Owls Head State Park, Owls Head

This is a small but beautiful, and fairly popular, state park. There isn’t much of a walk here, but what little there is is spectacular. From the parking lot, you can choose to either take a trail on your left, which goes to a stony beach with views of the Camden Hills, or take a trail on your right which leads to the lighthouse, which was built in 1852. To reach the lighthouse, which is perched 100 feet above Penobscot Bay, you’ll have to climb up a long staircase.

Directions: From Route 73 south of Rockland take North Shore Drive east to Maine Street in Owls Head, then north to Lighthouse Road. Follow Lighthouse Rd. into the park.

Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs

There aren’t many walking trails at this 120-acre park, but you can make a fairly lengthy trek if you walk down the park access road, around the point, and back along Lighthouse Road, which is a pretty residential lane. In the park, there’s a beautiful pier that extends out into the Penobscot River (bay?) that you can walk out on, and a lovely lighthouse and old bell. It is wheelchair accessible.

The fort is named for Fort Pownall, which was established here in 1759. You can walk around the fort’s stone ruins (they’re just collapsed stone walls, really). Gen. Samuel Waldo (for whom Waldo County and Waldoboro are named) is also buried here. More info here.

Directions: Turn onto W Main Street from Route 1 in Stockton Springs. Then turn down Cape Jellison Road, which makes a loop around the point. You can access the park from the state park road or from Lighthouse Road (although I’m not sure you can during the summer, since the park requires a fee).

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Bald Head Preserve and Squirrel Point Light, Arrowsic

This walk is lovely and fairly popular, and if you do it all, both spurs, it is roughly 4.4 miles there and back again. But you can make a shorter walk—.7 miles one way—by going to the beautiful historical Squirrel Lighthouse, which is being restored. The longer walk takes you to the open ledges of Bald Head, with views of Back River.

From the parking lot, you will wander down to the marsh, walking through a tunnel of sumac trees to a small bridge. After the bridge, you’ll come to an intersection where the trail splits two, leading to the two different and delightful destinations: the old Squirrel Point Lighthouse, in about .3 miles, and the high point of Bald Head in 1.5 miles. Both are easy but rooty. It’s a bit of a small climb at the end to reach the open ledge of Bald Head, your final destination. This preserve is a 296-acre bald eagle nesting ground.

All told, there is about 640 acres of land conserved here by Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy.

In a visit to this preserve in the winter of 2016, the trails were blazed with a lilac-blue and so were very easy to follow. The Nature Conservancy has also put up a trail map across the marsh when you enter Bald Head Preserve. It might be a bit wet when you cross the estuary onto the preserve, so wear good shoes.

Squirrel Point Light was built in 1898, according to Wikipedia, 15 miles after the founding of Bath Iron Works up the river. Read more about it here.

Important note about dogs: The Squirrel Point trail on IFW land does allow dogs, but The Nature Conservancy’s Bald Head Preserve does not. 

Directions: Take a right on Bald Head Road from Route 127. Head all the way to the end of the road; there will be a small parking lot at the trailhead. There is no kiosk, but the trail is well marked.