Family Adventures on the Bold Coast

The Bold Coast is a place for engaging your kids with simple family fun that is chock full of adventure!

The Bold Coast is a place for engaging your kids with simple family fun that is chock full of adventure. Sight birds and whales on a wildlife watching boat tour, or haul a lobster trap on a kid-friendly fishing boat. Help conduct marine research on a Frenchman Bay Research Boat trip.

Bike together along the Downeast Sunrise Trail; the Schoodic Peninsula, in the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, or along the Sipayik Trail in Pleasant Point overlooking Passamaquoddy Bay. Eastport’s around-the-island biking routes connect the downtown with nearby trails, beaches, and other attractions.

The Orange River Water Trail and Black Woods Scenic Byway offer miles of flat water to explore. Fish for white perch from the shores of Patrick Lake near Machias, brown trout from Fox Pond between Franklin and Cherryfield, or try your luck alongside the locals from the Eastport fish pier.

Roque Bluffs State Park has a freshwater pond for swimming, picnic tables with fire pits, a playground, volleyball net, hiking trails, and a long gravel ocean beach lined with wild roses that bloom in June (note that dogs are not allowed on the ocean beach!).

Scan the night sky for shooting stars from your campsite on the beaches of Donnell Pond. Dig clams at Cobscook Bay State Park. Camp a family goat farm or in a tee-pee in Columbia Falls, rent a cabin on the beach, or try at a B&B that’s also a llama farm!

For some brag-worthy moments, snap a family photo from the easternmost point of the continental United States at the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec. See the Old Sow Whirlpool, the largest whirlpool in the western hemisphere, or stand at the 45th parallel marker.

Crossing the international bridge from Lubec into Campobello Island in Canada and going through customs is quite an adventure! Roosevelt Campobello International Park on Campobello Island offers miles of hiking, biking, and beaches. Herring Cove Provincial Park has a playground, a huge sandy beach, and a nine-hole golf course.

Try your skills at pie eating during the annual contest at the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival, harvest wild blueberries at a pick-your-own farm, or rent a cabin on a wild blueberry farm where you can wake up in the morning and make pancakes with fresh-picked wild blueberries!

During the annual Eastport Pirate Festival everyone gets to talk like a pirate for the weekend. The Jonesport/Beals lobster boat races and regular summer Moosabec Mudruns offer plenty of fast, noisy, and hilariously fun, family-friendly local color.

Downeast Coastal Conservancy and Maine Coast Heritage Trust offer guided hikes and paddles (sometimes in the moonlight!) The Downeast Institute and East Machias Aquatic Research Center offer tours and activities for kids around fisheries and restoration.

Schoodic Institute, Schoodic Arts for All, Eastport Arts Center, and many local libraries offer year-round education and entertainment for the whole family. Outdoor events are hosted seasonally. Check out Milbridge Theatre, Calais Triangle Park, Sutherland Amphitheatre, or Frenchman Bay Conservancy. Machias Bay Area Chamber hosts an outdoor movie each week during the summer.

The Schoodic Scenic Byway Kid’s Quest describes the natural and cultural history from a kid’s perspective. Other self-guided tours great for learning together as a family include the Maine Ice Age Trail and the Downeast Fisheries Trail.

The Maine Wild Blueberry Museum provides a virtual tour of the tiny but very important wild blueberry.   Experience Maritime Maine’s Salts & Water podcast explains the phenomena of the world’s highest tides in the Bay of Fundy. The Winter Harbor Fisheries Oral Project tells stories of local fishermen and their communities.

Top 10 Kid-Friendly Activities
on the Bold Coast

  1. Swim, play, and picnic at Roque Bluffs State Park or Donnell Pond
  2. Bike the Schoodic Peninsula or the Sipayak Trail
  3. Stand on the Easternmost Point of the USA at West Quoddy Head Lighthouse (maybe even catch the first sunrise in the USA!)
  4. Explore Kid’s Quest on the Schoodic National Scenic Byway
  5. Pick wild blueberries or pet goats and buy cheese at a local farm
  6. Cross the International border between Lubec and Campobello Island
  7. Hike the highest point on the coast for a huge view from Pigeon Hill
  8. Book a Science Survey Trip on the Frenchman Bay Research Boat
  9. Paddle under a full moon with Downeast Coastal Conservancy
  10. Enjoy a program or class at Eastport Arts Center or Schoodic Arts for All

For another perspective on Family Adventures in the region read this article in the Bangor Daily News: Sixteen Awesome Things to Do with the Kids in Downeast Maine