Green Point is one of several spectacular locations on the Coastal Trail at West Quoddy Head. Ron Chase photos

When our friends, Susan and Ken Gordon, invited my wife, Nancy, and I to join them and several other frequent outdoor companions for a multi-day adventure vacation in Downeast Maine and on Campobello Island in New Brunswick, an affirmative answer was easy. The chance to share hiking, biking and sea kayaking escapades with them was something we didn’t want to miss.

The plan was to camp at Herring Cove Provincial Park on Campobello Island. The campground would be base camp for a variety of stimulating day trips. Our previous experience on Campobello Island was limited to a tour of the Roosevelt Cottage exactly 50 years ago this summer, so this opportunity was particularly appealing. Typical of the entire summer, there was a chance of heavy rain in the forecast.

After setting up camp, we biked and hiked campground trails on the first day. A deluge of rain followed for the entire night and into the next morning. Tent leaks were a problem for a few but nothing that wasn’t manageable.

Hikers stop to enjoy a view near the beginning of West Quoddy Head Trail.

Once the skies cleared, four of us decided to hike the trails on West Quoddy Head in Lubec. Our choice was driven by two factors. First, the trail along the cliffs provides some of the most spectacular hiking in Maine. Second, Ken and I wanted to study the strong currents that run along the shore in that area. Heavy fog and turbulent seas there had caused us to abort a Bold Coast sea kayak expedition the previous year. Since the tides would be almost identical, we wanted to determine the cause of the rough conditions.

The trail system begins at the parking area adjacent to West Quoddy Head Light in Quoddy Head State Park. Our hiking choice was simple as the spectacular Coastal Trail follows along the edge of the escarpment for over a mile.

No surprise, we encountered wet trail conditions as a result of the rain storm. In some sections, shallow rivulets flowed down the trail while puddles of water saturated the path in other areas. A rare visual benefit, streams of water could be observed gushing out of the walls of the cliffs.


We carefully hiked along the rim attempting to avoid slippery spots while frequently stopping to embrace the wonderful views. Landmarks such as Gulliver’s Hole, High Ledge and Green Point were passed as we progressed southwesterly. Our trek concluded after reaching Carrying Place Cove where the cliffs ended. While relaxing and studying the currents, we were joined by another member of our group on the return trip.

Ken and I concluded the turbulence we experienced kayaking the previous year was likely the result of a strong incoming tide. At the time, extremely dense fog prevented a wider perspective that would have made the cause more apparent.

A cyclist stops to enjoy a view of Liberty Point on the Roosevelt Park Carriage Roads.

After completing the hike, we stopped to visit the 165-year-old lighthouse. Maine’s most easternmost lighthouse, the historic candy-striped structure is still an important navigation aid.

When we returned to Campobello, Ken and I decided to ride the Roosevelt Park Carriage Roads. The gravel roads travel through mixed hardwood and conifer forests and facilitate trips to salt water coves, sand and gravel beaches, and scenic cliffs that populate the southeastern end of the island.

The trails are similar in character to the Carriage Roads of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. However, cars are allowed on some of the Roosevelt Trails. We used mountain bikes for our ride, but hybrids would work fine.

Starting from Route 774, we rode south on Cranberry Point Drive to that impressive overlook. Leaving the point, we traversed Fox Hill Drive to Herring Cove. Shortly beyond, a spur trail led to scenic Con Robinson’s Point. We continued our exploration visiting Raccoon Beach, Lower Duck Pond and Liberty Point.


Situated on the southeastern tip of Campobello, Liberty Point is a majestic location with sheer cliffs and a gigantic boulder just off shore called Sugar Loaf Rock. From a viewing platform, we could see the towering red cliffs of Grand Manan Island across the Bay of Fundy.

More adventures are anticipated in the coming days. Sea kayaking along the east side of Campobello is next on the agenda.

My book, “Maine Al Fresco: The Fifty Finest Outdoor Adventures in Maine,” narrates eight Maine bike rides and nine popular hikes.

Ron Chase resides in Topsham. His latest book, “Maine Al Fresco: The Fifty Finest Outdoor Adventures in Maine,” is available at or in bookstores and through online retailers. His previous books are “The Great Mars Hill Bank Robbery” and “Mountains for Mortals – New England.” Visit his website at, or he can be reached at

Trekkers begin their return on the West Quoddy Head Coastal Trail.

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