Home » 2004 Maritime Provinces Road Trip

Quoddy Head State Park, ME

Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 7:00am by Lolo
102 miles and 2.25 hours from our last stop


We left Acadia bright and early and headed “downeast,” which confusingly enough is actually the northeast coast of Maine, along Route 1. Now this was real Maine—no more cutesy little villages where tourists come in droves to shop and dine, just rolling farmlands, thick forests, and rocky coastline. At the village of Whiting we turned east on Route 189 towards the town of Lubec, where we planned to cross the FDR International Bridge into Canada.

Herb holding up Quoddy Head LightHerb holding up Quoddy Head LightBefore leaving the U.S., however, we decided to take the 3-mile detour to Quoddy Head State Park to see the lighthouse and stand on the easternmost point of the U.S. It was very “Mainelike” – picturesque, candy-striped lighthouse perched on a bluff overlooking the rocky shoreline; a thick, pea soup fog limiting visibility to about 20 feet; and the mournful sound of a foghorn warning mariners of the dangerous coast.

“Do you know that it’s probably about 90 degrees and sunny in Utah right now,” Herb said, abruptly pulling me from my reverie. This was going to be a challenging trip with a tough audience—the whole family was convinced that a trip to the Maritimes meant cold, damp, and bugs. I was going to have to prove them wrong.

On the drive out, after almost running over a porcupine crossing the road, the kids made us stop at the West Quoddy Gift Shop, which, as the sign informed us, was the easternmost gift shop in the U.S. How could we possible pass this by? We got off easy with a couple of hat pins for the kids to add to their ever-growing collection.

Now on to Canada!


Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec, Maine, is located on the easternmost point of land in the United States. Its most famous feature is the red and white, candy-striped West Quoddy Lighthouse, which is practically an emblem for the state of Maine. The lighthouse tower itself is closed, but there is an informative Visitor Center and Museum run by the West Quoddy Head Light Keepers' Association.

The lighthouse was originally built in 1807, under the orders of Thomas Jefferson. It was one of the first lighthouses to use a fog bell and helped to greatly reduce shipwrecks along this rocky, foggy area. In 1858, the present candy-striped tower replaced the original, but the original third-order Fresnel lens is still used.

Besides the lighthouse, Quoddy Head State Park has 4 ½ miles of hiking trails, scenic picnic sites, and breathtaking views of the rocky Maine coastline. Whale watching is also a popular activity in the park.

Quoddy Head State Park location map

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