From the United States
By Ferry into Yarmouth
The CAT ferry will be in place for the 2017 Wharf Rat Rally, operated by Bay Ferries, from Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Yarmouth is about an hour's ride from Digby and has ample accommodations available.
Book your passage between Portland Maine and Yarmouth Nova Scotia by April 1st, 2017 to get the best rates possible. Follow this link to see the deals.
For schedules, rates, and more information about The CAT, go here.
By Road from Maine
Get yourself to Bangor, Maine. From there, follow U.S. 1 S (the ‘airline’) to Calais, Maine. It’s about a two hour ride, not counting construction, on a nice hilly, twisty forested road.
From Calais, you will cross the river into St. Stephen, New Brunswick Canada. For information about entering Canada, visit this Canada Border Services Agency webpage.
Turn your watch ahead an hour here as the Atlantic Provinces are in a different time zone. Your cell phones should change themselves. You may now be charged roaming charges though – check before you leave home with your cell phone carrier about international rates and plans.
Now you’ll have two choices:
- Take the ferry from Saint John, New Brunswick across the Bay of Fundy to Digby, Nova Scotia or
- Drive around the Bay of Fundy
By Ferry from New Brunswick
From St. Stephen, follow NB 1 E until you see the signs for Saint John. It’s just over an hour ride. The signs to the ferry are pretty good and they’ll take you through a subdivision to the terminal. You can book your passage now, on the Bay Ferries’ website. Currently the schedule for the ferry has it leaving Saint John at 8am (*** Atlantic Time!) and arriving in Digby at 10-ish or leaving Saint John at 2:30pm and arriving in Digby at around 4:30 in the afternoon.
The ferry is a great ride with tie-downs for your bike, good food and some form of entertainment. And you never know, you might see a pod of whales on your travels across!
If you decide to ride around the Bay of Fundy, continue on NB 1 East. It will eventually merge with the Trans Canada Highway (#2). Aim toward Moncton. The ride from Calais to Moncton is just under three hours. The Trans Canada will take you around Moncton and aim you toward Nova Scotia. It’s four lanes the whole way and 110 km/hr (65 mph). Once you get into Nova Scotia, the highway number changes to Hwy 104, but it still has the little maple leaf signifying it’s the Trans Canada Highway. Right inside the Nova Scotia border there’s a great visitor information centre. The Cobequid Pass is along this stretch of the highway and there is a toll fee - $4 for a motorcycle with or without a trailer.
The ride from Moncton to Truro is just under two hours. Watch for Exit 14; there’s a sign that says “Exit to Halifax Only”. It means it. If you miss that exit, you’re on your way to Cape Breton, totally opposite direction to the Wharf Rat Rally in Digby. Once you take that exit, you’ll be on Highway 102 going south.
From Truro, continue heading south on Highway 102 toward Halifax. A little ways past the Halifax International Airport, Highway 102 will curve to the right (and Highway 118 will continue straight). If you’re planning to go into Halifax, you can take either road – Hwy 118 will take you into Dartmouth first and you’ll have to cross one of the bridges to get to Halifax. The bridge toll is $1 on either bridge but they’ll let motorbikes ‘caravan’ through together.
If you’re planning to go into Halifax and have stayed on Highway 102, it will take you right into the city with pretty good signs for downtown.
If you’re planning to avoid Halifax, be sure you stay on Highway 102 at the split, and then watch for exit 4B with signs that say “Annapolis Valley”. When you take that exit, you will be on Highway 101 and the ride to Digby is about 2 hours long. Digby is at exit 26 on Highway 101. OR, from Highway 102, you can take Exit 9 and follow the signs for Highway 14 toward Windsor. You can then pick up Highway 101 at Windsor.
** The ride from the exit for Highway 101 into Halifax is about 25 minutes. If you do go into Halifax, you’ll probably come back out the 102 to exit 4B and get onto Highway 101 for the ride to Digby.
From Ontario, Quebec and northern New Brunswick
Follow the Trans Canada through Fredericton, NB. If you are planning to take the ferry, follow the signs for Saint John. If you’re planning to drive around, follow the signs for Moncton and then for Amherst, Nova Scotia. From there, follow the directions above.
While you're in Nova Scotia ...
Visit novascotia.com to plan your travels.
Interested in riding one of the best motorcycle roads in the world? Visit Cabot Trail: The Epic Motorcycle Ride for ideas and information.