Those seeking a taste of wilderness along Maine's coast will enjoy exploring the Cutler Coast Public Lands, a 12,234-acre expanse of blueberry barrens, woodlands and peatlands with 4.5 miles of headlands (interspersed by pocket coves and cobble beaches) overlooking the Bay of Fundy. Hikers can enjoy 10 miles of trails, three remote tent sites and spectacular views from the property's steep cliffs-part of the dramatic "Bold Coast" that extends from Cutler to Lubec. Cool, damp and windy conditions along the coast tend to stunt tree growth and favor species that normally would occur in alpine and sub-alpine terrain such as Hooker's iris, bird's eye primrose and baked appleberry. Birders have recorded nearly 200 species on or near the Cutler Coast. According to www.mainebirdingtrail.com, warblers, chickadees, golden-crowned kinglets and six species of owls frequent the woods, while seabirds and ravens nest along shoreline ledges. Offshore, from early summer to early fall, visitors may spot seals, porpoises and occasional humpback, finback, northern right and minke whales. The lands north of Route 191 have several raised coastal peatlands (also known as bogs or heaths)-a plant community not usually found south of Canada. The bogs support an array of fascinating plants, including some sub-arctic and arctic species (such as Labrador tea) and carnivorous plants (such as pitcher plants and sundew) that draw nourishment from insects-rather than the acidic water and nutrient-poor soils. The grassland "barrens," which were traditionally kept open by burning, contain species such as blue joint grass, flat-topped aster, alder and meadowsweet and support bobolinks and savannah sparrows. Due to the presence of bluejoint meadows and other exemplary natural communities such as huckleberry-crowberry bog and maritime spruce-fir-larch forest, Maine designated 5,216 acres of the property as an Ecological Reserve. The Reserve helps to maintain these representative ecosystems in their natural condition and allow for monitoring of ecological changes over time.

This is one of my favorite hikes in Maine. Very few people hit it during the colder months. Today it was me, my buddy and someone else two hours a head of us. The views are stunning and the hike is challenging but doable for all skill levels.

hiking
19 days ago

Started at the parking area off 191, hiked to the coast and back. The trail has many soft spots and is muddy. Some sections had planks to keep you out of the mud, a couple were sinking on the ends and teeter-tottered splashing me anyway. Didn't see any wildlife this visit. Great water view at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

9/10. Excellent views. At some points very rocky and hard to keep your eyes off the ground. I lost the trail a few times over the costal rock scrambling portion but follow the rock stacks. At this time there is a 1.2 mile detour/addition due to some flooding

hiking
3 months ago

You cannot believe the views on the coastal portion of the trail. Though there’s lots to do when you visit Downeast Maine, you’ve got to make time for this one.

Did the inland trail first, and saved the coastal trail and its rewards for the back end of the loop, when we’d need some incentive. The coastal trail is no joke. Not much elevation gain, but a lot of up and down and steep at times. Oh and take the detour on the inland trail. You will avoid a nasty bog and mud and guck over the tops of your boots - trust us.

A few things about this hike. It’s hard to maintain a rigorous pace for three reasons: (1) there are roots and rocks to deal with every step, (2) there’s a lot of bush-wacking, and (3) you have to stop frequently to take in the views on the coastal trail.

(1) Not surprising that on the hard coast, there are a lot of rocks just breaking the thin soil surface enough to trip you, and the roots have nowhere to go but across the surface. Rocks and roots; rocks and roots. You have to focus more than usual on every step during this hike. We joked that we felt like we tripped through most of the trail. If you have unstable ankles (like me), you’re gonna want to wear solid high hiking boots and lace them tight at the top. Neoprene ankle supports are a good idea too.

(2) One of my pet peeves is a trail that is so manicured that you half expect to see an escalator around the next corner. That comes nowhere near to describing this hike. It’s wild and delightfully neglected. But that also means slow going as you hike through a lot of brush and scrub so thick and so high that it’s hard to know where to pick up the trail at times. I started out happy to use my Kukri (machete) for a change, but the novelty wore off fast. Resorted to tucking my elbows in to my sides and holding the sternum strap with my hands to make myself as narrow as possible to get through the thick sections. Prime tick habitat, but we had none on us. Lots of blackberry bushes, by the way. Long pants would have been a good idea, despite the heat.

(3) Just look at the photos.

One more thing: this is no mere “nature hike.” We saw a lot of people ill-prepared for the terrain and with little to no water. SMH.

