QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 124 acres
- Trail Mileage: ~2.3 miles in network
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy to moderate
- Sights: sandy beach, quarry pool, old apple orchards, mossy forest
The enchantments of this preserve come very quickly after you leave your car! Hopefully you will have an easy time finding a parking space (on summer weekends, this can be iffy). After walking by the Craignair Inn, you’ll reach a causeway that crosses the narrow sound between the mainland and the small island.
After reaching the island, you’ll take a path immediately to your left (don’t continue straight down the road as this passes through private property).
The little path will include a side spur that leads to a protected, sandy beach — lovely for swimming. Continue back on the path, and it’ll deposit you on the main dirt road that cuts across the island and from which several walking paths depart.
While all of the island is pretty, including the east spur to an old apple orchard, and the 1-mile loop on the west side of the island through a mossy forest (and another apple orchard), the highlight for many is probably the fairly big quarry. The quarry loop trail brings you to a side trail to the rock ledges above the pool, an enticing spot for swimming. For those less steady on their feet who want to avoid the rougher footpath loop, you can walk down the mile down the main dirt road and then take the short path on your left to the quarry.
Directions: Be very mindful that parking may be difficult here on weekends and summer days. The Craignair Inn off of Clark Island Road has set aside eight spaces in its parking area for preserve visitors. You can only park here if you plan on staying less than two hours. If these spots are full or you want to spend longer than two hours at the preserve, you can park 0.75 miles back up Clark Island Road on the west side. The speed limit is 25 miles per hour, and the housing is dense in this little section of road. The Maine Coast Heritage Trust says turn into the gravel driveway across from the Wheeler Bay Refuge fence and park head-in on the left side of the concrete slab. Don’t block the turnaround or other vehicles! You may also park around the entrance to the slab as long as you are not blocking the road or other cars.