I hope that this page will help you find the Fortress of Louisbourg and much more!!
I love maps......especially Nova Scotia maps and Cape Breton maps. I always see and learn something new! I know that when folks travel they want good instructions about how to get to where they want to go.
Before I get started on giving you several options to get to the Fortress of Louisbourg, I want to say again how important it is to get a map of Cape Breton! What can I say.....I love maps!
Seriously, there are many twists and turns on the roads in Cape Breton. Lots of country roads, lots of seldom used roads and lots of roads off-the-beaten track that you may wish to explore.
GPS is a wonderful tool BUT I never travel around Cape Breton without a map! Just some friendly advice.........
You can call Nova Scotia Tourism toll-free at 1-800-565-000 and they will send you a FREE map of Nova Scotia plus a ton of other tourism brochures.
Vistor Information Centres are scattered across the province so you can stop at any one of these to get FREE maps. The folks there are very friendly and helpful. They will have all of the answers to your questions.
Okay! Let's get started!
I will give you 4 travel options on getting to the Fortress of Louisbourg. I have included a google map at the bottom of this page to help you visualize the options.
Unfortunately or fortunately, there is a lot to see on the way so you may get distracted! But hopefully you will eventually make it to the fortress!
If you are just arriving in Cape Breton via the Canso Causeway and want mostly highway and faster roads then the best way is to access Highway 105 en route to North Sydney. This single-lane highway (there are some passing lanes) skirts along the western side of the Bras d'Or Lake so it is a very nice drive.
Once you arrive in North Sydney follow highway 125 (divided highway) to Sydney. Take exit 8 off highway 125 once in Sydney and this will take you to route 22.
Route 22 is also known as the Sydney-Louisbourg Highway. Once on route 22 follow the signs to the Fortress of Louisbourg (about 37 km or 23 miles).
A more scenic route is via the Fleur-de-Lis Trail on the eastern side of the island. This scenic trail starts at the Canso Causeway and ends at the Fortress of Louisbourg, 263 km (164 miles) later.
Take route 4 from the Canso Causeway through Port Hawkesbury until you reach St. Peters. Once in St. Peters follow route 247 to L'Ardoise.
This road will lead through small coastal communities along the Atlantic Ocean. It is not a fast road so beware that it might be slow-going especially if you are pulling a camper.
You will travel through communities such as L-Archeveque, Frambroise, Forchu and Gabarus Lake. At Gabarus, the route number changes to 327 and turns north toward Marion Bridge.
Turn right toward Trout Brook and Albert Bridge before you cross Marion Bridge. You will drive along the famous Mira River on this road. Follow the signs to Albert Bridge until you meet up with route 22.
Follow the signs to the Fortress once you are on route 22.
A second scenic route is also via route 4 from the Canso Causeway. Except this time you stay on route 4 and follow the Bras d'Or Lake Scenic Drive. Total distance along this route to the Fortress is 182 km (113 miles).
You will be following the east side of the Bras d'Or Lake and will travel through the communities of Barrahead, Johnstown, Irish Vale, Big Pond and Ben Eoin. This is a very picturesque drive.
However, the road is hilly and full of curves so it is not fast. Follow route 4 until Sydney River, take highway 125 and then exit 8 to route 22 and follow the signs to the Fortress.
If you find yourself in Glace Bay you can make your way to Louisbourg via the Marconi Trail. This trail follows the most eastern coast of Cape Breton through some of the most remote and rugged coastline that you will find in Nova Scotia.
Take route 255 from Glace Bay toward Donkin, Port Morien and then on to Mira Gut. Through Mira Gut you will follow the impressive coastline of Mira Bay.
Follow the signs to Main-a-Dieu and then Little Lorraine and Big Lorriane and finally, to the Fortress of Louisbourg. The Marconi Trail from Glace Bay to Louisbourg is 60 km (37 miles).
However, these are country roads so they are slow and you may wish to stop many times to enjoy the scenery.
I have placed these 4 options on the google map below. Click on Fortress of Louisbourg to get a larger view. You can even print it if you wish.
Hope this information is helpful!