Quintessential coastal Maine at its finest. What more is there to say about the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse! The visual beauty of the lighthouse, the grounds, and the setting are a trifecta to the senses.

Built in 1857, the station has been in existence since 1808, when the first lighthouse was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson. Even though the lighthouse tower is not open to the public, a visitor’s center and museum that is occupied in the keeper’s house can be toured. But remember, it is only open from Memorial Day weekend through mid-October, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. As for parking, that is a nice short walk from the lighthouse, making it very convenient to all parties, young and old.

If hiking is an activity you enjoy, Quoddy Head State Park is right next door to the lighthouse. The hike from the lighthouse along the coastal trail could be one of the most beautiful views on the east coast. With high ledges, tall pines, large rocks, crashing waves, and views into Canada, you get the full picture.

Head down to the rocky beach if you can, there is a stairway near the parking lot for the park. If fog is present, you will feel like you are in a Scooby-Doo cartoon, when you hear the fog horn go off, which is every 30 seconds. And if the tide is rushing in, the sound of the waves against the smooth beach rocks is music to the ears. If you have time, spend a few minutes on the beach, watch the waves crash in and listen to this unique sound.

In addition, there is a great 1 mile hike to a unique coastal plateau bog. In this bog, you will notice sub-arctic and arctic plants that rarely seen this far south, like black crowberry, baked appleberry and Labrador tea, along with carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundew.

More forceful than dress accordingly, you need to bring a jacket, something water proof if available. Even in July, the temperatures will hover in the high 50’s for a high, wind is always a constant, and the area is indeed misty.

For more information, visit http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/doc/parksearch/details.pl?park_id=10

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