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Northern Maine's
Downeast Region

West Quoddy Head lighthouse in down east Maine

Corea, Milbridge, Jonesport, Cutler, Machias,
Machiasport, Calais, and Lubec

With the area flourishing with shipbuilding, passenger steamships, lumbering, fishing and granite quarrying, lighthouses were needed to guide mariners around Maine’s many islands and ledges along the coast of northern, or what is referred to as “Downeast” Maine. This area of many miles of rugged coastline from the Acadia region up to the Canadian border area caused many shipwrecks during fierce New England storms, and due to the many foggy days that encased the area an average of 20 percent of the year.


Northern Maine (Downeast) Lighthouses
You Can Drive or Hike To

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse including links for places to visit, historic snapshots, directions, boat tours, and photos.



Northern Maine (Downeast) Area Lighthouses
Best Viewed by Boat

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse including links for places to visit, historic snapshots, directions, boat tours, and photos.


Places to Visit:


Northern Maine (Downeast) Area Region

Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island, and on Isle au Haut, offers some of most scenic vistas in New England.

There are miles of hiking and biking trails, and plenty of nature, whale watching, and lighthouse cruises. beach with mountains in the background of Acadia National Park

Acadia Beach
Mount Desert Island

Corea is a small fishing village that is about 7 miles from the entrance to Schoodic Peninsula, the only area of Acadia National Park that is located on Maine’s mainland.

The Petit Manan National Wildlife Sanctuary serves over 300 species of nesting birds. Cruises that offer puffin-watching pass by Petit Manan lighthouse, managed by the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. This huge complex contains over 47 offshore islands and three coastal parcels, which add up to more than 7,400 acres. It spans more than 150 miles of Maine's coastline, including it's five national wildlife refuges; Petit Manan and Cross Island in Downeast Maine, Seal Island in Rockland, and Franklin Island and Pond Island in the Boothbay area.

seals relaxing on rocks at low tide You'll find plenty fo seals relaxing on the rocks at low tide.

Milbridge offers a vast 75 miles of coastline with spectacular views of the Narraguagus River and the Gulf of Maine.

demonstration in hauling lobster traps onto the boat Robertson Sea tours will take you out to some of the island lighthouses, provide nature tours, and demonstrate hauling lobster traps.

The Maine Historic Preservation Commission lists 28 prehistoric archaeological sites along the Addison coastline.

Jonesport is a small fishing village located along Maine's rugged "downeast" coast. Lighthouse and nature cruises offered to Moose Peak Light and Libby Island Light are offered by the folks at Coastal Cruises.

In Machias, visit Jasper Beach in nearby Machiasport has unique multicolored pebbles that provide a colorful coastline.

Cutler Harbor in Maine

Cutler is truly a down east small active fishing community and is the last harbor on the Maine coast before entering Canada.

It is the closest harbor from which to sail to Machias Seal Island and Grand Manan Island, located six miles offshore.

Friends of Little River Lighthouse offer a few open house tours of Little River lighthouse in the summer. Little River lighthouse

Little River Lighthouse

Daily narrated charter boat trips from Bold Coast Charter Company to Machias Seal Island are available during the summer season. They pass by Little River Lighthouse heading to or from Machias Seal Island, which also contains a technically Canadian lighthouse, Machias Seal Island light, and they can provide charters for landing and exploring the Little River Lighthouse and the keeper's dwelling.

Machias Seal Island has the largest puffin colony on the coast. puffins

It is the only place where you can get close up views of this endangered species, and you can also visit Canada's Machias Seal Island Lighthouse.

Lubec is located on the banks of the St. Croix River near the United States and Canadian border. This former shipbuilding and sardine-packing town is the first town in the U.S. to see the sunrise. It has no shopping malls, fast food restaurants, of stoplights, only rugged natural beauty that hasn’t changed.

rainbow over lupine flowers This is truly a place to disconnect and enjoy the outdoors. The community consists of artists, a few specialty shops, and fishermen.

Lubec Channel Lighthouse can be found about a mile offshore from Route 189, or you can take view it up close through Downeast Charter Boat tours.

The views of West Quoddy Head Lighthouse are spectacular and visitors are welcome to explore the lighthouse grounds and Museum. relaxing at West Quoddy Head light

West Quoddy Head Light

Hike through the Quoddy State Park's miles of nature trails, part of the Quoddy Loop Trail System, which crosses the border onto Campobello Island in Canada.

relaxing at West Quoddy Head light Many of these trails are used on what is known as the Quoddy Loop Trail System.

This also includes trails across the border onto Campobello Island in Canada.

Cross the border into Canada and explore Roosevelt Park on Campobello Island. There you'll find Mullholland Point Lighthouse with plenty of walking trails.

About 15 miles inside the island, you'll find the stunning views of East Quoddy Head, also know as Head Harbor Light with its giant red cross painted on its tower. Head Harbor, also known as East Quoddy Head light in Canada

Head Harbor Light
(East Quoddy Head Light)

Calais has the northernmost lighthouse in Maine. Whitlockks Mill lighthouse is best viewed from a nearby rest area, as it is a protected privtae residence.

Visit the Downeast Heritage Museum to understand the local culture of Calais which also celebrates Canadian holidays as well, or take a nature hike in the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge.

sunset over Lubec Harbor over the channel


Boat Tours:
Northern Maine (Downeast)

Boat cruises mentioned below offer different of cruises, including special lighthouse cruises in the downeast region of Maine. Some will pass by Maine's northern lighthouses as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, fishing tours and other types of excursions.

Robertson Sea Tours
Lighthouse cruises and nature trips along the shores of downeast Maine and Schoodic Peninsula area aboard a classic downeast lobster boat. Special 4-hour lighthouse cruise covers Narraguagus (Pond Island) Light, Nash Island Light, and Petit Manan Light, along with natural wonders and hauling up a lobster trap.
Contact: Captain Jamie Robertson
Home Phone: (207) 483-6110 o,r Cell: (207) 461-7439

Lighthouses: Pond Island Light, Nash Island Light, Petit Manan Light


Coastal Cruises
Lighthouse and nature cruises offered to Moose Peak Light and Libby Island Light where, depending on tides, weather, and availability, you may be able to get off the boat and walk up to the lighthouses. They can also be viewed from the boat as well.

117 Kelley Point Road
Jonesport, ME 04649
Cruise Info Contact
Laura Fish: (207) 598-7473
Dive Info Contact
Harry Fish: (207) 598-7473

Lighthouses: Moose Peak Light, Libby Island Light


Bold Coast Charter Company
Puffin trips heading to Machias Seal Island pass by Little River Lighthouse. Special tours available for boat trips to land on the island of Little River light. Note: As the puffins are an endangered species, the trip to Machias Seal Island where they are nesting (also where Machias Seal Island lighthouse is located) is the only place allowed for visitors to view and photograph these animals up close inside small shacks called blinds.

Contact: Captain Andrew Patterson
P. O. Box 364
Cutler, Maine 04626
Phone: (207) 259-4484

Lighthouses: Little River Light, Libby Island Light, Machias Seal Island Light (Canada)


Books to Explore

book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

Available in online bookstores in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook for all devices.

my ebook on apple books

New Book!

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships: Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted Coal Schooners of New England

In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants of sail were built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies, and measured longer than a football field! A few of these vessels, when fierce competion for coal arose, would travel up to northern Maine into Calais, and southeastern Canada to transport lumber and coke (used for smelting iron ore) to ports south.

This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships.



My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, provides human interest stories from each of the 76 lighthouses, along with the coastal attractions and tours near each beacon, and contact info to plan your special trips. You'll find over 360 images inside as well.

Look inside!

book northern New England lighthouses and local coastal attractions





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