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Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land

Offering a taste of wilderness in downeast Maine along the famous Bold Coast, Cutler Coast Public Lands is a 12,334-acre expanse of a variety of ecosystems including 4.5 miles of headlands overlooking the Bay of Fundy.
Trail Activity
9.80 miles, Network
Advanced, Strenuous
Dirt/Forest Floor, Rock/Ledge



This is a busy trail system, especially on weekends between 9AM-4PM. Consider visiting outside of peak periods. Use Maine Trail Finder to identify other nearby trails. If the parking lot is full when you arrive, please choose another trail. 

The coastal portion of the property has hiking trips from 3-10 miles. Wear sturdy footwear and take care near cliffs and on boardwalks, particularly in damp and slippery conditions. The estimated trail times listed below assume a leisurely pace in good conditions with brief stops. 

Coastal Trail to Ocean (2.8-mile roundtrip, allow 2 hours): This is a forested path that runs through a cedar swamp and maritime spruce-fir forest before reaching a promontory overlooking the ocean. It is the easiest trail segment offering a visitors’ first spectacular view of the ocean from the high cliffs that are prominent along this property. 

Black Point Brook Loop (5.5-mile roundtrip, allow 4-5 hours): Wooded trails and rocky cliffside hiking lead to a small cobble beach at Black Point Cove (accessible via a log ladder). The return route, via the Inland Trail, is somewhat rocky but over fairly gentle terrain and through an Acadian forest. 

Fairy Head Loop (9.7-mile roundtrip, allow 7-8 hours): This trail provides the most extensive shorefront hiking with 3.4 miles that skirt the shore. At Fairy Head, the trail turns inland through open meadows and forest, passing by a freshwater grass marsh and a large beaver pond.  

Other Information

Cutler Coast Public Reserve Land is on what is known as the Bold Coast. For more information about the unique geology of the area and features along the trail, check out the Bold Coast on Maine Geological Survey's website.

The trail system follows many clifftops presenting hazards to those who follow too closely especially in wet or foggy conditions. Be prepared for drastic weather changes and be aware that there is very spotty cell coverage along the trails.

On the forested northern portion of the property, across ME Route 191, there are 19.5 miles of shared-use roads and designated ATV trails, many of them maintained by the East Stream Trail Riders ATV Club. A portion of this system passes through the Ecological Reserve: please remain on the trail to protect the Reserve grasslands and fragile peatbog ecosystems.

Cobscook Trails Project: The trails on Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land are part of a larger network of hiking trails in known as Cobscook Trails. Cobscook Trails is a cooperative project of conservation landowners and community partners that seeks to expand opportunities for nature-based recreation and tourism in eastern Washington County. The group produces "Cobscook Trails: A Guide to Walking Opportunities around Cobscook Bay and Bold Coast Region", a 55 page booklet describing walks on 19 area properties. Find more information about Cobscook Trails, including how to purchase the guidebook, visit: The Cobscook Trails Project.

Natural Heritage HikesNatural Heritage Hikes is a project of the Maine Natural Areas Program in partnership with Maine Trail Finder. View the "Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land - Black Point Brook Loop" guide online here

LMF Logo

This trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage.

Trail Manager

Visit the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands online for more information and a detailed trail guide or contact:

Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Eastern Public Lands Office

Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Eastern Public Lands Office
106 Hogan Road, Suite 5
Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: (207) 941-4412

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Minimize Campfire Impacts
Keep campfires small and contained to established fire rings in permitted sites only.
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Trailhead Information

From North: From the intersection of US Route 1 and ME Route 189 in Whiting, take ME Route 189 to ME Route 191. Turn right and travel 10 miles to the parking area and trailhead on the left of the road (marked by a blue/white sign). 

From South: From the intersection of US Route 1 and ME Route 191 in East Machias, turn right on ME Route 191 and travel 16.9 miles to the parking area/trailhead on right of the road (marked by a blue/white sign). 

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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August 12, 2023
Hiked out and back on the Coast Trail on a foggy Saturday morning. We got an early start, so we beat the crowds. Very foggy on the cliffs, but it started to lift. Even with lower visibility it was still very pretty. By the time we got back to the car the lot was full and lots of people were heading out onto the trail.
October 02, 2022
Hiked the loop on 10/1/22 coastal trail first and inland trail on return. Inland trail has at least two possible right turns that could be black cove cutoff (both with blue blazes) but neither had signs….stayed left at both and it seemed like the correct way. The inland trail also has a lot of the bog bridges torn up and tossed to the side right now
September 06, 2022
Things to be aware of (if doing full hike):
- Many overgrown segments, many false trails. Some spots without cell/map service. Be extremely cognizant of your surroundings.
- No fresh water source. Bring plenty. Bring snacks and bug spray also.
- If hiking trail N to S (Coastal Trail first), you'll end with a pleasant, meandering (sometimes boring and overgrown) hike of 4.6 miles
- If hiking trail N to S (Fair Head first), you'll start with a pleasant, meandering trail for the first 4.6 miles. Once you encounter the coast, you'll be in for stunning views with physically and mentally engaging terrain for the remaining 5.2 miles back to the parking lot.
Advanced due to length, train conditions, and lack of fresh water.
If done as 2 smaller hikes using the cutoff, I'd consider the hike moderate.
August 07, 2021
Just did this trail today. Came out to just about 12 miles. Trail is badly overgrown in places, both on the coastal trail and inland. Many of the boardwalks have rotted need some work. Blazes need to be more visible. Found ourselves off trail several times due to the lack of markers. The trail could use a lot of work.
While no one’s fault, the trail was incredibly muddy due to recent rains, so be prepared.
August 02, 2021
Hello guys, I’m planing to go and stay for 2 nights, driving from MA, is like 5 hours driving.

Is there signal there?
How hard is to get a campsite?

I’m going to cross my fingers to get one, after 5 hours driving is going to be sad if I don’t get a site to stay overnight.
June 30, 2020
Completed an overnight between 6/27/20 and 6/28/20. The coastal trail provides a unique hiking experience! Camping options are limited and the trail was fairly crowded for our weekend trip. Arrive early or avoid doing the trail on Saturday. There was also no log book when this hike was completed.

We hiked during a very dry time, there were very little options for water sources. Be prepared!
September 24, 2018
My wife and I hiked the 10 mile loop on Sunday Sept 23. The coastal trail did have some overgrown areas but did not pose a problem.
September 17, 2018
Hi everyone. Can confirm that campsites 4 and 5 do exist. 5 is just past Black Point Brook and 4 roughly a mile after that. Stayed at #4 on 9/15. There was also a small stream with a bridge just before(heading toward Fairy Head on the coastal trail) the site that we used as a filtered water source.
September 17, 2018
This just in from the state: All of the trails are passable; however, all of them should be considered as intermediate to difficult. A detour trail around a perennial beaver flowage provides access on the Inland Trail which was difficult to impassable the last couple of years. There will be trail crews on the site beginning in early October for five weeks of trail repairs which may cause temporary closures due to helicopters bringing in lumber and other materials. Otherwise, take appropriate caution and you should be all set.
August 27, 2018
Can anyone confirm that the campsites #4 and 5 actually exist that are identified in the photos above?
August 16, 2018
This is one of my favorite places! Such a great trail with amazing views. I'm glad to hear that there will be a maintenance effort this fall as the weeds in a bunch of coastal trail sections are now taller than me (I'm 6'1"). Bushwhacking isn't so bad, it's that the weeds hide all the super slippery rocks on the path creating some opportunities to fall. I highly recommend trekking poles or a walking stick. Some people have graciously left their perfect walking sticks at the trailhead for others to use.
August 06, 2018
Was just there yesterday, 8/5. Parking lot was full, ran the 10 mi loop, no one to be seen except at the campsites. I will note that on a humid day, you will be soaked from wet grass overgrowing the trail in many places. The new trail around the beaver activity is AWESOME, and overall, this is a GREAT place for a trail run. Rugged and difficult in spots, but beautiful and serene in others. Highly recommend!
August 03, 2018
Thanks jeepgirl for noting the trail conditions at Cutler Coast. The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands has scheduled a trail crew for this fall, so hopefully next time you return, you'll find it in better shape! - Maine Trail Finder Team
August 01, 2018
Was here 7-31-18, coast trail is beautiful, however seriously overgrown. Take the coast trail until you get to the weeds over growing the trail, some five feet high or more, then turn back. In some places it is difficult to know if you are on the trail. Don't take the inland trail, also overgrown, and the bridge through the swamp is broken. There is a detour, but it adds 1.2 miles of a U shape to the trail.
August 22, 2017
I returned to overnight in this amazing reserve 8/1/17. The parking lot had a few more cars in it at 10 am than I expected. I checked the log and looked at those that were headed in with overnight gear and headed to Fairy Head with fingers crossed that I would get camp site 2. I decided against postings that the inland trail was flooded. Ended up taking boots off and wading through the bog water. (This was the faster route to FH, but I would tell people to avoid this trail until the flooding is resolved) In the end I got to camp at site 2. Breathtaking views. There were two other campsites in use, but they are spread apart and you really felt like you were all alone. Swam in Long Point Cove, darn that was cold. Enjoyed the sunset and slept soundly. I awoke to lobster boats and a beautiful sunrise. The I packed up and headed back to the parking lot via the coastal trail. For wildlife i saw mosquitoes, red squirrels, osprey, seals, and porpoise. This trail kicked my butt, but I'm soo proud that I did it. might consider going back next year.
March 31, 2017
My husband and I hiked the half loop in late August 2016 and stayed overnight at tent site 5. I have heard reviews before about how you will not encounter many other hikers, and this was not at all true when we went. We arrived at the trailhead at 11am on a Thursday and according to the log, there were already 4 groups camping that night. We crossed our fingers and took the inland trail to the cutoff and were delighted to find that first site vacant. We set up a tent and not 20 minutes later, a couple came by hoping the site was empty. This was repeated 6 times over the next several hours! And that's not counting the day hikers or any that came by while we were on the beach. The last couple just set up their tent down the hill from our site, which didn't offer us much privacy, but they were quiet enough. This is a gorgeous place, the weather was perfect and we slept well. The only real warning I have other than the throngs of people passing your campsite is the mosquitos. They were absolutely vicious. We covered ourselves in 100% DEET and still suffered. Being right on the cliffs or inside your zippered tent is the only relief. The next day, we took the coastal trail back to the car and it was absolutely breathtaking. I hope to do the whole 10 miles someday, but I will make sure I'm there nice and early.
September 20, 2016
I hiked the whole trail on 8/11/16. It was one of the best hikes in my life. Originally I planed to do the 5 mile loop, but it was a foggy morning so i decided to keep to the woods/swamp/pond and then hit the ocean at Fairy Head. The fog was still present when i got to the ocean, but it moved in and out and eventually I was able to see Grand Manan. The cliffs are incredible and the mix of salt air with the pine trees was just wonderful. I passed three primitive campsites and wished i had a tent to spend the night. Sunrise must be amazing. I plan on returning next August to camp overnight. In the end I did the 10 miles in about 7 hours
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