MUSEUMS AND HISTORIC SITES
There are over two dozen museums and historic sites Down East. These sites may be open during the birding festival. Check their website or call ahead or for dates and times.
- Milbridge Museum. Home to the town's historical society, the museum contains displays of the town's history and shipbuilding. (Open weekend afternoons).
- Columbia Falls
- Ruggles House Museum. Home to a 19th century lumber baron, the Federal-style house has period furnishings and a "flying staircase." Tours. (Open daily from June 1).
- Burnham Tavern Museum. This is the oldest building in eastern Maine and the only one with a Revolutionary War history. Period furnishings. Guided tours. (Open Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00 beginning in June).
- Fort O'Brien State Historic Site. Rte 92 south of Machias. Overlooks the site of the first naval battle of the American Revolutionary War during which Patriots captured the HMS Margaretta.. Open Memorial Day - Labor Day.
- West Quoddy Head Lighthouse and Visitor Center. Located in the restored lightkeeper's house next to the famous red-and-white striped lighthouse in Quoddy Head State Park. Contains displays, photos, and artwork about the history of the lighthouse and the Down East coast. (Open daily 10:00-4:00 EDT).
- Campobello Island, New Brunswick
- Roosevelt Campobello International Park. World's only jointly-administered, binational, international park. Home to a visitor center, gardens, and the Roosevelt's 34-room summer cottage. (Open daily 9:00-5:00 EDT; 10:00-6:00 ADT).
- Old Sow Whirlpool. The largest whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere. Located in the waters between Eastport and Deer Island, New Brunswick.
- Quoddy Dam Museum & Visitor Center. Contains displays and photos of Eastport area history, including a model of the proposed 1930s tidal power plant (open Monday-Saturday June-September).
- Raye's Mustard Mill Museum. America's last operating stone-ground mustard mill has been featured on Martha Stewartâ€™s show. Tours are available.
- Tides Institute and Museum of Art. The Tides Institute & Museum of Art (TIMA) campus consists of six
buildings and additional properties owned by TIMA mostly located within a
few blocks of each other in the downtown and waterfront area of
Eastport. Exhibitions, StudioWorks Artist in Residence Program, arts education, and cross-border cultural initiatives.
- 45th Parallel Marker. Located in a state turnout along the west side of US 1 north of Rte 190, this stone marker shows the midway point between the Equator and the North Pole.
- Saint Croix Island International Historic Site. This site off US 1 at Red Beach (and a parallel site across the St. Croix River in Canada) tells the story of the first French settlement in the New World in 1604. Major events took place during 2004-2005 in celebration of the settlement's 400th anniversary.
Ste-Croix Legacy Project
US National Park Service - St. Croix Island
Parks Canada - Saint Croix Island International Historic Site
- St. Stephen, New Brunswick
- Chocolate Museum. Sets forth the history of chocolate-making in St. Stephen, and the Ganong Chocolate Company. Tours, displays, demonstrations, and free samples. (Open Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00 EDT; 9:00-5:00 ADT)
- Charlotte County Museum. Displays on the history of St. Stephen and Charlotte County. Special exhibits on lumbering, shipbuilding, and Chinese porcelain. (Open June-September, Monday-Saturday)
- Down East
- Maine's Ice Age Trail, Downeast. The Maine landscape was created by vast sheets of glacial ice that covered Canada and the northern United States during the Ice Age. The Ice Age Trail will take you through one of the finest and most accessible areas of glacial moraines, deltas and eskers.
- Petit Manan â€” Maine's second-tallest lighthouse â€” south of Milbridge
- Narraguagus (Pond's Island) â€” south of Milbridge
- Nash Island - south of Addison
- Moose Peak (Moose-a-Bec) â€” Maine's foggiest lighthouse â€” south of Jonesport
- Libby Island (Machias) â€” Machias Bay
- Little River â€” Cutler
- Machias Seal Island â€” Light built and staffed by Canada. Territory has been disputed between the US & Canada since 1812.
- West Quoddy Head â€” one of Maine's most-photographed lighthouses â€” Lubec, ME
- Lubec Channel (Sparkplug) â€” Lubec, ME
- Mulholland Point â€” Campobello Island, NB
- East Quoddy Head/Head Harbour â€” New Brunswick's most-photographed lighthouse â€” Campobello Island, NB
- Whitlock's Mill â€” Calais
- Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. This 1,991-acre parcel, located at the end of Pigeon Hill Road, south of US-1, is one of the Refuge's three coastal parcels and 40 offshore islands totaling more than 7,000 acres. This parcel contains two hiking trails and is home to songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Open during daylight hours.
