Grand Mananers are extremely proud of their lighthouses - long part of both their history and of their daily life. While they may be tourist attractions to some, to the fishermen of the island, they are part of their safety net. The waters in the Bay of Fundy, and especially around the Grand Manan Archipelago can be treacherous.
We have yet to explore all the lighthouses, and plan is to further develop this page in coming months. In the meantime, a brief overview of some of the major ones we have visted and the ones we have yet to see.
Long Eddy Point Lighthouse (The Whistle) - northern end of the island. Follow Whistle Road from the road's start at Tattons Corner, to its end at the Whistle.
It's a great place to get close to the shore along the cliffs of the north shore, to see the sunset, to start the trail back to Whale Cove, or start the much more adventurous walk along the rugged west coast of the island.
Southwest Head Light - Route 776 south to the end. On a clear day you should be able to see two other lighthouses, Machias Seal Island Light directly south and Gannet Rock Light to the southeast.
If it's foggy, be prepared! the fog horn is not subtle. And as the south end of the island experiences considerably more foggy days than the northern part, consider fog part of the experience. You can start the Southern Head to Pats Head Trail here, going just to Southern Head Beach, or further past the Flock of Sheep to Pats Head and back to the road (Route 776).
Swallowtail Light - northeast end of island and closest to the ferry. From ferry turn right at stop sign off Ferry Wharf Road onto Pettes Cove Road, left onto Old Airport Road, right onto Lighthouse Lane. Follow until lighthouse is in view. Swallowtail is one of the most photographed landmarks on Grand Manan, a symbol of the island. The Swallowtail Lighthouse Society has been formed to restore and maintain the site: Facebook page . They also have a blog page to document events and funsraisers: http://swallowtailkeepers.blogspot.com/ .
Fish Fluke Point (Grand Harbour) Light - Route 776 to Ingalls Head Road, follow along keeping a lookout across Grand Harbour. The light is visible on Ross Island. Alternatively, make a left onto Thoroughfare Road just as you enter Grand Harbour from the north or just as you are leaving Grand Harbour from the south. Follow to the end of the road, park your vehicle and hike along Ross Island to the lighthouse. Make sure you have checked the tide tables and can get across to Ross Island and back.
The lighthouse fell during an early winter storm of 2013.
Gannet Rock Light - visible on a clear day from most vantage points from Ingalls Head to Southwest Head and White Head Island.
Machias Seal Island Light - arrange a boat tour with Sea Watch Tours to the island
Long Point Light - Follow Ingalls Head Road off Route 776 in Grand Harbour to the ferry to White Head Island at the end of the road. Turn right just after leaving ferry upon arrival at White Head and follow the road, keeping to the left until the lighthouse is visible. The road to the lighthouse along the shore is not always passable by cars so check before you venture onto it. Gannet Rock Light may be visible on a clear day to the south.
Great Duck Island Light - Route 776 to Woodwards Cove turn onto Shore Road. Follow Shore Road until lobster pounds are in view. Keep a lookout for the lighthouse in the distance on Great Duck Island.
Not many are aware than in the past year, the Canadian government's Department of Fisheries and Oceans moved to declare its active and inactive lighthouses surplus. Numbering close to 1,000, the move seriously undermines the intent of the new Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, leaving the door open to their abandonment and demolition by neglect.