Posts Tagged ‘island lore’

McClay Hill

this hill looks different when you are on a bicycle

Heading up McClay Hill on North Road

   This hill on North Road has a history worth noting.   Although often mistakenly called ‘horseshoe hill’ this is where North Road really started.     McClay Hill starts just past Bertha – if you are heading towards the South End – just past where old ‘Center Road’ used to cut along the top of the ridge that the hill runs down.   Center Road was the old logging road that right down the center of the island, eventually connecting with Degnan Road.  

not a bad hill when there is no snow and you are sober

North Road as it heads down McClay Hill


  When the time came to develop a real road to the south end, the road builders of the day chose to take the odd route down on to the lower shelf, following the laneway to the McClay Farm on the shelf of land that lay below the ridge.   That meant North Road had to come up again (at Tait’s Hill beyond Buttercup…another story) which was really not the best route for the main road.   Center Road was the better route – avoiding the up and down elevation, but politics and road-building are often hand in hand, and it is thought that the more expensive road had benefits for road builders and would-be developers, who wanted closer access to the future Whalebone development along the north-east shore of the island.  

   Regardless of the wisdom of the choice, North Road now runs down McClay Hill and turns sharply left at the bottom.   That sharp left turn took the lives of at least two men on a Sunday night several years ago, when a summer party weekend ended in disaster.   It is a circus during heavy snowfalls, and many a driver has ended up in the ditch along this stretch of road.   To many cel phone users, halfway down McClay Hill is when you lose your signal – which is a good thing.  You should be driving.


03 2010