Heading North to Lubec

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

Our family has been heading to Maine for a number of years, but the pandemic shifted our focus. We have spent a lot of time exploring Acadia National Park and have found Easy Walks at various locations throughout the island. The park’s popularity became a real drawback when we were doing our best to avoid crowds in the worst of the pandemic. We looked toward the northern section of Acadia National Park and discovered that the Schoodic peninsula, and on farther east offered a wide variety of places to explore.

Here’s one post I shared about our Schoodic Peninsula explorations. Our most recent trip reached farther east, in fact, to the Canadian border in Lubec, Maine. We walked portions of the Downeast Sunset Trail, which starts in Ellsworth Maine and travels up to Perry, Maine. A separate section continues into Lubec, almost within sight of the West Quoddy Point light house state park.

One portion of the Downeast Sunset Trail

The Downeast trail is an wide relatively flat stone dust path. We found views of rivers and the spring melt that creates rapids in some sections. Other portions of the trail crossed rivers that are directly affected by tidal flow. Mudflats and saltmarsh hay fields offer great opportunities to spot birds and other wild animals in the area.

Lubec rail trail right along the shoreline

The trail in Lubec brings visitors right next to the Gulf of Maine and quite near the Bay of Fundy. Rocky headlands offer great spots to view the area. The walking path is quite near to some of these view points, making it pretty easy to get out to the shoreline from these rocky perches. We had a quiet picnic lunch along the shore and listened to the gentle waves washing up on the beach right next to the path.

Short rail trail alongside the Mt. Desert Narrows in Hancock. Railroad history is preserved as part of the trail.

Hancock, Maine offers some great views of the Mount Desert Narrows, the Tidal Falls Preserve, and a small park at the bridge between Hancock and Machias. We found a very small true rail trail, the Waukeag Train Station, with portions of the tracks, track switches (with explanatory placards) and a narrow path alongside the shoreline.

Bad Little Falls, right in the center of Machias, Maine

On the other side of the river in Machias is a stunning natural waterfall. Bad Little Falls Park offers access dirctly over the falls that flow right through this small city. The falls have been altered over the years to facilitate obtaining waterpower from the river. Much of that has been removed or torn down to allow the river to flow more freely.

View from our campground of the Pleasant River, Addison, Maine

We camped in Addison, Maine at a campground abutting the Pleasant River. This is a tidal river, and from our campsite we were able to enjoy the ebb and flow of the tides. The sloping hay field offered a somewhat Easy Walk (hiking poles really helped!) and provided views of local waterfowl swimming in the shallows next to the shoreline.

Cliffs loom alongside the trail from the West Quoddy Point state park

Since we visited in April, the weather was brisk! We brought all our winter clothing and were glad we did. The heater in our camper worked great. The only challenge was the below freezing temperatures at night, which kept us from enjoying the luxury of running water in our camper. Lucky for us, our hosts got their water faucets running, and offered a bathroom and shower for us to use. We feel sure this will be a busy place come the warmer weather.

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My liturgy of Easy Walks: Finding the Sacred in everyday (and some very strange) Places.

She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.

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