Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) loved Campobello Island for its quiet wooded coves, rocky headlands and excellent fishing. Those sleepy days are long gone, but although the island, which is just 16km long by 5km wide, is now sprinkled with second homes and busy with day-trippers, the southern half is protected as the Roosevelt Campobello International Park. Here, mixed forests, marshes, tidal flats, beaches and gullies are explored by 24km of gravel road, which give access to a variety of gentle hiking trails. Several of these – including the enjoyable, 1.5km-long walk over to Friar's Head – begin beside the island's star turn, the red and green Roosevelt Cottage (late May to mid-Oct daily 10am–6pm; free), set amongst the woods by the seashore about 3km south of the ferry dock. One look at the place and you'll see that "cottage" is an understatement – it's a 35-room mansion built in a Dutch colonial style and packed with memorabilia, from the great man's childhood potty and the Christmas list he made when he was knee-high through to the megaphone with which the children were summoned to dinner. It was at the cottage in 1921 that Roosevelt contracted polio and, poignantly, the stretcher on display was the one used to carry him off the island.
Reached from the north by means of the Deer Island ferry and from the south over the bridge from Lubec in Maine, Campobello Island is easily seen in a day, but, if you do decide to stay, head for Lupine Lodge (Tel:506/752-2555 or 1-888/912-8880, Web: www.lupinelodge.com ; Price: $81-100; late May to mid-Oct), whose delightful log cabins, with their Art Deco lines, occupy a clearing in the woods, in sight of the sea about 500m north of Roosevelt Cottage. The lodge itself dates from 1915 and holds a first-class and reasonably priced restaurant featuring local ingredients – Fundy haddock, Maine shrimp and so forth.