Revisit Quoddy Head
At the edge of America’s peninsula overlooking the churning Quoddy Channel separating the U.S. and Canada, you’ll find a picturesque New England scene with a rich history behind it. Atop black cliffs dating back to the Silurian Age (roughly 420 million years ago), you’ll find a candy-striped light house emerging from sea fog, interconnected trails scraping cliffs and bluffs, and open ocean shores. This is Quoddy Head State Park, named after the Native American Passamaquoddy tribe, meaning “People of the Dawn.”
Hikers have the choice of four trails that wind through forest and wetlands, opening up to expansive coastal views and opportunities to view bountiful wildlife.
- The Inland Trail (.75-mile roundtrip) is a short and sweet option, offering a moderate walk through conifer woods rich with emerald mosses and lichens, inclining steadily to Green Point.
- The Bog Trail (1-mile roundtrip) connects off the Inland Trail and has a raised boardwalk to protect plant life. Signs describe how plants adapted to the harsh conditions on the peninsula.
- The Thompson Trail (1.25 miles) runs between the Bog Trail and the Coastal Trail and is fairly wooded.
- The Coastal Trail (4-miles roundtrip) offers a challengingly rocky and steep, but rewarding, terrain with spectacular ocean views. You’ll pass several attractive stopping points on your hike. Gulliver’s Hole, a narrow chasm formed by erosion of volcanic rock, is pummeled by forceful sea waves. High Ledge, a 150-foot bluff, is a must-see. Green Point gives hikers access to the beach through a large ledge outcropping.
From Portland: 245 miles
From Bangor: 115 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 225 miles
From Ellsworth: 90 miles
Tips for a Great Visit
Visitors should take precaution as Quoddy Head is surrounded on three sides by cold ocean waters swirling from the North Atlantic on the Nova Scotia current.
- Layer up: extreme tides, wind and constant salt spray gives the peninsula its own air conditioning, even on the hottest summer days.
- Good shoes are key: you’ll want supportive shoes to carry you through rocky (and potentially wet) terrain.
- Keep an eye out: fog can make for low visibility, so take a park map with you when hiking. Exercise caution and supervise children when walking on cliffside trails or by the shore.
- Self-hydrate: bring your own drinking water for hikes and picnics as none is available at the park.
- Accessibility: please note that the only wheelchair-accessible areas are by the lighthouse, which meets ADA standards.
- Bug life: in late spring and summer, be prepared for some mosquitos and black flies. While not prolific, deer ticks are present in the area so check yourself and others.