The Historic Head Light in Portland, Maine
Along the rocky bluffs in the 90-acre Fort Williams Park sits one of the most recognizable lighthouses in the USA: the historic Portland Head Light.
The iconic Cape Elizabeth lighthouse is nestled just south of Portland, Maine, which also boasts the new light of my life: a “palace of poutine” must Maine eatery, Duckfat.
We arrived with just an hour to spare before an early fall sunset and walk along the picturesque grounds. Listed at under a mile, the Fort Williams Park Loop hike is more like a jaunt, but snakes along the cliffside from the lighthouse to the ruins of an abandoned mansion built for an old Civil War colonel to stunning sunset views.
In case the thousands of online photos are no clue, be prepared to fight your way past dozens of photographers and drones. I wonder if famed American painter and New England treasure Edward Hopper had to contend with so many of his realist painter contemporaries?
Still, I enjoyed my trek along the grounds. There’s something awe-inspiring about lighthouses. Even to someone as cautious about the open ocean as myself. They signal adventure, danger, and safety paradoxically all at once. As well as an important reminder for the not-so-distant role of the sea with cultural and economic exchange. When I find myself seaside, I always find myself humming along to a line from the Seattle Rap Group, The Blue Scholars. “Proximity to water makes the soul a little gentler.”