HIKING AND WALKING TRAILS
Mariaville Falls, Mariaville
Frenchman Bay Conservancy owns 123 acres on the east shore of the West Branch of the Union River at Mariaville Falls and holds a conservation easement on 18 acres across the river on the west shore. To get to the trail, start at the FBC Mariaville Falls Preserve sign on Route 181 (directions below). Follow the gravel access road that leads to a parking area in an abandoned gravel pit near the river. From there, an unimproved trail follows the shoreline and high ground to Mariaville Falls.
Mariaville Falls is a dramatic stair falls that can be seen from an overlook along the path. Then the trail runs north along meandering slack water towards Route 9 and ends at a bend in the river. The river is clean and wild as far as you can see. In the early 1800’s, William Bingham of Philadelphia established a thriving village at Mariaville Falls. There is no longer any trace of the dam, the two timber mills, the tannery or the boardinghouse and homes that once comprised a village of fifty families. (via Frenchmanbay.org)
Read about it and watch a video from the Bangor Daily News
How to get there: The Mariaville Falls Preserve is on Route 181 in Mariaville. The access road is marked by a large wooden sign for the preserve. Drive about 7.2 miles from Stillwater to the first parking lot and the trailhead to a new trail that travels through the woods to connect with the Fisherman’s Trail; or continue up the road about 0.1 mile to the second parking lot at a gravel pit and the trailhead to the Fisherman’s Trail, which traces the river to the Mariaville Falls.
Chick Hill, Clifton
Rising 1,160 feet above sea level in the town of Clifton is a small mountain that local residents call Chick Hill, but on any official map, it’s labeled Peaked Mountain. For many years, the public has explored the mountain on gravel roads, old woods roads and unofficial trails that cross through privately owned property.
Atop Chick Hill are open granite ledges that provide wide views of the area, including the mountains of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island to the south. Also visible from the top of the hill is the nearby Little Peaked Mountain (or what locals know as Little Chick Hill) and Eagle Bluff, both located in Clifton, and a cluster of mountains to the southeast including Schoodic, Black, Caribou and Tunk mountains. (via Bangor Daily News)
How to get there: From the intersection of Route 180 and Route 9 in Clifton, drive east on Route 9 for 3.3 miles, then take a sharp left onto Chick Hill Road. Drive 0.3 and veer right at the fork, remaining on Chick Hill Road. Drive another 0.3 mile to where Chick Road ends at a rough, gravel parking area, which will be to your left. This parking area may look more like a plow turnaround or cul-de-sac. When you park, be sure not to block any roads or driveways.
Branch Lake Trails, Ellsworth
In 2010, Frenchman Bay Conservancy collaborated with the City of Ellsworth, the Trust for Public Land, and the Forest Society of Maine in order to protect Branch Lake. Branch Lake is the singular source of drinking water for Ellsworth, eastern Maine’s largest coastal city. The lake also serves as a source of timber harvesting and public recreation. The City of Ellsworth and FBC plan to develop hiking trails in the future. (via Frenchmanbay.org)
How to get there: From the corner of Main Street and Route 1A (Oak St.) in downtown Ellsworth, drive north 6.5 miles to the Ellsworth Branch Lake Public Forest sign on your left. Turn left and drive 1 miles to the gravel trail parkling lot. the lake loop trail meanders through the old forest and reaches Branch Lake at 1.3 miles. Round trip mileage is about 2.5 miles. Allow 1.5 hours for hiking.
Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary, commonly known as Birdsacre, is open year-round, seven days a week during daylight hours, but the Homestead Museum and Nature Center are seasonal, open June-September. The 200-acre Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary is run by a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the home and vision of ornithologist-photographer Cordelia Stanwood (1865-1958), an Ellsworth native who researched nature on the same land. The sanctuary is free, but relies upon donations and volunteerism. Dogs are allowed on the trails, but dog walkers should stay away from the shelters for non-releasable owls and hawks. In an effort to minimize trail damage, the owners do not allow bicycling. For information, visit http://www.birdsacre.com (Via Bangor Daily News)
How to get there: The Birdsacre/Standwood Wildlife Sanctuary is located at 289 High St. in Ellsworth.
Woodlawn Museum Trails, Ellsworth
Initially, Woodlawn’s trails were built in the 1800s as exercise tracks for the Black’s family horses. Later, automobiles were driven on them, but today, you’ll see no evidence of that. The relatively wide trails, off limits to vehicles, are used by the public for walking, running, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Benches along the trails provide comfortable places to rest and observe wildlife. The trails are just a piece of Woodlawn. The house has become a museum, which is open May 1 through Oct. 31 and for special events, such as “Christmas at Woodlawn” holiday tours, high teas and traditional Christmas feasts, which occur in December. For information, visit http://woodlawnmuseum.com (Via Bangor Daily News)
How to get there: Woodlawn is located at 19 Black House Drive in Ellsworth.
Acadia National Park
Sea and mountain meet at Acadia, where, as one presumably ambidextrous visitor wrote, “you can fish with one hand and sample blueberries from a wind-stunted bush with the other.” Most of the park is on Mount Desert Island, a patchwork of parkland, private property, and seaside villages that seasonally fill with what residents call “the summer people.” Other bits are scattered on smaller islands and a peninsula.
Hiking Trails in Acadia National Park are often interconnected and range in difficulty from easy to strenuous. There are over 120 miles of trails to select from. Add to this the famous Carriage Roads, and the day hiker has a wide selection of enjoyable hiking options. (via Acadiamagic.com)
There is bountiful fishing on Graham Lake. You can expect smallmouth bass in the three- to five-pound range anywhere on the lake. The floating heath islands and shoreline vegetation combine to produce hefty bass and pickerel. In addition, white perch in the eight- to twelve-inch range travel in schools around the deeper parts of the lake during the summer and usually feed on schools of minnows or hatching insects.
For Fishing License purchase, fishing rules, and fishing regulations please visit Maine Fish & Wildlife.
Nothing says Maine like a visit to one of the iconic lighthouses. It is, after all, the Lighthouse State. With more than 60 options lighting up the coastline, you could plan a whole trip around these historically significant and visually arresting Maine beacons.
Carved by glaciers, Maine’s craggy coastline was once perilous under foggy conditions and turbulent seas. Yankee ingenuity helped solve this issue beginning in 1794 by providing towers of light and hope to aid sailors in navigating the difficult waters. Guiding vessels to navigable water channels and marking the shrouded mouths of rivers, Maine lighthouses saved countless lives and helped to develop a unique and heroic way of life for their keepers. (via Visitmaine.com)
Closest Lighthouses to Stillwater