Situated on the United States’ easternmost peninsula, Quoddy Head Light has assisted sea vessels with navigation around Quoddy’s cliffs and ledges for over 200 years. The name Quoddy is derived from a Native American tribe and it means a fertile and gorgeous location. The cliffs surrounding the area were formed 420 million years ago after a volcanic eruption, give the cliff’s unique dark color.
Quoddy Head Light was built in 1808 after being commissioned by Thomas Jefferson. The red and white tower we see today was installed in 1858 replacing the previous one. In 1988, the lighthouse lighting system became automated. The Lighthouse is managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands with the assistance of West Quoddy Light Keepers Association. Quoddy Head Light was one of the pioneers in using a fog bell and also a steam-powered foghorn to prevent accidents. The Lighthouse is still operating today with two white flashes every 15 seconds.
While the lighthouse tower is closed to the public, the visitor center, light keeper’s quarters, and museum are still worth visiting and are open between 9 am to sunset from May to October. Parking is also available during these months. Of course, Quoddy Head State Park is open all year round, for visitors parking outside the main gate. The park offers five miles of scenic Trails.
Quoddy Head State Park offers visitors four scenic trails all starting at the parking lot. The Inland trail presents a short 0.75-mile trail moving through the woods, with a steady incline leading to Green Point. The Bog Trail is fun and informative with various signs offering information about the surrounding flora. This trail moves along a raised boardwalk to preserve the environment. The Thompson trail extends for 1.25 miles, moving between the Bog Trail and the Coastal Trail. The latter is the longest trail at 4 miles offering visitors a more challenging terrain with some unsteady and steep footing, but with incredible coastal views, the trail passes by some landmarks such as Gulliver’s Hole, High Ledge, and Green Point.
The park also boasts impressive wildlife with regular spotting of whales in summer, not to mention countless duck and bird species, making it a fantastic bird-watching location, especially during migration season.