Rock’s new favorite hike – Cliff Trail in Harpswell. We heard about this trail from our guests who did a little research on places to hike near White Cedar Inn. Harpswell has some interesting trails that are well-tended. Because of Harpswell’s location, most of the trails are on the water at one point or another. You can see from the map this trail has a lot of options for water views.
How to get there:
From here, head north on Rt 1 (in front of the house). Exit at Cooks Corner, cross railroad tracks, continue straight on Rt 24 through the islands. At Mountain Rd take a right. Continue on Mountain Rd to the Harpswell Town Hall. Park behind the building. (Mountain Rd connects at the other end to Rt 123 which takes you to the Dolphin Marina in one direction and Brunswick in the other.)
Where to eat:
Either before your hike or after, if you are looking for a place to get lobster you’ve got a lot of choices! These are only a few, there are a lot more: Gurnet Trading, Cook’s Lobster and Ale, Morse’s Cribstone, Dolphin Marina, Erica’s. Some are restaurants, others are lobster shacks. All are delicious!
The Cliff Trail hike:
Of course, we did the whole trail in reverse as we did not know parking was in the back of the Town Hall so we pulled in and parked in the front. We saw some folks returning to their car and asked if the trail was in the direction they just came from. Yes, and all we needed to do was follow the big footprints painted on the road and the parking lot. Off we went! We followed the footprints to the transfer station (aka, ‘the dump’) and saw more folks headed our way. (We should have guessed given all the traffic was coming at us, that we were going backwards.) There is a small sign at the end of the trail (much larger one at the beginning) so we knew we were getting close.
Into the woods we went. (In case anyone reads this years from now, it was not easy hiking while wearing a face mask, just so you know. 2020, the year from hell.)
The entire trail is just over a 2.3 mile loop. Not a bad hike at all. In the summer you’ll be in the shade for most of it. It is not an easy trail. I’d give it a medium for ability. (The town says it’s ‘rugged.’) There are a lot of rocks and tree roots and a lot of up and down the trail. At one point a sign indicated we were 150 feet above the water and we started at sea level. (This is nothing compared with the trails my daughter runs in WA. 150 feet is laughable there. She does trails where it’s several thousand feet in elevation change. However, this is coastal Maine and not the Cascades!)
About an hour into the hike we took a cutoff trail and headed to the parking lot. I think we skipped about .2 of the trail.
An unnamed island in Long Reach.
150′ straight down to the water.
Through the woods.
Fairy House along the trail.
End of the Cliff Trail. (Or, beginning if you go the correct way!)
We’re looking forward to trying more of Harpwell’s trails. We still have more to hike in the collection of the Freeport Conservation Trust. Looking for a place to stay to try all these trails? Check out the availability calendar!
See you soon! Happy trails…