Located on the easternmost point in the continental United States, the red and white striped lighthouse marks the southwest entrance to Quoddy Channel. In 1806 a group of concerned citizens chose West Quoddy Head as a suitable place for a lighthouse to aid mariners coming into the west entrance to Quoddy Roads between the mainland and Campobello Island. The first rubblestone lighthouse was built there two years later by order of Thomas Jefferson. West Quoddy Head light received one of the nation's first fog bells in 1820. The keeper was required to strike the bell by hand in foggy weather, a frequent occurrence in the nearby Bay of Fundy. For his trouble, Congress in 1827 alotted the keeper an additional $60 annually.
The lighthouse may have been rebuilt in 1853, but was not long standing; the present 49-foot brick tower was erected in 1858 and a third-order Fresnel lens was installed. a 1-1/2 story Victorian keeper's house was built in that same year; in 1869 a trumpet fog whistle replaced the earlier bells.
The light was automated in 1988 and is now part of Quoddy Head State Park; grounds are open to the public with trails along the shore and to the lighthouse. The "west" in West Quoddy Head, refers to its location west of East Quoddy Head in nearby New Brunswick, Canada.
From U.S. Route 1 at Whiting, turn onto Route 189 and continue for about four miles. Turn right onto South Lubec/Boot Cove Road (marked with a Quoddy Head State Park sign) and continue to a fork in the road, again marked with Quoddy Head State Park. Bear left and continue on to the park and light station. At the entrance to the station turn right onto the road leading to the parking area. A short trail to the left leads to the light; other trails to the right offer views of the light, cliffs and islands.