Roque Bluffs State Park is a water-wrapped setting on Schoppee Point in Washington County, just eight miles south of Machias. The 274-acre setting looks out on Englishman Bay and includes Simpson Pond, a 60-acre freshwater pond for swimming and fishing.
This Maine state park is under two hours from Bangor, two and a half from Houlton, and an hour and a half from Acadia National Park.
One of the area’s features is its location that’s less than an hour from Lubec, the easternmost point in the United States. The Bay of Fundy is there, with tides that are some of the highest in the world.
Activities at Roque Bluffs State Park
People are attracted to this park during the warm months because of its water activities that include salt and freshwater sports. You can boat, paddle, fish, swim, and picnic in an uncrowded spot with tables, grills, and a playground.
There’s plenty of room to stretch your legs as you go birding and keep a lookout for wildlife. The pond is stocked with fish, giving you the option to fish in saltwater, freshwater, or both.
You’re invited to snowshoe and enjoy the setting in the winter and other months when the gate is closed. The park has an overall rating of limited ADA access. The parking and bay view areas are fully accessible, including a deck overlooking the bay. The restrooms and picnic area are generally accessible.
Boating at Roque Bluffs State Park
There’s a launch for trailered boats at the end of Schoppee Point. Please be sure your craft is registered according to Maine Boating regulations. You can get out on the bay or the pond in either a canoe or kayak, launching into the bay at the beach. Kayaks are available to rent at the pond.
Swimming at Roque Bluffs State Park
This park is a swimmer’s delight. You can enjoy the warmer, calm and shallow waters of Simpson Pond or the brisk surf at Roque Bluff’s Beach on Englishman Bay. This crescent-shaped beach is composed of sand and pebbles. The beaches don’t have lifeguards on duty.
Hiking at Roque Bluffs State Park
These 3.1 miles of networked trails are multi-purpose, letting you enjoy walking and hiking much of the year. When winter conditions are right, head out to snowshoe or cross-country ski. It’s okay to bring your leashed pet with you as you select and navigate these easy to moderate trails.
They network throughout the wooded area, along Pond Cove, and by Englishman Bay. The primary trails are:
- Houghton’s Hill Trail that’s just under a mile and has a picnic spot along the way.
- Mihill Trail connects from Houghton’s about a mile from the parking area offering you a moderate hike as you climb a hill for a longer hike to Pond Cove.
- The connector trails are Pond Cove Trail, Blueberry Camp Trail, and Starr Trail, varying between easy and moderate and leading you through the marvelously varied terrain of this somewhat remote park.
Biking at Roque Bluffs State Park
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge—Edmunds encompasses over 8700 acres an hour from the park. These multi-purpose trails for biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are easy to moderate and pet-friendly. They include:
- Timberdoodle Trail, a 1/3-mile paved wheelchair-accessible trail with paved parking, visitor kiosk, and handrails where needed.
- Weir Trail and gravel service roads that allow vehicles are also permitted for bicycles, totaling 4.7 miles of terrain. In the winter, these roads can be traveled via cross-country skiing or snowshoe.
Read the trail guide and signage to pick the trails that are designated for your activity.
Fishing at Roque Bluffs State Park
You can launch your boat right on Schoppee Point, giving you all sorts of fishing options here at Roque Bluffs. You can surf-cast for stripers and mackerel from the beach.
It’s reported striped bass fishing can begin as early as May, with early fall being good midday. Or you may want to fish in the well-stocked Simpson Pond where you can catch brookies in the spring and brown trout in the summer.
The Saltwater Angler’s Guide is good for pointers. Maine Saltwater Recreational Fishing is a page to visit about licensing, charter boat listings, and business connections. The Licenses & Permits page guides you on how to purchase your license online. It has links to other info such as fishing derbies and ice fishing.
Birding at Roque Bluffs State Park
This is a place to view a variety of sea and land birds throughout the year. You’re likely to spot sea ducks and visits from roosting gulls and waterfowl from the bay. Eagles cruise by in search of fish and prey living near the pond.
If you’re in luck, you may spot hooded mergansers and less common ducks like the gadwall and redhead. In late summer be on the lookout for least sandpiper, sanderlings, and plovers.
Gulls attracted to the area include Bonaparte’s, herring, ring-billed, and the great black-backed. The habitat supports great blue heron, American black ducks, and kingfishers. Yellow warblers, various sparrows, ravens, and an assortment of woodpeckers and owls dwell near the park’s fields and mixed woodland.
Nature & Wildlife at Roque Bluffs State Park
This is a setting for viewing wildlife on and offshore. The park’s fields, woods, and old orchard attract deer, bear, and assorted small mammals. Be sure to have your binoculars handy when you’re at Roque Bluffs Beach. From there you may see whales as they head to and from the Bay of Fundy.
Your best bet is sighting a magnificent humpback. Gray seals shelter on islands like those offshore from the park.
Pets at Roque Bluffs State Park
Leashed dogs are welcome, although state park beaches are not open to them from April 1 to September 30. Other than those months, your furry friend can visit the beaches with you.
Camping at Roque Bluffs State Park
Even though there isn’t any camping here, there are some within an hour’s drive.
- Cottonwood Camping & RV Park has spots for tents and RVs, plus rental units, including treehouses and a teepee. This spot that’s only 20 minutes from the park also has ATV rentals plus power at some tent sites.
Cobscook Bay State Park is ¾-hour away and has 125 campsites for tents, popups, and campers of various sizes. Many, though not all, of these sites are by the water.
Some can be reserved ahead of time and others are non-reservable. The park has two group tents-only campsites by the water.
Roque Bluffs State Park
145 Schoppee Point Rd,
Roque Bluffs, ME 04654
Here is a short YouTube video with some aerial footage of Roque Bluffs State Park:
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