Whether you’re visiting Maine for the first time or have been a long time resident, the many lighthouses in Maine are always a favorite sight to see, and the West Quoddy Lighthouse in Lubec, ME should be at the top of that list! This unique lighthouse is a maritime bucket list destination, both for its location and its truly unusual look. We’ve got everything you need to know about visiting the West Quoddy Light so you too can plan a trip! And NO: this is NOT Passamaquoddy from Pete’s Dragon.
Have you been to the West Quoddy Head Light? Did you visit on a day trip from Quebec or were you exploring northern Maine? We’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment or send us a note if you have additional tips or fun stories to share.
Where is the West Quoddy Lighthouse?
The West Quoddy Lighthouse is located at 973 S Lubec Rd, Lubec, Maine 04652. Located in the tiny fishing village of Lubec, the West Quoddy Light is the furthest east lighthouse and easternmost point in the USA. The Florida Keys may have the Southernmost Point down in Key West, but this is the furthest eat you can go. On a map, you’ll see that it’s the closest point in the USA to Europe and you can see Canada from the West Quoddy Head. Pretty cool!
Getting to the West Quoddy Lighthouse in Lubec, Maine
Lubec, Maine and the West Quoddy Lighthouse are not close to any big towns really. In Maine, you’ve got quite a bit of ground to cover to visit:
- Bangor is about 2 hours and 20 minutes’ drive
- Acadia National Park is 2 hours and 15 minutes
- Rockland is 3 hours and 20 minutes’ drive
- and Portland is 4 hours and 15 minutes
You know what is close though? St Stephen, NB and the Canadian border, at just an hour away. Also, there’s another town you can plan to visit if you’ve driven all the way up here: St Johns, New Brunswick! This adorable, picturesque city in the Canadian Maritimes is 2 hours and 20 minutes from Lubec, Maine.
Where to Stay Near Lubec, Maine
The Lighthouse website offers a short list of accommodations as this region is very seasonal and largely trees and forests. There are a few options though, and you can also consider crossing the border into Quebec!
Visiting the West Quoddy Lighthouse
The West Quoddy Lighthouse Visitor Center and Museum is open to visitors May – October, with Memorial Day being the start of the season in 2023. You can’t always go up in the tower, but most of the grounds are accessible during these times. Visit during one of their annual events such as “Maine Open Lighthouse Day (September),” “West Quoddy Head Lighthouse Celebration (July)” and “National Lighthouse Day (August)” for guided tours of the lighthouse.
In addition to seeing the unusual lighthouse, visitors can enjoy nature hikes and wildlife viewing as well as a well appointed gift shop with local artists’ renderings of the famous lighthouse as well as historic costumes and artifacts from the lighthouse staff.
All About the West Quoddy Head Light
I always love to read about lighthouse history and the different keepers over the years. With the West Quoddy Lighthouse being one of the oldest in Maine, and one of the most unique in the USA, it’s got stories to tell!
History of the West Quoddy Lighthouse
Famous for it’s location on the most eastern point of the continental United States West Quoddy lighthouse sits on 541 beautiful coastal acres in Lubec, Maine and Originally built under orders from President Thomas Jefferson in 1808, the lighthouse that we see today was finished in 1858. It’s not the oldest, but it’s no spring chicken.
“Quoddy” means fertile and beautiful place in the language of the Passamaquoddy tribe (“People of the Dawn”). Besides visiting Quoddy and it’s notorious “most eastern point” location, the color pattern of the West Quoddy Light is one of the very unusual aspects of visiting. No two lighthouses are designed the same, from shape and color to their light pattern, and West Quoddy really stands out.
Lubec used to be a hub for sardine fishing and canning, and still has a fishing industry, but it’s pretty sleepy in comparison to the former glory days of Maritime Maine.
Cool Facts about the West Quoddy Lighthouse
Most eastern point in the continental US., the red and white stripes make for beautiful photos especially at sunrise- the first place the sunrise is seen in the US! The tiny towns surrounding the lighthouse feel like going back in time!
The color pattern is quite unique with 8 red stripes and 7 white stripes. There are only two other lighthouses in the USA that are similar. The other two are the Sapelo Island Lighthouse in Coastal Georgia south of Savannah, and the Assateague Light in Virginia on Chesapeake Bay.
The light pattern, which is part of what helps passing ships figure out just where they are, is set with its own signature. The light flashes in a pattern 24 hours a day. 2 seconds on, 2 off, 2 on, and 9 seconds off.
Things to Do Near Lubec, ME
Rugged and beautiful, keep your eyes out for beautiful sea birds and maybe even a MOOSE! Lubec and the areas inland heading towards the Maine Highlands are noted to be the best moose spotting territory in the eastern USA.
There are three state parks in this part of Maine: Quoddy Head, Shackford Head and Cobscook Bay State Parks. Cobscook Bay State Park actually has a really large campground, so it’s a great pick to make your homebase as you explore this part of DownEast Maine!
If you’ve remembered your passport, take a trip across the narrows on a ferry to Roosevelt Campobello International Park. This is located in New Brunswick, Canada so you will need to go through Canadian Customs, and then US Customs and Border Patrol on the way back.
I hope you’re excited to visit the West Quoddy Lighthouse! It’s in such a beautiful, remote spot and it’s sure to be a special addition to your time in Main. If you have any additional questions or want to share your own tips for visiting the easternmost point in the USA, leave a comment or send us a note. Happy traveling!
Frequently Asked Questions about the West Quoddy Lighthouse
What is the history of the West Quoddy Lighthouse in Lubec, Maine?
The West Quoddy Head Light was built in 1808 and is the easternmost lighthouse in the United States. It has a rich history, having served as a navigational aid for over two centuries, and is now a popular tourist attraction.
Can visitors climb to the top of the West Quoddy Lighthouse?
Yes, visitors are allowed to climb the tower and view the surrounding landscape from the top ON CERTAIN DAYS. However, due to safety concerns, only a limited number of people are allowed up at a time.
What is the best time of year to visit the West Quoddy Lighthouse?
The lighthouse is open to visitors from May to October, but the best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is milder, and the scenery is at its best. You don’t want to get caught out on West Quoddy Head in a nor’easter storm.
What other attractions are nearby the West Quoddy Lighthouse?
The nearby town of Lubec has several attractions worth visiting, including the Roosevelt Campobello International Park, the Lubec Channel Lighthouse (out in the channel itself), and the McCurdy Smokehouse Museum (herring smoker).
Are there any hiking trails near the West Quoddy Lighthouse?
Yes, there are several hiking trails in the area, including the Bold Coast Trail, which has awesome views of the coastline.
Is the West Quoddy Lighthouse haunted?
There are rumors that the lighthouse is haunted, but there is no concrete evidence to support this claim, just like every other lighthouse seems to have a haunting story… We always recommend visiting the St Augustine Lighthouse in our home town for the seemingly most haunted lighthouse in America.
Is the West Quoddy Lighthouse haunted?
There are rumors that the lighthouse is haunted, but there is no concrete evidence to support this claim, just like every other lighthouse seems to have a haunting story…
Can the West Quoddy Lighthouse be rented for private events?
No, the lighthouse is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and is not available for private events. However, the surrounding area is available for picnics and other outdoor activities.