Wherever they settled, Loyalists had to flee with their homes and livelihoods with the few possessions they could carry. Some travelled openly, others were pursued by rebels seeking revenge and had to travel at night, along trails and down rivers as far from settlements as possible. Capture meant imprisonment, so families had to be very careful. Sometimes large families separated so their pursuers would have a harder time identifying them, and they would use fake names and invented stories to hide their identities.

On the road, Loyalists sometimes had the help of other British sympathizers. It was very dangerous to aid a Loyalist, but some other settlers and Indigenous Peoples provided food, shelter, and medical assistance for those escaping and helped them along their route by identifying the direction to travel.
The terrain was often rough, the travelling dangerous, and the weather added to their difficulties. Having no choice, Loyalists pressed on north to safety.