Day 62: Battery Provincial Park to Arm of Gold Campground


The road from St. Peters to Sydney is exceptionally challenging. Pack plenty of food and water as the road is sparsely populated.

Johnstown is world-famous because of its Sacred Heart Church and Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine. The Sacred Heart Church was completed in 1891, and has been serving the area ever since. It has a striking presence overlooking beautiful Bras d’Or Lake.

In 1946, Antigonish’s Ronald MacLean was a chaplain in the Navy aboard the ship Uganda, when it docked in Acapulco, Mexico. There, he learned about the devotion of Catholic Mexicans to Our Lady of Guadalupe and the shrine erected in her honour near Mexico City. Years later, when MacLean became pastor at Johnstown, he commissioned the construction of a mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She was erected on the grounds of the Sacred Heart Church during the summer of 1963. Every year, parishioners pilgrimage to Mexico from Cape Breton to express their devotion.

Big Pond is the halfway mark between St. Peters and Sydney. Big Pond is the birthplace of Canadian singer Rita MacNeil and visitors flock to the area during the summer.

Sydney, population 24 115, was founded in 1785. Early in the 1900s, Sydney was home to one of the world’s largest steel plants, powered by the many coalmines in the area. In the 1960s the coal and steel industries fell on hard times and were taken over by the federal and provincial governments. The coal mining and steel manufacturing industries were disbanded in 2001.

Cape Breton Island is growing in global popularity, attracting people from all over the world. As this happens, Sydney is growing along with it to service these tourists. Many cruise ships port in Sydney during the fall to view the autumn colors. Sydney’s J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport offers direct flights to Halifax and Toronto.

The Largest Ceilidh Fiddle in the World is situated at the Sydney Waterfront.

North Sydney is home to the ferry that sails to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. The sailing takes about eight hours. Food is available onboard. Make sure to call ahead and reserve a spot on the boat.

Your destination for the evening is the Arm of Gold Campground in Sydney Mines, near North Sydney. The campground has free wireless internet, laundry and is located in proximity to the ferry to Newfoundland overlooking Bras d’Or Lake. Groceries are available in Sydney Mines.

Kilometre Log
0.0Leave Battery Provincial Park heading north towards HWY 4 / Grenville Street.
0.4Turn right on HWY 4 / Grenville Street.
8.5Barra Head.
13.1Soldiers Cove.
18.6Hay Cove.
33.7Irish Cove.
41.4Middle Cape.
47.8Big Pond & Breac Brook.
53.8Ben Eoin Beach RV Resort & Campground.
68.2HWY 216 merges with HWY 4.
75.9Sydney Forks.
80.2Enter Sydney on Kings Road.
To access Sydney continue biking on Kings Road.
81.4Cross HWY 125.
81.5Turn left to access HWY 125.
82.2Cross Sydney River on HWY 125.
90.0Balls Creek.
97.2North Sydney.
100.0Intersection of HWY 125 & HWY 105. Turn right if you want to access the ferry. To continue to Golden Arm Campground continue straight on HWY 125 as it turns into HWY 305 / Main Street.
103.1Turn left on Cottage Street.
103.2Turn right on Jacob Street.
103.6Turn left on Crescent Street.
103.9Turn right on Church Street.
104.1Arm of Gold Campground & Trailer Park.

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