|Roosevelt Campobello Int'l Park|
|An international park in New Brunswick, Canada, reached by road from Lubec, Maine, commemorating Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.|
The Roosevelt Campobello International Park is the only park of its kind in the world: located in Canada but reached by road only from the USA, it is adminstered by both nations in honor of its most famous former residents, President Franklin D Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
How to Visit the Park
The Roosevelt Cottage is now part of Roosevelt Campobello International Park, a joint American-Canadian effort. The cottage is open from mid-May (the Saturday prior to Memorial Day) through mid-October (including US Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving) from 9am to 5pm Eastern Time (10am to 6pm Atlantic Time).
There is no charge for admission.
The cottage and Visitor Centre close in winter, but the grounds and park remain open all year, from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset.
Guides at the Visitor Centre point out the path to the Roosevelt Cottage, show you movies about the island, and map out the various walks and drives in the 2,600-acre (1,052-hectare) nature preserve.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt's father, James, bought some land on the island in 1883, at a time when lots of important city people were building large "summer cottages" at Bar Harbor, Passamaquoddy Bay, and other northern coastal locations. Young Franklin—to solve that last little mystery—came here as a child, long before he was President of the United States, and spent many a teenaged summer rowing, paddling, and sailing on the waters, and hiking through the woods.
In 1920 FDR ran for the vice-presidency—and lost. Taking on a banking job instead, he looked forward to a relaxing summer at Campobello in 1921. On the way to the island he stopped at a Boy Scout camp in Bear Mountain, New York and, unbeknownst to him, contracted the poliomyelitis virus.
On August 10th the first signs of illness showed, and two weeks later the doctors diagnosed the crippling disease. When he left the island in September, he had no way of knowing that the few more times he would see the summer cottage and his Campobello friends would be brief weekend visits—as President of the United States.
The Roosevelt Cottage
The day-to-day lives of the great and powerful are fascinating to explore in detail, and a visit to the Roosevelt house on Campobello Island gives one a peek at the early years of this courageous man who went on to become governor of New York and President of the United States after having been crippled by polio.
It is no less intriguing to see how a well-to-do family spent its summers at the turn of the century, with long and leisurely days filled by sports, games, and family fun. Servants saw to the chores, and even they must have enjoyed getting away from the city to such a beautiful spot.
Tea with Eleanor
Near the Roosevelt Cottage are several other large summer cottages once owned by friends or relatives of the Roosevelts. Some of these may be visited. The best way to visit is to have Tea with Eleanor: park staff serve you tea and cookies while relating the history of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, her times, trials, and triumphs.
The park boasts a system of nine hiking trails from the easy Duck Island View (just a few minutes to a scenic overlook) and Lower Duck Pond (1.8km/1.1mile) to the more difficult Fox Farm (1.8 km/1.1 miles) to the longer and most challenging Raccoon Beach to Liberty Point (3.9 km/2.4 miles).
Views are spectacular, of course. A trail map is available for free at the Visitor Centre.
Carriage Road Drives
As at Acadia National Park, Roosevelt Campobello International Park has gravel carriage roads built in the 19th century to make prime points of interest accessible to horse-drawn carriages. Three carriage road drives are now open to horseless carriages (cars, but not large vehicles such as campers or buses): Cranberry Point (8.7 km/5.4 miles), Liberty Point (13 km/8 miles), and Fox Hill Drive (3.5 km/2.1 miles).
A map of the carriage road network is available for free at the Visitor Centre.
Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission
—by Tom Brosnahan