Absolutely beautiful hike! We did the whole loop, and definitely went 10 miles. There is a detour that adds an extra 1.2 miles now to get around some water. For people who want to hike less, there is a half loop version that cuts the distance, and I even saw some just do a tiny out and back to the coast. We had a fantastic time out there.

hiking
3 months ago

I love this trail! I haven't done the full loop (just the half loop), but hope to come back again.

Bring trekking poles and be very careful walking on the boardwalk sections and rocks if it's wet. When I was here (on 8/16/18) there were many sections of the coastal trail that were overgrown, requiring bushwhacking through weeds that are 5' to 6.5' tall. You can usually find your way in spite of this, but be careful because the rocks you can't see because of the weeds are VERY slippery and are a recipe for a fall or a rolled ankle.

There's also a 1.2 mile detour on the inland trail between the Black Point Brook trail and the parking lot trailhead.

The mosquitoes weren't much of a bother, but the horse flies are another story and they are everywhere where the coastal trail meets the black point brook trail.

Overall, a great trail with truly stunning views. My suggestion is the get an early start if you're doing the entire loop. But if you only have a short time, definitely walk from the parking lot to the coastal overlook.

hiking
3 months ago

I have done this hike many times over the years. I write this comment for day hikers - the costal part of this trail is too gorgeous and beautiful to waste anytime on the forrest part. My recommendation is to walk to the coast on Eastern most trail and then walk as far as you you like along the coast and then reverse so you can view the coast the other way and have lunch at the Northern most costal part before the trail goes back inland to the parking lot. You maximize you coast hike and your lunch stop is unbeatable for scenery,

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. Strenuous due to mileage and terrain which is rocky at times and mostly tree roots. but certainly not steep. The fatigue comes from having to watch where you step over the course of 10 ½ miles. (Yes 10 ½ miles, there is a detour around a bog at about the 7th mile). My friend and I did it in 6 hrs with a break for lunch and a few snack stops. The coastal section is stunning. My brief view of the campsites found them pretty unappealing
Bring water and snacks. But perfectly fine for a day hike.

backpacking
4 months ago

We did this trail with an overnight in one of the campsite. First day was foggy but kept the heat and humidity at bay. It brought a different element to my pictures. The trail is rated as hard, although it was more moderate to me. There are sections of steep inclines after the first outlook. Toward the campsite, there are a lot of over grown vegetation. Check yourself for ticks. There is no good water sources that we came across. Only nasty water if your really desperate. We stayed at the 2nd site at near the second beach which was newly added from high demand. Big campsite with a toilet that needs to be relocated. Nevertheless, the best view while doing my morning constitution. Mosquitoes were relentless. They bite through you clothes even with 40 deet bug spray. So bring some flamethrowers. Just kidding! No sunrise view for us due to overcast next morning but i can imagine how beautiful it can be. We saw many day hikers, but everyone was really nice. I’m definitely coming back here in the fall, maybe even the winter. It’s very beautiful and peaceful here. You won’t be disappointed.

camping
4 months ago

Great trail. One of my favorites. There are now five campsites because of increased demand. The two new sites are a mile and a mile and a half prior to the original three via the coastal trail. We camped at the new site at Long Cove.

Amazing views!!!!

Beautiful hike. Varied terrain. Quiet. Some beautiful Campsites.

on Cutler Coast Trail

5 months ago

amazing views great wildlife and strenuous hike.. great challenge for anyone up for it. camped over night which was great raccoons and lobster boat noises put me in a deep sleep! bring lots of water and bug spray!!

Beautiful trail beginning to end!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Absolutely beautiful views and experience. I camped over night at one of the Fairy Head campsites via coastal trail. I went in October and didn’t experience any bugs! Definitely a challenging hike for me, a novice hiker. If you plan on camping don’t over pack like I did! Highly recommend this hike. Get there early

Monday, September 25, 2017

Always spectacular! An annual for us!

hiking
Monday, August 21, 2017

Walked the inland trail to Fairy Head and did the full loop on Friday August 18th. The leg from the trailhead to the cutoff was still flooded but you can get through. The bog bridges are floating and when you cross them you will sink up to your ankles. OK if you have waterproof boots. One of our party had low hikers so he took them off to cross. Best have stick or hiking pole for balance.

