ROQUE BLUFFS STATE PARK
Roque Bluffs State Park provides visitors with a great diversity of coastal landscapes to enjoy in 274 acres on Schoppee Point (south of Machias). A beautiful, half-mile crescent of sand and pebbles along Englishman Bay is backed by the shallow waters of 60-acre Simpson Pond - allowing for bracing saltwater swims and much warmer fresh water soaks. Between the beach and the pond are several picnic areas and a children's play area adjoining the parking area. A 6-mile trail network just inland from the shore leads through old orchards, fields and woods, with paths that follow the rocky shores of Great Cove and Pond Cove.
The diverse habitats at Roque Bluffs State Park support abundant wildlife, and bird watchers enjoy interesting sightings at all seasons. Bald eagles frequent the area year-round and many migrant species stopover during spring and fall. Birders occasionally spot less common waterfowl, such as Barrow's Goldeneye, Redhead and Gadwall ducks, and Hooded Mergansers. During summer months, pipers, plovers and interesting species of gull (like ring-billed) frequent the beach.
The sand/pebble beach at Roque Bluffs State Park is an unusual geologic feature along the Downeast coast, much of which is marked by bold cliffs and cobble shores. It resulted from an accumulation of sediment that eroded from a prominent glacial moraine lying to the east. There is a bedrock outcrop at the eastern end of the beach where visitors can see glacial striations (deep groves in the bedrock left by the glacier's movement toward the southeast).
This unusual beach has long been popular with area residents and visitors. The Maine State Park Commission used proceeds from a public bond to acquire and protect the land in 1969.
Offshore, visitors can see Libby Lighthouse (formerly known as Machias Lighthouse because it marks the entrance to Machias Bay). This historic structure, built in 1817, is still an active beacon.