Never Drive on a Side Road in Cape Breton


There’s a rule in Cape Breton for driving that you should be aware of.  Don’t use side roads.  Even if they are on your mapping software.  There’s something strange about road maintenance in Nova Scotia.

Here’s the letter I wrote to The Chronicle Herald in an attempt to warn others and effect change.

New Harris Raod Cape Breton
Note the running water long after the rainfall was done.

Hi Voice of the People,

For your consideration ….

It was a lovely post Canada Day weekend in Cape Breton. We (tourists from BC) were returning to Baddeck from Louisbourg when we encountered a Canada-wide phenomenon called highway repairs. We thought we’d be clever and avoid them.

The map showed a side road called New Harris Road. We took it. In a Prius.

Now, I hear all you Cape Bretoners laughing because apparently there’s a rule not to use side roads.

To call New Harris Road a road is like calling a cow path a highway. My least favourite part was the precipitous drop into Bras d’Or Lake one inch from my driver’s side door. I regained my childhood religion praying that no oncoming cars would appear. My family hoped the mud puddles were not deep and that the stones were not too slippery.

My request of Nova Scotia is to put up a damn sign at the beginning that says “This road is crap. Try only with a 4×4. We don’t want to haul your corpse out of the lake.”

New Harris Road Cape Breton
In other circumstances, this would be scenic.
New Harris Road Cape Breton
Stay away.

Where to stay in Cape Breton

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