Top 5 Lighthouses to Visit in Maine

If you've been following Reclaimed Maine for awhile, you'll know that it's been my goal for the past two years to explore as many new places as I can. This started back in 2020, when I decided that I wanted to visit as many lighthouses as I could reach. I've always had a love for them. So iconic of Maine, each one different than the next, but equally beautiful. There's something about them, something graceful and comforting. They sit tall amongst the coastline, sending out their protective light. Since 2020, I have seen almost 20 lighthouses, and below are my top 5 must see lighthouses in Maine. 

1. Portland Head Light

Easily one of Maine's, and the nation's, most iconic lighthouses. Commissioned in 1971 by George Washington, and located in Cape Elizabeth's Fort Williams Park, this lighthouse is Maine's oldest lighthouse. The park itself lend itself to hiking, relaxing and a great spot for picnicking. Enjoy multiple short trails along the rocky coast, to get a glimpse of the lighthouse from every angle. One of Maine's more grandiose, it really takes your breath away with it's size and juxtaposition above the shore.
white lighthouse with red roof sitting on rocky cliffs above ocean

2. Owls Head Light

If you plan to travel up to the mid-coast towards the bustling coastal towns of Rockland, Camden and Rockport, Owl Head Light is a must see. I personally prefer to visit during the off season, where you have the chance of experiencing without the crowds. This lighthouse is tucked away amongst the conifer coastlines. Enjoy a short walk down a gradual dirt path, until you catch a glimpse of the lighthouse, sitting 100 feet above the water. As you climb the stairs to the top, enjoy views of surrounding islands, rocky pine tree coastlines, and the open sea. The park also offers picnic tables and trails down to the rocky pebble beaches below. There's something special about hearing the waves crash and recede over the smooth round stones.

3. Bass Harbor Headlight

If you're making the trek up the coast to experience Acadia National Park, it's only fair that you travel further down the peninsula to take in one of my favorite lighthouses: Bass Harbor. The path alone is worth your time. Through a short wooded trail, you reach the top of a set of stairs that looks out over the conifer coastline and descends down the rocky cliffs. Continue down the stone laid path, until you catch a glimpse of the lighthouse, nestled within the trees, with the ocean breaking beneath. Bass Harbor Head Light Station was constructed in 1858. standing watch over the entrance to Bass Harbor. Sit among the rocks, take in the ocean views and passing boats, and listen to the waves break along the cliffs. Another one that I recommend during the off-season. If you try to catch a sunrise, you will most likely be shoulder to shoulder with a line of photographers and tourists. I recommend 8-9am, just after the morning rush.

woman sitting on rocks looking at white lighthouse sitting among trees, blue sky and ocean

4. Squirrel Point Light

Not a lighthouse often talked about, but a hidden treasure that I stumbled across in late fall of 2021. Located on Arrowsic Island, Squirrel Point Light is one of four navigational aids dating back to 1895 along the Kennebec River. Visiting the lighthouse requires a short 2/3 mile hike through protected woodlands and wetlands, on a generally easy trail (though fairly 'rooty'). Once you reach the trail end, you can take in the property, consisting of the light tower, keeper's house, barn, boathouse and oil house. The octagonal lighthouse is quaint, one of Maine's smallest, with a unique red tinted glass that shines bright as the sun shines through. As you explore the property, enjoy the quiet, and take in the views of the river and the small town of Phippsburg across the way. 

white lighthouse with red glass, sun in the background, wooden walkway leading to lighthouse

5. West Quoddy Head Light

If you've made it this far up the coast you are in for a treat. Not only have you reached the easternmost point in Maine, you have reached one of the most beautiful state parks I've ever been to. Catch the sunrise in the morning, or spend the day hiking the various trail systems. The Coastal Trail offers a moderately challenging hike up and over the cliffs, with look-outs over rocky bluffs, with spectacular ocean views and that will take your breath away. The lighthouse itself was built in 1808, and is one only two still-standing lighthouses in the US with the iconic red-and-white stripes.
red and white striped lighthouse, with green grass and bright blue skypine tree with rocky coast in foreground with ocean and rocky bluff in the distance   
Fortunately, if you're checking out any of the lighthouses on this list, you're likely to pass a few others on your way. Keep a look out, and let me know in the comments which of Maine's 65 lighthouses is your favorite! If you love lighthouses as much as I do, make sure to check out our Lighthouse Collection.

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