New Glasgow to North Sydney, Nova Scotia on the Trans-Canada Highway

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!

Elevation Chart HighwayNotes Itinerary

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 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. (Links: Wikipedia and Official site)

History: New Glasow to Sydney
Nova Scotia road reports

Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map

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Next West: Truro to New Glasgow
Charlottetown, PEI to New Glasgow
Next East: Port-aux-Basques to Corner Brook
Argentia to Whitbourne (Jun-Sept)

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Distance Scale:
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Elevation Scale:
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Detailed Itinerary


Highway Point & Features


Ferry To Port Aux Basques and Argentia, Newfoundland (North Sydney)  1.8 
Exit 20 to Hwy 125 (Main St) south to Sydney (22 km) (North Sydney)  24.7 
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
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 Lookoout 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 Anns (10 km), North River PP (16 km) (Cabot Trail)  18.6 
41  Glen Tosh, Town of 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  Junct 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) 
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 Peters (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, HW 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 Hwy4 and Town of Antigonish, all services (Antigonish)  17.7 
197  Exit to Hwy 4, (now Hwy4/104 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 Hwy4/104 to west) 142.6 
218  Exit to Hwy 4, community of Broadway (now Hwy4/104 to east) (Broadway)  87.5 
226  Exit to Hwy 4, community of French River (French River)  100 
230.8  Exit 29 to Hwy4, 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 (1km) 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 Hwy289, 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 


Highway Point & Features


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