Lighthouses, Sunrises & Sunsets


The location and shape of Grand Manan Island offer visitors the chance to start the day with a gorgeous sunrise then finish with a breathtaking sunset. Besides lighthouse lookouts, Dark Harbour is another favourite spot to watch the sunset.

Lighthouses are often great spots to begin (Swallow Tail) or end your day (Southwest Head, Long Eddy). The first lighthouse built was Gannet Rock in 1831, followed by Machias Seal Island the next year. These lighthouses helped to define the rocky ledges to the south of Grand Manan and protect shipping from staying into the difficult to navigate rocky ledges, particularly during the summer when fog is commonplace. Some current lighthouses actually started as fog stations and did not receive a light until the 1960s when the Canadian Coast Guard had a modernization program with its light and fog stations. Seven active lighthouses still exist in the archipelago. Two others have disappeared after being decommissioned – one on Ross Island and the other on White Head Island.

Swallow Tail Peninsula

Swallow Tail Lighthouse

Iconic Swallow Tail Lighthouse (est. 1860), visible from the ferry, a short walk or drive from the ferry terminal, is an active lighthouse, with property owned by the Village of Grand Manan, operated by Swallowtail Keepers Society. A Welcome Centre is located at the entrance. Access is via stairs, wooden footbridge, gravel trails with benches, picnic tables, outdoor interpretation. Tours of the restored lighthouse and msueum are available. Keepers house being developed for Keepers in Residence Program. A must see.

Contact Information:
Open: Property open year round.
Welcome Centre: July and August 10 am – 6 pm. September – by chance.
Lighthouse tours: TBA or by chance.
Address: 50 Lighthouse Road → North Head
Website: Swallow Tail Lighthouse

Lighthouse History – Lighthouses – PDF