- McClellan Park. The town's ten acre coastal park, located on Wyman Road, south of US-1, includes trails, campsites, picnic areas, and toilets. Open during daylight hours.
- Great Heath Public Reserved Land. Maine's largest peat bog, the 6,000+ acre Great Heath sits astride the Pleasant River and lies north of US 1 and east of Schoodic Lake. Best traversed by canoe or kayak. Open year round.
- Beals Island
- Great Wass Island Nature Conservancy Preserve. Comprising almost all of the southern part of the town of Beals, this 1,579-acre preserve contains hiking trails, coastal raised bogs, and rare plants, and is home to a variety of bird life. Open during daylight hours.
Virtual Birder site about Great Wass Island Preserve
- East Machias
- Rocky Lake Public Reserved Land. This 10,904-acre area typically is used for boating, camping, fishing, hiking, and hunting. Located off Rte 191 north of US 1, it is open year round.
- Roque Bluffs
- Roque Bluffs State Park. This 274-acre park, located about 6 miles south of Machias, includes a half mile long sandy beach and offers both fresh- and saltwater swimming. It also has grills, a playground, and toilets. Open May 15 â€“ September 30 during daylight hours. No camping. Small admission fee.
- Bold Coast Public Reserved Land. Located off Rte-191 between Cutler and Lubec, this 12,000-acre parcel typically is used for hiking, primitive camping, and birdwatching. It is open year round. Also see
- Quoddy Head State Park. The 532-acre park, located at the end of South Lubec Road, contains the eastern-most point of land in the continental USA as well as the famous red and white striped West Quoddy Head Light and Visitor Center, several hiking trails, picnic areas, toilets. Open May 15 â€“ October 15 during daylight hours. No camping. Excellent birdwatching location. Small admission fee.
There are 12 lighthouses Down East. West Quoddy Head Light originally was built in 1808, but the present structure was built in 1858. Now the oldest of the Down East lights are Nash Island, Moose Peak, and Libby Island, which were built in the 1820s. The newest structures are Whitlock's Mill Light (1910) and Machias Seal Island Light (1915) â€” though the latter replaced a structure built in 1832. All the lighthouses can be viewed from the water and most are accessible by boat. In addition, several of the lighthouses can be viewed from land, three are accessible by car/foot, and two are privately owned.
Maine, Washington County, and the Cobscook Bay area are well-known for their variety of wildlife habitats. Many of these habitats are included in State Parks, State Public Reserved Lands, National Wildlife Refuges, and other public
Cobscook Bay State Park. Open May 15 â€“ October 15, this 888-acre park is frequented by campers and birdwatchers. Park trails are used for hiking and cross-country skiing, and a boat launch also available. The park is located east of US-1 north of Whiting. Small admission fee.
Great Works Wildlife Management Area. This 640-acre wildlife area, located off Rte-86 west of Dennysville, is available for hunting and fishing.
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge-Edmunds Division. This 8,781-acre division of the well-known refuge is located primarily west of US-1 between Whiting and Dennysville. It is used mostly for hiking, fishing, birdwatching, and other wildlife watching.
- Reversing Falls Park. Located off Leighton Point Road east of US-1. Offshore is Cobscook "Reversing" Falls, a salt water cataract that forms alternately in two directions as the tide flows in and out. Best viewing times are either 2â€“3 hours before/after high tide or during the hour around low tide.
- Shackford Head State Park. Accessed via Deep Cove Road, off Rte-190, this 90-acre undeveloped peninsula has several hiking trails, lots of birds, and is open year round during daylight hours.
- Gleason Cove Park. This town park, off Shore Road east of US-1, includes a beach, picnic area, and state boat launch. It is open during daylight hours.
- Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge-Baring Division. This is the refuge's main division, located between Calais and Charlotte-Meddybemps and east of Rte-191. Its 20, 027 acres includes hiking and biking trails, three self-guided interpretive trails, bald eagle nesting sites and a viewing deck, and the headquarters building with public facilities.
- Grand Lake Stream
- Farm Cove Community Forest. The Downeast Lakes Land Trust manages this 27,000-acre property for wildlife habitat, sustainable forestry, and public recreation. Access is from the village of Grand Lake Stream. The forest includes a 3,560-acre ecological reserve around Fourth Machias Lake, 62 miles of lakeshore on six lakes, extensive wetlands, and diverse forests. The Little Mayberry Cove Trail runs along the west shore of West Grand Lake from the parking area at the dam. The Community Forest and the Downeast Lakes area has been designated a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy.