Campobello Island

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Picking your way through seaweed encrusted rocks to Head Harbour Lightstation built in 1829

Campobello Island, NB is accessed via mainland Maine and after crossing over a small bridge you encounter Canadian border control and suddenly you are in New Brunswick. There was no line when we went through, we were asked a couple of questions and before we knew it we were on our way and even had a dog biscuit for Laia. If only all border crossings could be this easy.  Our exit turned out to be just as easy with an even bigger dog biscuit from the American border agent.

We knew the weather was supposed to turn bad so we decided to go and visit a nearby lighthouse during sunset. Little did we know it is situated on a rocky outcrop that is only accessible during low tide and even viewing it involves climbing down several sets of seaweed coated ladders and walking across seaweed encrusted boulders on the ocean floor. It turned out to be our lucky day because it was low tide when we got there and off we went, Laia in tow, not knowing what to expect. Laia had to be carried on the ladders because her paws were too small for the large grates and we picked our way across slippery rocks until finally we could see the lighthouse in the evening light.  We were thrilled with the experience and felt very fortunate that we had been able to accomplish it on the first try. A couple we spoke to the next day had tried 3 times to get out to see it but had been denied by bad weather or the tides.


Access to the lighthouse is down the ladder seen at the right and across the ocean floor


The Bay of Fundy tide comes up to the x marked on the rock, well above the woman’s head


 A beautiful bridge went over some of the rocks 


Slippery when wet!   The seaweed comes about halfway up the ladder. 

Campobello Island was the home of many wealthy American families who built beautiful summer ‘cottages’ there during the 1880’s. This included James and Sarah Roosevelt, the parents of Franklin D Roosevelt, who built their cottage in 1885. It became the summer home of Franklin D Roosevelt, who spent every summer of his childhood on the island. When FDR married Eleanor they built a cottage of their own and spent summers there with their children. After Roosevelt contracted polio he only returned 3 times but Eleanor and the children returned every summer and Eleanor spent every summer at Campobello until her death. The Roosevelt cottage remains intact with all the original furniture and is run jointly by the US and Canada as the 2800 acre Roosevelt Campobello International Park. It has the unique distinction of being an American attraction on Canadian soil.


The Roosevelt cottage on Campobello Island


One of the other 5 remaining cottages from the 1890’s


Quoddy head lightstation in nearby Lubec, Maine


Quoddy Head State Park, Maine


Herring Cove Provincial Park on Campobello Island has a beautiful campground, beach, golfcourse, and restaurant and was almost completely empty.


Keeping warm and dry when the cold weather came in

5 responses to “Campobello Island

  1. Beautiful, unique lighthouses. Did you get to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor? We saw some beautiful campgrounds in the park when we were there last summer. I love your posts. You definitely do your homework. Thanks for sharing.

    • sunandsandtravelers

      Hi Judie, we love the lighthouses too. We’re planning on stopping at Acadia NP and surrounding areas on our way south after the summer crowds have gone. We’ll spend about 4-6 weeks in NB, NS and PEI before we head south.

  2. Stay cool! We leave for Door Co. this Thurs til the end of the month. Wish it was longer. KC gets “steamy” at this time of year! What is PEI? Got the others, can’t figure that one.

    • sunandsandtravelers

      Ha, sorry about that. PEI is Prince Edward Island. Hope you get some relief from the heat, we got more than we wanted – it’s only in the 50’s during the day!

  3. Looks like a beautiful place. And what a nice shot of the headlight in the late afternoon sun! Slippery stairs, ladders, and rocks? Sounds kind of risky……

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