East Margaree Road


Google Maps Name
East Margaree Road
Local Usage
East Margaree Road
South to North
Start Point
46°19.672'N 61°04.800'W, at its junction with the Cabot Trail and Doyles Road in Margaree Forks
End Point
46°26.633'N 61°05.536'W, at the Cabot Trail in Belle-Côte
13.8 km (8⅗ mi)
Local Road
Variable, poor to good, depending on location
Route Description
This lovely route begins on the Cabot Trail just south of Doyles Bridge over the Northeast Margaree River. At 185 m (⅛ mi), you will reach Doyles Bridge, where you will see a small parking area at the left side of the road before you cross. Stop here and walk across the bridge to enjoy the fine views of the River; southeast of the bridge is Doyles Bridge Pool, one of numerous salmon fishing pools in the Margarees, where you will likely see fishermen trying their luck in the River. At the right side of the road across from the bridge, look for a path down to the River’s edge and follow it to the banks for even finer views; you can walk along those banks on paths the fishermen use in either direction—I’ve gone as far as Margaree Forks in the westerly direction. Once back in your car, at the 400 m (¼ mi) mark, you will pass the junction with the West Big Intervale Road. There, the East Margaree Road turns west (left) briefly and then north again shortly thereafter, mirroring the course of the River, but some distance away from its banks. At Margaree Forks, the Southwest Margaree River and the Northeast Margaree River merge and become the Margaree River from there to the Gulf. As you proceed north, the plains of the Margaree River are on your left, crisscrossed by meanders in the rich marshy terrain; in June and early July, huge beds of lupins are readily visible from the road along the banks of the River. Proceed along the road, savouring the views of the Highlands across the River and of the bucolic scenery along its banks: this is an active farming area still. You will soon reach Fordview, where the main course of the River lies just below the road before returning once more to the west side of the valley. At 6.6 km (4.1 mi), you will reach Arsenaults Hill Road, which you can drive up to its end and enjoy views of the valley from higher up as you return to the East Margaree Road. At 7.4 km (4⅗ mi), you will reach the bridge over a large brook (the topographic map does not label it clearly—it receives waters from the Gallant River system and several other brooks, many unnamed, back in the Highlands, while both The Nova Scotia Atlas and the Nova Scotia Backroad Mapbook name it as the Gallant River). Once past the bridge, you are in the village of East Margaree, where you will pass the junction of the Marsh Brook Road just north of l’Église-St-Michel at 7.9 km (4⅞ mi) and reach the junction with the East Margaree Crossing Road at 8.3 km (5⅛ mi). It is worth your while turning left there and driving to the twin green truss bridges which span the river and offer superb views of the Margaree River Valley in both directions. Continuing north on the East Margaree Road, you will soon climb up a good hill; unfortunately, trees and houses block much of the River below, which is close to the road, but if you get out and walk this area of the road, you will get some good views. Thereafter, the road closely follows the River, offering some fine views as it approaches Belle-Côte, where the River becomes very wide. After passing through the eastern half of Belle-Côte, you will reach the Cabot Trail at the cenotaph across from the Belle-View Restaurant, a good place to stop for home-cooking with an Acadian touch.
Vic’s Scenic Rating
In 2014, a really dangerous spot, caused by erosion and serious heaving, occurs after leaving East Margaree heading north along the cliffs above the Margaree River. The road there is effectively one lane: you want to be on the side of the road away from the river, even if you are heading south.
This road parallels the Cabot Trail, which is in far better condition. To my mind and taste, however, the East Margaree Road is the more scenic of the two, as the Cabot Trail passes close to and above the River, without as good views of the valley or plains below. The East Margaree Road is also shorter, less travelled, and with better places to stop for photos (the Cabot Trail traffic moves along very smartly between Margaree Forks and Margaree Harbour and offers few good spots to pull off); although the River’s course is normally on the other side of the valley, it is still visible at several points. I drive this road very frequently to savour its scenery and to enjoy its much more laid back pace.

Photo Catalogue

Click on any thumbnail to be taken to the photo essay page for that photo.

Thumbnail Date GPS Locality Where Caption
../essays/32/thumbnails/2014.10.09_dsc_4321.jpg 2014
Fordview 2.9 km (1⅘ mi) north of its junction with the West Big Intervale Road at Doyles Bridge The highlands on the west side of the Margaree River
../essays/32/thumbnails/2014.10.09_dsc_4320.jpg 2014
Fordview 2.9 km (1⅘ mi) north of its junction with the West Big Intervale Road at Doyles Bridge Detail of the highlands on the west side of the Margaree River
../essays/32/thumbnails/2014.10.09_dsc_4322.jpg 2014
Fordview 2.9 km (1⅘ mi) north of its junction with the West Big Intervale Road at Doyles Bridge The northern portion of the highlands on the west side of the Margaree River