Quaco Head Lighthouse and West Quaco Beach and Mudflats, New Brunswick
Spotting a lighthouse on the map that looked close to the sea caves, I drove back through the tiny collection of buildings known as St. Martins and across a few miles of salt marsh before climbing up a winding gravel road. Once the road was elevated above the bay I caught glimpses of endless tidal flats and then – a sea stack! Even before I reached the lighthouse on the other side of the point, I was already excited to find a way to see the eroded column of rock next.
The West Quaco Lighthouse looked fairly abandoned sitting out on Quaco Head when I arrived, all peeling paint and surrounded by overgrowth. But the square tower, constructed in 1966 in place of earlier iterations, still flashes a light every ten seconds or so and is equipped with a working foghorn. While the tower itself may not be of inspired design, the lighthouse overlooks a fantastic drop off into the Bay of Fundy. Green grass and plentiful wildflowers enhance the picture-perfect setting, and contrast the shaded blue shallows of the water at lowish tide.
Leaving the lighthouse I made my way back down the headland but couldn’t seem to find a way to get around the point for a closer look at the sea stack I had spotted. But I pulled over once I started crossing the salt marshes and eyed it up from a distance. Then, calculating I was only a few hours past low tide, I decided to walk across the expansive mudflats to get a closer look. I had to ford a couple shallow but rapidly-flowing streams to get across the marsh and to the beach (or what is half the time the ocean floor), but once I did it was relatively dry stroll, though the clay content in the sand resulted in sinking in a few places. The distance across the mud flats were deceptive however; it took me nearly a half hour to get to the closest point to the sea stack that was possible.