Northwest of Digby is a long narrow ribbon of land called Digby Neck. It is bordered by
St. Mary’s Bay on one side and the Bay of Fundy on the other. At the end of the ribbon are two small islands, Long Island and Brier Island and both are reached via a short ferry trip. Digby Neck bills itself as Nova Scotia’s premier ecotourism destination and guided nature hikes and whale and seabird watching cruises are plentiful. The area is located on a
major migration route for many different birds and during the spring and fall it is filled with bird watchers from around the world.
The complete route from Digby to
Westport on Brier Island takes less than two hours but we weren’t in any hurry and
stopped at various points along the way. Surprisingly much of the main road runs through the centre of the Neck so coastal views are rare unless you detour to one of the waterside villages. We stopped in Little River, Tiverton and Westport, tiny villages that get their livelihood from the fishing industry and more recently, tourism. Each had access to
walking trails, beaches and lots of photo opportunities for this ruggedly scenic
The ferry crossing from the village of East Ferry to Tiverton on Long Island
took less than 5 minutes and then we had just enough time to drive the length of the
island to catch the ferry at Freeport for another short ride to Westport on Brier Island. Cost for each return trip was $4.00. The ferries run hourly - on the half hour from East Ferry and on the hour from Freeport although in the summer they supposedly run continually to avoid any lineups. We spent time exploring Brier which is home to 3 lighthouses - Grand Passage, Brier Island and Peters Island just offshore. Except for the area around the ferry terminal, most of the roads on Brier are just dirt and gravel. Much of the island is covered in marshy terrain that is a conservation areas for plants and
Long Island is home to Balancing Rock, a large basalt rock column that balances precariously at the shore’s edge. It’s a medium terrain hiking trail but I’m a fair weather hiker and the rain made the trail slippery and not appealing enough to do. We did make a stop at Boar’s Head Lighthouse at the northern tip of the island to admire the Bay of Fundy coastline.