5 Downeast Maine Hikes That Offer Incredible Views Of The Coast (Photos)

Maine is famous for many things, not the least of them being its iconic rocky coastlines.

And there’s nothing quite like peering down at the Atlantic Ocean below from the top of a bluff on Downeast Maine’s jagged shoreline.

In this guide, we’ll show you the 5 hikes that offer the best chance to do just that, with amazing views of the ocean and coastline that are totally worth the trek.

Cutler Bold Coast Trail

The Cutler Bold Coast Trail offers an unparalleled immersion into the raw beauty of Maine’s rugged coastline. 

Situated in the quaint town of Cutler, this trail winds along the edge of the Atlantic, providing hikers with dramatic views of towering cliffs, dense forests, and the vast ocean. 

Covering approximately 10 miles of pristine landscape, the trail passes through diverse ecosystems, from dense bogs filled with unique flora to pebbly beaches where seals are often spotted sunbathing. 

Established to protect the area’s natural beauty and provide public access to Maine’s spectacular Bold Coast, the trail has become a favorite among nature lovers for its untouched scenic vistas and the sense of solitude it offers.

Boot Head Preserve

Credit: Instagram: @rlmorlock

Boot Head Preserve is a hiker’s paradise, offering a 2½-mile lollipop loop that promises breathtaking coastal views and serene forested paths. 

Managed by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, this preserved area features a remarkable journey around Boot Head, from Boot Cove to Jim’s Head. 

Hikers will be treated to the sights and sounds of cobble beaches, an intriguing peat bog, and panoramic views across Grand Manan Channel. 

The trail’s diverse landscape, ranging from coastal headlands to lush woodlands, provides a varied hiking experience that’s as refreshing as it is exhilarating. 

Great Wass Island

Credit: Jennifer Battista / AT

The Great Wass Island trails offer an exceptional hiking experience, guiding adventurers through jack pine forests and vibrant peatlands to reach awe-inspiring coastal views. 

Situated within The Nature Conservancy’s Great Wass Island Preserve, this 1,576-acre area boasts the Little Cape Point Trail, which culminates at Cape Cove and Little Cape Point. 

From there, hikers can embark on an adventurous scramble to Mud Hole Point, navigating a trailless route that rewards with spectacular seaside panoramas. 

This journey is a celebration of Maine’s unique ecological diversity, offering a blend of forested tranquility and rugged coastal beauty, making it a must-visit for those drawn to the call of the wild sea.

Shackford Head State Park

Credit: Cassandra Reid-Veilleux / AT

For hikers seeking a blend of maritime beauty and forested paths, Shackford Head State Park delivers an unforgettable experience. 

Located just a stone’s throw from Eastport, the easternmost city in the U.S., this park offers a collection of seven trails spanning three miles. 

As you navigate through the park, you’ll encounter stunning scenic overlooks like Schooner Overlook, Ship Point, and Shackford Head Overlook, each providing unique vistas of Cobscook Bay and Broad Cove. 

The trails lead adventurers across a rugged peninsula, showcasing the area’s natural splendor, from its impressive bluffs to the tranquil shoreline, making it a perfect exploration ground for nature lovers and photographers alike.

Beehive Trail

Credit: Jacqui Ferraiolo / AT

Leaving a hike from Acadia National Park off of this list wouldn’t be right, and while there are many beautiful ones to choose from, the Beehive Trail gets the nod.

This hike is an adrenaline-pumping journey up the face of a granite dome, offering breathtaking views over Sand Beach, Great Head, and the endless Atlantic beyond. 

This short but challenging hike is characterized by steep inclines, iron rungs, and narrow ledges, making it a thrilling adventure for those with a head for heights. 

Despite its daunting aspects, the Beehive Trail is immensely rewarding, providing unparalleled panoramas of Acadia’s rugged coastline and dense forest canopy.