Milbridge to Jonesport

This section of the Bold Coast is exemplified by compact and well preserved historic settlements situated in protected coastal harbors and up tidally influenced rivers. Here fields of wild blueberries stretch for thousands of acres and cool, clear lakes and rivers are abundant.

Steuben

A sculpture created by the founder of the Maine Sculpture Trail is located in the town green by the Steuben Library and Historical Society.

Just a short drive from Route 1 are the Pigeon Hill trail and the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which provide exhilarating views at the coastal entrance to Downeast Maine.

Eagle Hill Institute offers year-round seminars and community lectures in natural history and sciences.

Milbridge

Milbridge is an active fishing community situated at the mouth of the Narraguagus River, with restaurants, shops, and historic 19th century homes, including that of blueberry baron Jasper Wyman. Sample fresh, local seafood and enjoy wildlife watching boat tours.  Learn about the town’s maritime heritage at the Milbridge Historical Society.

Milbridge Theatre offers weekly outdoor theater events; Milbridge Library hosts movies and kids activities. Women’s Health Resource Library’s community center hosts a regular calendar of events open to the public, and in the summertime, people are invited to snack on publicly planted, locally grown fruits and vegetables as they explore the town.

Just a short drive from downtown Milbridge is McClellan Park, a park and campground with walking trails and picnic benches (with fire pits) situated at the edge of the rugged rocky coast.

Cherryfield

Known as the Blueberry Capital of the World, Cherryfield is home to Wyman’s of Maine, one of the largest wild blueberry producers in the world. (The factories and a sample of Wyman’s vast holdings of blueberry barrens are visible from Route 193 north, about 10-15 minutes out of Cherryfield.) The blueberry barrens offer numerous sites to see the influence of glaciers on Earth’s formation along the Maine Ice Age Trail.

Cherryfield’s large downtown historic district offers a leisurely and scenic stroll around the Narraguagus River. The Cherryfield Historical Society provides a downloadable walking tour. Cherryfield contains antique and gift shops, and several pocket parks for picnicking, fishing, and enjoying the meander of the water.

The Great Heath, a 6,000-acre wilderness area containing the largest raised bog ecosystem in Maine, offers remote paddling and bird watching opportunities just a short drive from Cherryfield—but you’d better ask a local for directions!

The Downeast Sunrise Trail runs through the edge town, and Cable Pool Park is the starting point for a peaceful paddle up the Narraguagus River.

Breathtaking scenery and numerous opportunities for paddling, fishing, wildlife-viewing, hiking, camping, and swimming in clear, quiet lakes are just a few minutes drive out of town along the Black Woods Scenic Byway.

Harrington and Columbia

Harrington is the home of a locally owned and operated wreath company that manages thousands of acres of balsam forest. A family-operated cranberry farm occasionally offers tours during the fall harvest. Ocean-side cabins are available in several locations. The Frank E. Woodworth Preserve trail winds through moss-carpeted woodlands containing trees more than a century old, and overlooks the upper reaches of Pleasant Bay.

Columbia’s retail center, locally known as The Four Corners, offers a compact and comprehensive service center for travelers, with a bank, gas station, grocery store, hardware (and everything else!) shop, and several other service

Columbia Falls

The Historic Ruggles House Museum, built by a wealthy lumber baron, highlights a flying staircase and original furniture.  The Wreaths Across America Museum, famous for its annual donation of wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery, showcases US military items.  The Downeast Salmon Federation, a stop along the Downeast Fisheries Trail, offers education about wild Atlantic Salmon and related fisheries and habitats, and hosts an annual Smelt Fry during the spring run.

You won’t want to miss stopping at the giant blueberry-shaped gift shop and bakery, where blueberries come from the shopkeepers’ farm, where tours are offered during the annual Machias Wild Blueberry Festival. Check out the Maine Wild Blueberry Museum to learn about the importance of wild blueberries to the culture, economy, and ecology of the Bold Coast.

Addison and South Addison

Addison offers vistas across wildlife-rich tidal saltmarshes, a quaint and historic village, and a stop along the Maine Sculpture Trail at a beautiful little park and picnic area.

Access numerous points along the Maine Island Trail Association’s trail network of islands and water. Camp out in Addison, visit art galleries, kayak the Maine Island Trail, or charter a boat tour of the Pleasant River Estuary.

Explore Tibbett Island, Ingersoll Point Preserve has 145 forested acres with over 3 miles of trails on Carrying Place Cove and Wohoa Bay. South Addison’s Cape Split was the beloved summer home of artist John Marin.

 

Jonesport

Jonesport offers excellent views of a classic working waterfront. Visitors can watch fishermen work in the small cove off Hopkins Beach or from the public boat launch near the historical society. Moosabec Mussels offers tours of their mussel and clam processing facility.

Lincoln Park is the site of both a historic settler’s cemetery lined with lichen-covered headstones and a modern granite sculpture created as part of the Maine Sculpture Trail.

Chartered boat tours provide opportunities to see and touch local wildlife, hear tales from the deep, and watch fishermen tending traps. Fresh, locally caught seafood is available from in-town vendors.

Peabody Memorial Library hosts local artists, and boasts a full gallery with “meet the artist” public social events. The work of local artists can also be seen at several antiques, art, craft, and gift shops and galleries throughout town.

The Jonesport Heritage Center is strategically located (in the Sawyer Building, a piece of history in itself!) adjacent to the working waterfront, where the town’s seafaring heritage is quite evident today.

The Nellie Chapin Marker memorializes the historic attempt by Jonesporters to move to the town of Jaffa in Palestine, with the stated purpose of awaiting the second coming of Christ and reclaiming the Holy Land, while also creating a profitable colony.

The Jonesport Peapod, modeled after a century-old wooden rowing/sailing boat, was traditionally used for lobstering and carrying people and supplies along the coast.

The Jonesport/Beals lobster boat races and Moosabec Mudruns offer plenty of fast, noisy, and hilariously fun, family-friendly local color.

 

Beals Island

A community equally steeped in fishing culture is Beals Island, with behind-the-scenes glimpses of a hard-working, family-oriented fishing community.

Beyond Beals is Great Wass Island. The Downeast Institute offers educational tours about marine biology and the raising of shellfish seed. Great Wass Island Preserve trails provide spectacular cliff-top views over the islands of Eastern Bay.

Sandy River Beach, a rare-for-the-area expanse of public access sand beach, offers picnic tables and grills with limited access to the beach across the street (please be very mindful of the private residences located close to the public area and along the beach.)

For more information on the Milbridge to Jonesport region, contact either Machias Bay Area Chamber at (207) 255-4402;  info@machiaschamber.org or Ellsworth Area Chamber at (207) 667-5584; info@ellsworthchamber.org.