, all services, S to scenic route along east shore of Nova Scotia (Antigonish)  18.6
62 Exit 33 Antigonish Church St intersection (Antigonish)  21.3
62.3 West River crossing (Antigonish)  8.2
63 Beach Hill Rd intersection (Antigonish)  12.5
65 Exit 34 N to Hwy 4 and east access Antigonish (Antigonish)  24.7
67.6 South River crossing 2.7
67.8 intersection, N to South Side Harbour Road 6.7
68.3 Exit 35 Hwy 316, S to Goshen (30 km) 12.5
76 Pomquest River crossing 4.6
78 Exit 36 S to Heatherton, N to Bayfield 39.9
79 Exit 36a Hwy #4 N to Afton and Bayfield Beach 54.9
82 Pomqust and Afton 23 Indian Reservation 15.2
82 Afton River crossing 46.9
83.3 Road, S to Heatherton, N to Summerside 38 Indian Reservation 39.9
87.4 Pomqust and Afton 23 Indian Reservation 57
90.8 Exit 37 to Hwy 4 and 16, N to Tracadie, S to Boylston (32 km), Guysborough (42 km) 11
91.4 Crossing Tracadie River and St Georges Bay 2.4
92.6 pass Jacksons Lake (E) 36.9
100 Exit 38, EB, N to Hyclass Campground (2 km), Havre Boucher (7 km), S to Frankville 53.6
102 Exit 38, EB, N to Havre Boucher, S to Frankville 8.2
106 intersection, Auld’s Cove Rd (#4) 82.9
110 Exit 40 to Hwy 344, town of Mulgrave (6 km) 17.7
112 Canso Causeway S end, highway to SW is #104 35.1
114 Canso Causeway N end, with shipping channel and lighthouse, Highway to NE is #105 8.2
114.3 Exit 1, traffic circle, E to Port Hastings, W to Hwy 19 scenic coastal highway, NW to Troy (6 km) (Port Hastings)  10.7
114.5 Hwy 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
117 Port Hawkesbury Airport access (W) 104.2
118.7 intersection: Long Stretch Rd (E), Horton Lake Rd (W) to Horton Lake 101.8
119.2 Intersection: General Line (W) and Crossing Brown Brook 105.8
125 Town of Queensville 71
126 McMaster Rd (E) to commercial gravel pit 87.2
128 Crossing Rough Brook 32
129.6 McIntryre Mountain Rd 28
131 Town of Kingsville and Crossing MacLeods Brook 11
132.8 W Bay Rd (E), to Cleveland and Hwy 4 13.7
134 Crossing Glendale Brook 28
137.9 Maple Brook Rd 36.9
139.6 River Denys Mountain Rd (W) 48.2
145 River Denys Mountain Rd (E) to River Denys (10 km) 20.7
147 Large gravel pit on W side of hwy 37.5
150 Glencoe Rd (W), Big Marsh Rd (E) 47.9
156 Town Glendale 34.4
156.6 road to S 14.3
156.8 South boundary of Whycocomagh 2 Indian Reserve 19.5
156.8 View SE to Bras d’Or Lake 19.5
158.7 Road (S) to Groves Point PP 5.5
161.8 Reservation Rd (W), Whycocomagh Reserve 18
163.5 Skye River crossing, North boundary of Whycocomagh 2 Indian Reserve (Whycomagh)  4
163.6 Exit 5 N to Hwy 395 and 252 (W), access to Glenview Campground, and Main St (E) (Whycomagh)  12.5
164.2 Main St (W) into Whycomagh (Whycomagh)  8.8
164.4 road NE to Whycomagh PP (1 km) with 2000 ft Salt Mountain, camping (Whycomagh)  9.8
169 Town of Upper River Denys 54.3
172 Town to Blues Mills 67.4
174 Route 223 (E) 3, Short ferry to Little Narrows (2 km), Estermere (9 km), MacCornack PP (25 km) (Aberdeen/Little Narrows)  11.9
176 Exit 6 Town Iron Mines, E to Orangedale and Bras D’Or Lakes 14.3
180.2 Crossing Skye River 3.4
184.8 South boundary Wagmatcook 1 Indian Reserve 14
187.6 North boundary Wagmatcook 1 Indian Reserve 17.4
187.8 Middle River Crossing 9.4
190 Crossing Nyanza Bay/ Back Bay 4.6
191.2 Junction Highway 19, access to Cabot Trail west shore N to Margarees Harbour (Cabot Trail)  3.4
192 Baddeck River crossing 9.1
192 Junction of Hwy 233, Short ferry to Little Narrows and Eastmere, McKinnons Harbour and Iona, 11.6
193 Crossing Hurnes River 4.3
194.6 Town of St. Patricks Channel 24.7
196.6 Town of Wagmatook 16.8
197 Town of Nyanza 7.9
197 Exit #8, Shore Road, S to Baddeck(Baddeck)  6.4
198 Crossing MacGregors Pond 0.9
199 Exit #9, Hwy 205 (Shore Rd) Town of Baddeck(Baddeck)  54.6
200 Exit #10 S Margaree Rd SE to Baddeck (Baddeck)  84.7
209 Route 205 NE access to Baddeck (Baddeck)  30.5
211 Road east to town of Big Harbour on Great Bras d’Or 47.5
212 Big Hill Rd (W) 58.5
213.7 Big Harbour Rd (E) to Big Harbour (4 km) on St Andrews Channel 47.2
214 Glen Tosh, Town of 17.1
218.5 Exit #11 Hwy 19 to Cabot Trail, N to St Ann’s (10 km), North River PP (16 km) (Cabot Trail)  18.6
223.5 Exit #12 route 312, W to Englishtown, ferry between Jersey Cove and Englishtown 107
226.5 Scenic View, St.Ann’s Lookout, view west 210
227.3 Access to hiking trails on N side of hwy 251.2
229.2 Kelly’s Mountain, Bras d-Or Lookout view point, looking east 138.7
233.9 Stewart Rd (N) along coast, S to Seal Island & North Sidney KOA (902) 674-2145 14.3
234.1 West end of causeway 4
234.5 West end of bridge over Bras d’Or Lake 5.8
235.5 East end of bridge over Bras d’Or Lake 24.1
236 Exit 14 road To Boularderie East 60.4
240.7 Pass Dalem Lake to NW 96.3
242.5 Exit #16 N to Dalem Lake PP, road to Boularderie East 71
245.5 Exit 21 Pleasant St (S), into North Sydney, Memorial Dr (N) access to shore Rd to Sydney Mines (3 km) (North Sydney)  8.8
246.5 Exit #19, Boulardarie Rd, S to Boulardarie and Ross Point 6.1
248.5 Exit # 18 Hwy 162, W to Mill Creek 27.4
249.2 Aconi Point Rd (N) 1.8
249.4 Crossing St Andrews Channel, railway underpass on E side 2.1
249.8 Alder Point Rd (N), Church Rd (S) to Arm of Gold camping, Driftwood camping (North Sydney)  11.9
251 Exit 19 Hwy 305, Grand Narrows Road, E to Sydney Mines, (North Sydney)  14.9
252 Exit 20 to Hwy 125 (Main St) south to Sydney (22 km) and to Fortress of Louisbourg (60 km) (North Sydney)  24.7
255 Ferry To Port Aux Basques (year-round) and Argentia (summertime), Newfoundland (North Sydney)  1.8
KM 
Highway Point & Features
Elev.
(metres)
 
Back To Top