||Hotel, Small Inn
Oct 4, 2020 - Oct 11, 2020
|Single Supp Cost
Hiking Trip Summary
The coast of Maine is renowned for its beautiful rocky coast and offshore islands, lighthouses and lobsters, quiet white-steepled churches tucked in small villages, and scenery galore. This is familiar territory for us, and we are excited to be offering this 8-day Coastal Maine hiking trip so close to home.
Time on Monhegan Island, laced with 17 miles of walking trails and home to artists and fishing families alike, will give us a taste of Maine island life. Tucked beneath the high bluffs of the Camden Hills and hugging its well-protected harbor, the quintessential New England village of Camden will offer us vista-rich trails and shop-lined streets to explore.
With its bold granite shores, sparkling lakes, high peaks, quiet harbors, and old, stately inns, Mount Desert Island captures the essence of coastal Maine landscapes. Fittingly, we will spend our last few days walking the graceful carriage trails and rugged mountain paths of Acadia National Park.
This year we are very fortunate to be joined by naturalist, award-winning poet and avid birder, Kristen Lindquist. Her poetry and natural history columns have appeared in Down East Magazine and other local publications. She has led birding outings for several organizations, including Maine Audubon and the Acadia Birding Festival. A resident of Camden, Maine, Kristen also spends several weeks every summer writing and birding out on Monhegan Island. Her discerning eye and passion for the natural world are sure to enrich our appreciation and sense of connection as we hike Maine's coastal landscapes.
Day 1: Portland, Maine, to Monhegan Island
Morning pick-up at Portland International Jetport. After gathering as a group, a two-hour scenic drive up the coast will bring us to the fishing village of Port Clyde. We’ll stop for lunch at a wharf-side diner before catching the ferry out to Monhegan. Once on the island, we’ll have time to settle into our accommodations, take a walk around the village, or just relax on the porch and enjoy the evening. Area orientation and welcome dinner.
Of the more than 1,200 islands along Maine’s coast, Monhegan Island is considered especially captivating. Located 11 miles offshore, measuring 1½ miles long and a ½ mile wide, Monhegan rises like a whale out of the ocean. Monhegan’s current year-round population of around 75 is a mix of artists and fishermen. In the summer, the population swells to almost 1,200, as the Island attracts vacationers, bird watchers and anyone looking to experience the peaceful setting created by island life. With 17 miles of hiking trails, there are a variety of options from which to choose, some passing through woods and some following along high cliff tops, rising a dramatic 160 feet above the shore. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 2: Day Hike on Monhegan Island
Our hike today will take us to the southern tip of the island and Lobster Cove. The trail along the Cove hugs the rocky coast, where a shipwreck still lies on the shore. During a southerly storm, the surf is spectacular as it pounds against the rocks. This is also an excellent place for bird watching, a very popular island activity. Dinner and breakfast included.
Many of Monhegan’s resident artists open their studios to the visiting public. It’s possible to spend a couple of delightful hours wandering from studio to studio, talking with artists and looking at their work. In town, The Lupine Gallery also has a nice representation of local art.
Day 3: Monhegan Island to Camden, Maine
After a morning ferry ride and transfer to Camden, we’ll have the option of an afternoon hike in the Camden Hills. A short mountain trek will give us a bird’s eye view of Camden and Rockport Harbors, as well as the islands and coastline from Owls Head to Cadillac Mountain, in Acadia National Park. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 4: Day hike in the Camden Area
There are many great hiking and walking options in and around Camden. Camden Hills State Park, with over 30 miles of hiking trails, offers a great variety of hikes with ocean views, thick forests, lakeside cliffs, and open summits covered in wild blueberries.
Starting in the State Park, near the town of Lincolnville, the Bald Rock trail leads us to the summit’s rocky ledges, with stunning views of the island of Islesboro and Blue Hill and Cadillac mountains in the distance.
Other hiking options include a walk around Beauchamp Point, called “the most beautiful walk in the world” by Yankee Magazine, or a hike up Megunticook Mountain to Ocean Lookout.
Other activities may include:
A visit to Camden would not be complete without getting out on the water. We will take a sail on one of its famous schooners, the Olad. Built in 1927, this 47-foot schooner has been sailing the waters off Camden since 1985. Owner and skipper Captain Aaron Lincoln, a local Mainer, will talk to us about the history of the area and the schooner trade as we sail through one of the corners of the world he loves the best. Out on the Schooner Olad, you will have the opportunity to breathe that fresh sea air, cruise Penobscot Bay and experience the beautiful coast of Maine from the water.
For art lovers, there is also the opportunity to visit the Farnsworth Museum, offering a nationally-recognized collection of American art. The museum’s permanent collection, entitled “Maine in America,” displays works of many well-known 18th- and 19th-century artists. Four new galleries now showcase contemporary art. The Museum houses the Nation’s second-largest collection of works by premier 20th-century sculptor Louise Nevelson, as well as the Wyeth Center, exclusively featuring works by N.C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth – America’s first family of art. Breakfast included, dinner on your own in Camden.
