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Side Trip to Campobello Island

From Lubec , it’s only a short drive to Canada, a perfect international day-trip opportunity. You will need a valid passport to cross the border, of course. Lubec is the gateway to Canada’s Campobello Island, a quiet jewel once favored by president Franklin D. Roosevelt. This compact island (about 10 miles long and 3 miles wide) at the mouth of Passamaquoddy Bay has been home to both humble fishermen and wealthy families over the years, and both have coexisted quite nicely. (Locals approved when summer folks built golf courses because it gave them a place to graze their sheep.) Today the island is a mix of elegant summer homes and less interesting tract homes of a more recent vintage.

Campobello is connected by a graceful modern bridge to Lubec—in fact, it’s easier to get to from the United States than from Canada. From the Canadian mainland, you’d have to take two ferries, one of which operates only in summer. (From Letete, New Brunswick, there’s a free ferry to Deer Island; at Deer Island’s other end, there’s a small seasonal ferry to Campobello operated by East Coast Ferries (www.eastcoastferriesltd.com; tel. 506/747-2159; fares C$16/US$12 for car and driver, C$4/US$3 for each additional passenger).

 

WONDERFUL WALKS

The island offers excellent shoreline walks at both Roosevelt Campobello International Park and Herring Cove Provincial Park (tel. 506/752-7010), which is open year-round. The landscapes are extraordinarily diverse. On some trails you’ll enjoy a Currier and Ives tableau of white houses and church spires across the channel in Lubec and Eastport; 10 minutes later you’ll be walking along a wild, rocky coast pummeled by surging waves. Herring Cove has a mile-long beach that’s perfect for a slow stroll in the fog. (Herring Cove also has a very scenic golf course, open late April to October), and campsites, open late May to October.)

Campobello’s mixed terrain also attracts a good mix of birds, including sharp-shinned hawk, common eider, and black guillemot. Ask for a checklist and map at the visitor center.

Campobello on Two Wheels

The islands and peninsulas of Passamaquoddy Bay lend themselves nicely to cycling—especially pretty Campobello, which has plenty of good dirt roads perfect for mountain biking. But you’ll need a guidebook to show you the way. Fortunately, Kent Thompson has written a handy one, called Biking to Blissville. It covers 35 lovely rides in the Maritimes, including some on the island, and costs C$20 (about US$15). Unfortunately, it was published in 1993, but there’s plenty unchanged (kind of the selling point at Campobello). Try to order it through the publisher, Goose Lane Editions (www.gooselane.com; tel. 888/926-8377 or 506/450-4251), or, failing that, through an online retailer such as Amazon (www.amazon.ca).

 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.