Monday, November 12, 2012

Maine's Hidden Gems

It certainly is no secret that Maine contains many hidden or secret “gems”, places so beautiful and pristine, that you might at first believe they could only exist in one’s imagination. The location of these amazing destinations is only whispered between local Mainah’s and NEVER revealed to those classified as tourists or “not from round heah”. To even breathe a suggestion, as to the whereabouts of these enchanted spots, could be enough to warrant a public flogging or at the very least, a horrific tongue lashing by the family elders.

Now being a pretty nice guy and one heck of a Maine guide, you might be under the impression that upon ample prodding and copious amounts of alcohol, I might be talked into openly sharing the particulars, of a couple of these extraordinary locations. Well, I’m here to tell you mistah that it just ain’t gonna happen! I haven’t yet given up great Grandma’s blue ribbon winning dill pickle recipe and I certainly ain’t tellin’ you about the remote corners of Down East, Maine.

Damn, now do you see what you have made me do!?! I done went and let the proverbial cat out of bag! Well, since it is highly likely that I will suffer a beating due to my indiscretion, I might just as well tell you the rest of the story! Truth be told, Maine contains many impressive wilds and waters that even the “natives” don’t know exist. By straying off the beaten path, locals and tourists alike will be treated to many truly unique and beautiful areas of our state that are rarely explored. The impressive Down East coast and the endless expanse of logging roads above the infamous Route 9, provide access to remote areas of the state still only bearing surveyed number designations, such as TWP 24 MD BPP.

Due to the geographically isolated nature of this area of the state, visitors will enjoy vast stretches of interrupted solitude. The large crowds of tourists that flock places along Rt. 1 south, typically never chance to drive to its beautiful Down East section. Down East Maine is the area of the state where I was born and raised. Even with a rabid love of the outdoors, this rural area of the state still contains many remote sections that even I have yet to fully explore. Simply stated, it is just too damn big. For the local and tourist alike, Down East contains something for every adventurer’s ability level, including hiking trails, remote campsites, ATVing and off road 4x4 opportunities.

Down East Maine’s Granite Coast: 
Great / Western Head Trail – Cutler – This trail is a bit tricky to find BUT for the person willing to put in a little extra effort, the views are truly impressive. This loop trail can be found in the town of Cutler. If traveling to Cutler from nearby Machias on Rt. 191, you will note a sharp bend in the road and immediately after a narrow road on the right that parallels the Little River. Follow this road to a tiny parking lot at the end. The Great /Western Head Trail roughly follows the tree line on the right hand side. After walking a short way down the small field, the rest of the trail becomes apparent.

Great Wass Island – Two trails begin together at the eastern edge of the parking lot, then diverge 100 yards into the woods. They may be difficult or even dangerous in bad weather -- especially in the frequent fogs. Please come well prepared for any kind of weather and be sure to wear sturdy shoes that will comfortably take you on a long hike through all kinds of terrain. Click HERE for more information!

ATV Riding in Washington County – Calais - Opened in 2010, the Downeast Sunrise Trail project has preserved 85 miles of the Calais Branch railroad corridor for future rail use, while additionally providing a wide, compact gravel-based trail for recreational opportunities. The scenic trail runs from Calais to Ellsworth, along the entire Downeast coastal area, connecting to multiple scenic conservation areas, intersecting the Downeast salmon rivers, and closely shadowing two state designated scenic highways. Click HERE for more information!

Wild Crows Motorcycle Tour  - Join me for an exciting motorcycle tour or Washington County!

The Wildlands: 
Lead Mountain - TWP 28 - Those interested in exploring this small 1,479 ft. monolith, the directions are relatively simple. Driving from Bangor toward Calais you will pass the Airline snack bar on your left and Rt. 193 shortly after on your right. Drive (approximately 1 mile) turn left onto the 3000 road at the Ranger Station. If you cross the bridge over the Narraguagus River, you will want to turn around. In about 150 yards, turn left . . . accidentally following the road straight will take you up the 3000 road into great partridge hunting territory but not to Lead Mt. Simply follow this dirt road to the end and you will see a small parking area.  Click HERE for more information.

Boulder Erratic - GPS Location: N 44 41.365 W068 18.748 - From Ellsworth, Maine take Route 179 North to the intersection of Route 200 heading toward Eastbrook. In a mile or so turn right onto Leona Wilbur Road. Turn right at the intersection and pull into the small parking area. The immensity of this boulder is truly awesome. Click HERE for more information.

Remote Camping at a Primitive Campsite - Wildlands- The most remote wilderness camping locations can be visited with the help of a Registered Maine Guide. From an island in a remote lake to a mountainside lookout, an expert guide can safely bring campers to remarkable places while sharing their knowledge of local history and geography.


  1. I spent some time on the Cutler Coast this past summer and will be heading back to make use of one of those "hard to find primitive campsites" next summer. It's rare but not unheard of to see whales right off the trail. It sounds like we entered in a different way than you described but nonetheless, it was an incredible experience.

    1. Thanks a ton for commenting! Glad you enjoyed Cutler, I used to teach in a small 2-room school house just a stones throw away in Whiting. Take care!


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