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.

West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

View from West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

View from West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

View from West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

View from West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

View from West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

View from West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Coast near West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Coast near West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

West Quaco Lighthouse, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Mudflats at lowtide, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Mudflats at lowtide, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Sea stack past the mudflats, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Sea stack past the mudflats, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Sea stack, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Sea stack, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Mudflats at lowtide, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Mudflats at lowtide, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Mudflats at lowtide, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Mudflats at lowtide, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Mudflats at lowtide, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Mudflats at lowtide, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Depth of footprints to illustrate the saturation of sand and clay, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada.  (Brian , I know what you're thinking)

Depth of footprints to illustrate the saturation of sand and clay, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada. (Brian , I know what you’re thinking)

Mudflats at lowtide, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada

Mudflats at lowtide, West Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada