Maine Island Trail: Deer Isle

The Maine Island Trail is a 375-mile recreational waterway that spans the entire coast of Maine. Islands near Deer Isle -- Hells Half Acre and Steves -- as well as access points are featured.
Trail Activity
13.0 miles, One Way
Brooklin, Stonington


The islands featured -- Hells Half Acre and Steves -- are owned by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and are accessible by personal watercraft, such as sea kayaks, sailboats, or powerboats. However, access to some sites may depend on the sea conditions or the tide.

Hells Half Acre features an open grassy camping area at its center and long granite ledges that slope down to the shore. Because of its relatively flat landing areas, this island is reasonably accessible to people with physical disabilities. Hells Half Acre has experienced significant blowdown activity in recent years; evidence of cleanup efforts can be seen in the form of cut logs and tree stumps around the island.

Steves Island is thickly forested and features pleasant coves and white shell beaches. There is a large tide pool in the granite bedrock on the southwest side of the island. Each of the four campsites is well suited for an individual tent, though this island's popularity may make it difficult to find an open site. Several trees have unsightly scars from prior limbing -- please refrain from continuing this practice.

Other Information

The Maine Island Trail is America’s oldest recreational water trail, connecting over 200 island and mainland sites open for day visits or overnight camping while traversing a variety of natural settings from sandy beaches and quiet bays to saltwater rivers and bold shores. Trail properties are owned by an assortment of private landowners, conservation organizations, and federal, state and municipal agencies, all of whom generously make their land available to visitors in exchange for the promise of respectful use and careful stewardship.

To learn more about boating in the Deer Isle region and plan your trip, visit the Maine Island Trail Association website. There you can:

  • Become a member, to gain access to annually-updated paper and online guides
  • Learn about the trail and its unique history
  • Support ongoing stewardship and education efforts through donations
  • Learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities
  • Find boats for sale
  • And much, much more!

The Maine Island Trail is a dynamic water trail. There is no official route, and the experience is influenced by the weather, the seasons and by regional variations in the character of the Maine coast. The Trail itself is constantly changing. Sites are frequently added and removed, usage guidelines are revised based on owner preferences, and stewardship strategies are adjusted to meet changing environmental conditions. To ensure that Trail sites remain well cared for and to fulfill our pledge of responsible use to site owners, it is important for all visitors to plan their trip using current information about the Trail.

Trail Manager

Visit Maine Island Trail Association online for more information or contact:

Maine Island Trail Association

Maine Island Trail Association
100 Kensington St, 2nd Floor
Portland, ME 04103
Phone: (207) 761-8225

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

The Old Quarry Campground in Stonington is a fee campground and hand-carry launch site offering boat and gear rentals, restrooms, showers, supplies, and laundry on site. Secure overnight parking is available.

The Naskeag Point launch in Brooklin is a sand, all-tide launch ramp with daytime and overnight parking available.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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