Hikersdestined for Maine tend to find themselves confronting a quandary. Do they head for the ocean and seek out trails along the rocky coast? Or inland to the mossy, moosey North Woods that so intrigued Thoreau?
It's a tough choice, and entirely unnecessary. A trip to Washington County — the easternmost county in the United States — is like getting two destinations for the price of one. Here, it's as if the North Woods has come down to the shore for a holiday. I'd wager it's the only place along the Eastern Seaboard where you can lace up your boots and set off in search of moose and whales on the same hike.
West Quoddy Head near the town of Lubec is a fine place to launch an exploration. This is the easternmost point of the United States, so merely by arriving here you feel as if you've already accomplished something. The point is marked with a picturesque red-and-white striped lighthouse, which attracts visitors who often linger just long enough to snap a photo or two, not even pausing to ponder why the easternmost point is named "West." (The explanation isn't terrifically complicated: East Quoddy Head is just across the border, on Campobello Island in Canada.)