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.