Downeast Maine and Campobello Island, Canada
Started the morning in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Just finished a work conference there. My plan was to drive to Hopewell Rocks and then along the coast on my way back to Maine (I had flown into Bangor). Well…this morning the whole coast was socked in by fog and it was raining pretty steadily.
So I went to plan B. I’m calling it: The Day I Crossed the US/Canada Border 5 Times.
I drove down to St. Stephen, New Brunswick and crossed the border into Calais, Maine (by the way, it’s pronounced cal-us not cal-lay). Then it was on to U.S. Highway 1 until it intersected with Maine Highway 189.
My next stop was pretty, little Lubec, Maine. I then drove to Quoddy Head State Park to do some hiking. It has some great cliff views of the Atlantic Ocean. The biggest draw is the peppermint-striped West Quoddy Head Light. Here you’re at the easternmost point in the United States. Make sure and get your photo taken at the geographic marker.
After that, I drove back into Lubec and crossed the bridge to Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada–its only road connection is via the US. So now I’m back in Canada for the second time today!
Campobello Island is home to the Roosevelt Campobello International Park, which features the family summer home of Franklin Roosevelt. I toured around the cottage and did some hiking.
As it was before the tourist season, a lot of places were still shuttered. However, I had a good lunch of fresh seafood at the Family Fisheries Restaurant at Wilson’s Beach.
Next up: Head Harbour Lighthouse (also called East Quoddy Lighthouse)–just continue on Highway 774 until you get to the parking lot at the tip of the island.
Head Harbour Lighthouse features a large red cross. It sits on a small islet just offshore from the island. I was there at high tide. It gets more interesting at low tide (more on that in a sec).
I crossed back into the US at Lubec (3rd border crossing of the day!) and checked into the Eastland Motel–a nice little place to make your home base in the area. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside you’ll find nicely renovated rooms and a comfortable bed. Each morning you’re treated to freshly baked muffins!
After relaxing for a few hours, it was time to head back to Campobello Island (4th border crossing!) to see Head Harbour Lighthouse at low tide.
Here’s where the fun begins. At low tide, you can climb down a rickety metal ladder. The ocean floor is exposed at low tide and you can cross the narrow shoal on foot, and climb up another ladder to the islet. Ahh, but I came to a stumbling block! There’s a final bridge you have to walk across to reach the lighthouse–but it was roped off. I sign said the bridge was unsafe. I thought about chancing it, but decided not to mess with a rickety wooden bridge. However, I was able to get some good views of the lighthouse.
So then it was back down one rickety ladder, walk across the ocean floor, and back up another rickety ladder to my car. Then I drove back into the US at Lubec (5th and final border crossing of the day!) and had a good night’s sleep.
Here are some photos below. More are available in my Flickr album.