The rest of the trip was absolutely stunning! Great views and the sweet smell of salt air combined with pine boughs. Didn't see any whales this time but we will be back.

hiking
Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Difficult trail is right! Part of the trail was under water "but passable." The water was only up to our ankles.
Gorgeous views!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Did an overnight out and back along the coastal trail to Fairy Head. We skipped the inland trail after many hikers reported it flooded. A couple of things to note: even on a Wednesday night, all backcountry campsites were full when we arrived. We found an established bootleg site but be aware, if you plan on camping you should get as early a start as possible. Also, somehow after a lifetime of hiking and camping, this trip might take the cake for most mosquitoes ever. I would venture to guess that we could do this hike 100 more times and never encounter the abundance of those things that we did on this particular trip. Finally, though the elevation profile is pretty minor, this trip deserves its "hard" designation. The coastal trail undulates constantly so you never get flat breaks, and I found myself feeling way more worn out than I would have expected.

All that being said, this is an absolutely gorgeous hike, reminiscent of the Olympic coast in Washington and the lost coast in California. Highly recommended if the conditions are right.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

AMAZING.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Amazing hike.

hiking
Monday, March 20, 2017

This trail puts you right up on the coast with numerous overlooks. A bit sketchy in March with the snow and ice but great views all the way.

on Cutler Coast Trail

backpacking
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Surprisingly challenging trail! Especially when you're backpacking. BUT the views are stunning and it's the most beautiful trail on the East Coastline. There are lots of rocks so expect some scrambling, and there's no freshwater, so you have to bring your own. The beaches aren't sandy, so if you're going to go in, wear water shoes. We did the trail during a 3-day backpacking trip, with two different campsites (which are first come first served, and packed every weekend).

walking
Sunday, October 02, 2016

Amazing ocean views, highly recommend. I did the 6 mile loop in 3 hours.

hiking
Monday, September 12, 2016

The wife and I have hiked the trail a few times over the years, never fails to impress with the moss covered forest, the temperature change once you get close to the water and just the sheer seclusion and beauty. I don't consider the trail difficult but the length and amount of tripping hazards (roots) do add to the challenge. My favorite hike in Maine that doesn't end up on the peak of a mountain.

hiking
Saturday, March 12, 2016

I was able to hike the 1.4 mile hike to the coastal overlook, I believe this trail (or part of it) is sometimes refered to as the bold coast trail. This trail is a part of the larger loop and was a great place to walk. I got there late in the day a was losing sunlight so I jogged alot of the way to the overlook. In hindsight that is probably not a good idea since the trail has alot of moss covered rocks and roots along it. On my way in I did pass a group of 5 seniors walking back from the overlook, they seamed to be making it along the rocky trail just fine. My mind was blown when I reached the coastal cliffs, A short distance out on the ocean there was a wall of fog. I didn't stay long since it was getting dark soon and I didn't know if the fog was moving inland. I made it back out useing a flashlight, The trail was easy to follow with bight blue blaze marks on the trees.

cross country skiing
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Beautiful trail, moderately challenging. Completed the 10 mile loop in 6 hours.

hiking
Sunday, June 22, 2014

Put this on your bucket list!
This is by far my most favorite hike in Maine so far. I think this combination of woods and coastal cliff trails really is what Maine is all about.
I hiked this last summer with my dog. We packed lots of water but thankfully there are a few places where fresh water runs into the ocean for a dog to wade and have a drink.
We hiked the loop, turning right to hike south inland then followed the loop north, past the campsites north and up the cliffs of the coast. It took us approximately 10 hours with stops for dogs drinks and lunch. Had the trail to ourselves until the very end when the trail turns left and back to the parking lot.
It seems most people just hike out and back from the parking lot to the cliff/ocean view. Otherwise you'll enjoy a relatively quiet hike with the woods and ocean all to yourself!
I have also heard this trail called the Bold Coast Trail.

camping
Saturday, September 08, 2012

My husband and I made this a 2 day backpacking trip. The campsite we stayed at was unbelievable! We pitched our tent on a grassy area on a cliff overlooking the ocean. You could wake up in the morning and watch the lobster boats picking up their traps. I highly recommend going to the 2nd campsite, the other two are slightly more inland.

hiking
Saturday, July 07, 2012

Hiked this a few years ago with my son, luckily ran into another Mom with two boys. LONG hike, very hot in the summer- but beautiful beach to lunch at midway. Take MORE water than you think you need, it is a thirsty one, with great views off some cliffs

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