Day 5: Camden to Mount Desert Island
We will begin the day with a drive to Mount Desert Island, leaving after breakfast and traveling “down east” along the coast. We will arrive by lunchtime, with plenty of time for an easy afternoon hike.
One option would be to walk around Jordan Pond to South Bubble and Bubble Rock, which offer outstanding views of Jordan Pond to the south, Eagle Lake to the north, many of the surrounding mountains, and of course the Atlantic Ocean. It is a nice combination of easy walking alongside Jordan Pond and climbing steep granite steps leading to the open summit of South Bubble, where we’ll see the precariously-set Bubble Rock.
Another option would be a walk through the Asticou Azalea Garden. Inspired by native plant species and Japanese garden design, this is a “wonderful blend of East and West.” From here, a path climbs up through the Asticou Terraces, with viewpoints to enjoy along the way. The path leads to Thuya Garden, a 140-acre preserve, and the former home of Joseph Henry Curtis, a landscape architect from Massachusetts who summered here. The natural beauty and design of these gardens are awe-inspiring. From here it is possible to continue to the summit of Eliot Mountain, overlooking the quaint village of Northeast Harbor. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 6 & 7: Hikes in Acadia National Park
One of the prettiest hikes on the island is Gorham Mountain and the Bowl Loop. This route offers great vistas, as well as refreshing pond swimming along the way.
A more classic hike in the Acadia National Park is to Penobscot and Sargent Mountains. It’s a challenging route over two of the higher summits, as well as along the rocky shores of Jordan Pond. Ending at the Jordan Pond House, we may indulge in the famous Jordan Pond popovers with tea as we sit on the lawn overlooking the Pond.
Another scenic route summits Mount Desert’s highest mountain, Cadillac (1,525’), by way of the South Ridge Trail. Beginning in a dense forest, the route climbs to the open granite ridges that lead to the top of Cadillac Mountain. During fall and winter, this is where the first sunlight shines on the east coast of the United States. With a road to the top, the summit can be quite busy, but its panoramic views, worth the trip. On a clear day, it’s possible to see Mount Katahdin to the north and Nova Scotia to the east.
The stonework that went into the building of the trail on Mansell Mountain is amazing. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and located in a less-visited area of the Park, this route offers a challenging climb, ascending a spiral staircase of hundreds of moss-covered granite steps. At the top, we’ll enjoy the magnificent views and peacefulness of the western peninsula of Mount Desert Island. Farewell dinner and breakfast included.
Day 8: Acadia National Park to Portland
After breakfast, we will depart for Portland’s International Jetport, about a 3-hour drive. Plan on arriving at the airport at about 1:00 pm.
If you wish to have your own room, there is a single supplement charge. Please let us know if you would like a single at the time of registration, single rooms are very limited. If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room, we will match you with a roommate. If we are unable to match you will a roommate there is a forced single charge of $300.
- Group Transfers to and from Portland International Jetport
- All accommodations
- All breakfasts
- 6 dinners
- All ferries and van transfers as per itinerary
- Admission to the Farnsworth Museum
- Schooner sail
- Guide and naturalist
- Lots of great hiking and memories!
Airfare, lunches, one dinner, optional/individual transfers or excursions, items not on set dinner menu, beverages, tips to guides, insurance, items of a personal nature.
While this trip is van supported, we do ask that you limit yourself to one medium-sized bag that you can easily handle. Keep in mind that you will have to carry it on and off ferries and that not all of our accommodations have elevators. Inn hallways may be narrow and winding. Our suggested packing list may be helpful.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND MEALS
All nights will be in comfortable country inns with private baths.
A full breakfast is provided at the inns. For lunches, we will have the opportunity to shop locally for ingredients for trailside picnics. The inns will also offer bag lunches for purchase, and some days we may have the opportunity to eat at a local cafe, restaurant or wharf-side diner. Dinners will be either at the inns or a local restaurant, usually at around 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm. The meals will be delicious New England fare. Vegetarian options are not a problem.
The trip will start and end with a pickup and drop off at Portland International Jetport. It is also possible to fly into Boston’s Logan Airport. There is bus service from Logan to Portland, as well as train service from Boston’s North Station in Boston’s city center. Buses and trains arrive in the same terminal in Portland, which is only a short taxi ride from the airport. When making plans please allow for travel time.
We will meet as a group on Day 1 at the Portland International Jetport in Portland, Maine at 10:00 am.
The trip ends on Day 8 with a morning transfer to Portland International Jetport, arriving about 1:00 pm.
Please contact us for a more detailed itinerary, for more information, or to register. We're also happy to supply a list of past participants willing to share honest insights into this guided Coastal Maine Hiking experience.
Reserving This Trip
A deposit of $500 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept
MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one
of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the
area provided when completing your registration forms.
The balance is due 75 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 75 days prior to
departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as
As confirmation of receipt of your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information
pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form,
medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment and no later than 30 days prior to your trip start, you will receive trip
rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most
Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.