My rough, and not-complete map has walking paths in magenta and campsite lanes and dirt roads in blue. An official campground map is below.
This glorious 255-acre peninsula has so many campsite lanes and trails and dirt roads that you could do many different walks over many several days. Definitely take some time to explore here! There are secluded coves with white sand beaches, craggy outcrops with sea views, quiet forest paths, and a warren of private camping spots along winding narrow lanes.
In the summer, the island, which is connected to the mainland, is only open to campers. But in the off-season, the campsite does very kindly allow walkers on its property and its trails, as long as you leave your car at the gate. There weren’t many people here on a quiet December weekend when I visited. I get the sense this place is a carefully guarded secret, so anyone who is protective of Hermit Island, please forgive me for posting! (My intention with this website is to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors in Maine, and to want to protect our more wild spaces. I believe this beautiful spot could convince even the most ardent anti-environmentalist that the earth needs to be saved from climate change, pollution, development, and loss of habitat, biodiversity, and public access to land!
I recommend starting your walk at Head Beach, trekking along to Joe’s Head and along the campsite lanes to Sand Dune Beach and West Dune Beach. Check out Breakwater Point and Lagoon Beach. Walk along the lanes to Osprey Point (so great!). You will find the trailhead for the walking paths close to Osprey Point. They aren’t well marked, but you should see red and blue blazes marking a trail off of Cross Island lane.
While it’s impossible to get lost here (the island is pretty small), it’s clear that lots of people have tromped around in the woods. So I saw a few unofficial paths as well as the blazed trails, making for a bit of unclear going at times. I didn’t follow every trail. To walk from one end of the other is roughly between 1.6 and 2 miles, depending on which trail you take (and not including any detours!).
So, to continue my recommended walk: The red-and-blue blazed path, along the coast, is a spectacular hike. Follow this along the island shore to Sand Dollar Beach (and make sure you scramble up the rock head here from the beach for the views). Then rejoin Island Road (a dirt road) and walk down the small peninsula (which will be on your left if you are looking back toward the campground). Continue through a marine yard to cross the cove along the wooden bridge here, and head back to the campsite along Island Road. At some point, you’ll see a sign for White Trail on your right. You can take this trail back into the forest, where it hooks up with the wooded Orange Trail and also the coast trail. Either one makes for a nice return to the campground.
Directions: From Route 1 in Bath, take the exit for Routes 209 and 216 toward Phippsburg. Follow 209 and 216 straight to Hermit Island, Phippsburg. The campground will be on your right, off of 216, close to the end of the peninsula. Drive along the dirt access way and park in the lot.