Cutler Coast Public Lands

Top choice Nature Reserve

in Machias Bay Area
Image by Thomas H. Mitchell / Getty Images
Image by Thomas H. Mitchell / Getty Images

This little-known reserve a few miles northeast of Cutler has hiking trails amid spectacular coastal scenery. If you've visited Acadia National Park and wondered what the shoreline trails would be like without the crowds, this is the place to come. This 12,000-acre expanse encompasses lush forests thick with moss and ferns, blueberry barrens, and jagged headlands overlooking hidden coves and rocky beaches.

The well-marked trail from the starting point is 1.4 miles one-way to the shoreline; from there, the path continues another 3.4 miles before looping inland and returning to the trailhead. Allow seven hours to do the entire 9.2-mile loop or just tackle one stage of it.

Parking for the trailhead is 4 miles northeast of Cutler (and about 21 miles from Machias). There are also five first-come, first-served backcountry campsites scattered along the trail (these are 3 to 5 miles from the trailhead, so pack light!).