Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: day trips

Let’s Look at Lighthouses! West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

June 23, 2010 by Scott Gile

The distinctive red and white stripes of West Quoddy Head Light are readily visible overlooking the Grand Manan Channel and the Bay of Fundy at America’s easternmost point.

West Quoddy Head Light Station, Maine Just off the rocky beach below the lighthouse, Sail Rock protrudes ominously from the surface of the water, ready to tear apart any vessel daring to approach too closely. In 1806 a light station was authorized by Congress, to assist mariners traveling in these treacherous waters, just south of Canada’s Campobello Island, and west of Grand Manan Island. The light station was established in 1808, and a fog signal added in 1820.

Owing, at least in part, to the harsh winter climate, West Quoddy Light Station was not well-constructed, and not well-maintained, so the tower was rebuilt in 1830, and the present 49 foot tower was constructed in 1857, sitting 83 feet above sea level, with its 35,000 candlepower beacon visible about 18 miles offshore. The red and white stripes appear to have been added shortly after the present tower was erected.

West Quoddy Head Light, courtesy US Coast GuardIn the latter part of the 1800’s West Quoddy was considered a good assignment for a lighthouse keeper, in part as a result of its proximity to the town of Lubec, Maine. In fact, when one of the keepers of the light failed to keep up the maintenance of the site, he was transferred to a less desirable location as a punishment. He resigned, rather than return to the harsh conditions at the station to which he was to have been assigned.

West Quoddy Head and Quoddy Narrows, MaineThe lighthouse grounds are now part of Quoddy Head State Park, and there are trails along the coastline, and through the woods, with picnic tables, and steps down to the rocky shore. Whales and bald eagles can often be spotted near the lighthouse. It is a site that is well worth a visit. While there, a short drive takes you to the town of Lubec, where you can see Maine’s Lubec Channel lighthouse, cross the bridge to Canada’s Campobello Island, vor iew Mulholland Lighthouse across the channel.

West Quoddy Head Light Station is about 4 hours from Brewster House, but it is well worth the drive. The drive itself is a beautiful one. We left after breakfast, had lunch at Quoddy State Park, and still had time to explore Lubec, then make several stops on the way back home, for a full day of exploring.

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Planning Maine Day Trips from Freeport

May 18, 2010 by Scott Gile

Lobster Buoys BernardOur two previous posts, on Planning Your Maine Getaway and Touring Some Out of the Way Places have merged into an idea of what type of day trips make sense from a relatively accessible area like Freeport, where Brewster House Bed & Breakfast is located.

Of course, if you can only stay a short time in Freeport, from one to three or four days, we would normally suggest day trips that are within about an hour to a two hour drive from here. That will allow for some absolutely wonderful sightseeing (several lighthouses, moose, beaches, rocky coastlines, hiking in state parks, exploring quaint villages, historic sites, and more). We’ve written a number of posts about these spots, such as our Ten Things to do Near Freeport Maine (Other Than Shop), 5 Maine Lighthouses You Can Visit (Within About An Hour of Freeport) and of course our series called Visiting Maine: Where to Find the Information You Need.

If you have the time, however, there is much more to see! In fact, that is one reason the official (and excellent!) State of Maine website has as its slogan, “There’s more to Maine.”

Lubec Channel LightOur day trip up the coast to Lubec (just across the river from Canada’s Campobello Island) is the proof that you can really cover a lot of territory in a day trip from Freeport. We were up and away early. While we have found that taking US-1 is not much different than taking I-295 to I-95, then back down to US-1, there was a big difference this time. The State of Maine will be doing major road improvement on US-1A between Bangor and Ellsworth, and the delays were (and will be through fall 2010) significant. Even so, once we were back to US-1 we drove along through the beautiful scenery until we reached Lubec, where we stopped to take pictures of the Lubec Channel light, then went on to West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, where we enjoyed a picnic lunch overlooking Quoddy Narrows and its (Canadian) islands.

After lunch we went into Lubec, where we photographed the Canadian Mulholland lighthouse (just across the river) near the Roosevelt Bridge to Canada and learned from a friendly museum curator about the smokehouse and its use in smoking herring.

Prospect Harbor MaineAs we returned south on US-1 we took several side trips, exploring the coastline near Cutler Harbor, Hancock Point, and the Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia National Park, as well as Prospect Harbor, Winter Harbor, and vicinity. We also had time to visit Mount Desert Island and Bass Harbor Lighthouse, before returning to US-1, where we drove to Camden, Maine for dinner, then returned home.

Yesterday, in search of more lighthouse photos, we repeated part of the route as another day trip. We drove to Mount Desert Island, where we again visited Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, then decided to explore some areas of the island we had not seen previously. We found some wonderful harbors and vistas, then returned to US-1, where we went from antique shop to antique shop until they had closed for the afternoon.

All of which goes to show that even some fairly far-away sights can be included in a good day’s activities, if you’re willing to make a bit of a drive.

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