The Bold Coast Scenic Byway is more than a 125-mile scenic drive--the Byway is part of an international transportation network extending along the northeastern coast of Maine and into the Canadian maritime—the Byway provides a comprehensive, intimate experience of an intact resource based culture.
The Byway provides a critical connecting link in the Two Nation Vacation
route between Eastern Maine and the Canadian Maritimes
. The Bold Coast Scenic Byway is part of a larger loop of several scenic byways in the Downeast and Acadia
regions, including the Acadia Scenic Byway
, the Schoodic Scenic Byway
, and the Black Woods Scenic Byway
. The Bold Coast Scenic Byway accesses essential parts of the state’s maritime heritage
experience, including sites along the Downeast Fisheries Trail
Modern arts and culture accessed from the Byway include the sculptures of the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium
, the Maine Wine Trail
, and a self-guided Lighthouses and Lobster Tour providing many opportunities to explore working fishing villages and lighthouses.
Outdoor recreation opportunities accessed along the Bold Coast Scenic Byway include the Downeast Sunrise Trail
and the Maine Birding Trail
. The Byway route reveals ancient geological stories along the Maine Ice Age Trail
, and provides access to wilderness waterways along both the Maine Island Trail
and the Downeast Lakes Water Trail
Spectacular side-trips abound – the Byway route is simply the spine of an incredible network of fascinating people to meet and amazing places to explore!
Note that the objective of Byway promotion is to showcase and attract visitors to the area as a whole. Specific sites that are individually highlighted along the Byway route are chosen because they provide quintessentially representative experiences of the region’s intrinsic qualities and contribute to the preservation and advancement of those intrinsic qualities. These sites are also easily accessible to the general public, making them the most “visitor ready”.
For travelers coming from the west, the Byway route
begins on Route 1 in the historic fishing town of Milbridge, or at the confluence of Route 1 and Route 182 in Cherryfield. Both entry points are about 30 miles east of the city of Ellsworth
, 50 miles northeast of Bar Harbor
, about 60 miles southeast from Bangor
International Airport, and 69 miles east of Belfast
From northern Maine and the Maritimes, the Byway route
begins in the town of Perry, where Route 1 joins Route 190 toward Eastport, about 20 miles southeast of Calais. From the Bay of Fundy, the Gulf of Maine, or from Campobello, Grand Manan, or Deer Islands, the route begins in Eastport or Lubec.
The Bold Coast Scenic Byway is marked from beginning to end with Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Maine Scenic Byways route marker signs. The Scenic Byway route follows state and state-aid roads, which are well marked with official state route signs. Major attractions such as parks and town centers are marked with standard state and federal recreation site signs and town line markers.
Maps and Guides
Way-finding map panels will be located at key spots in Cherryfield, Jonesport, and Lubec, in spring 2015, with signs and interpretive and scenic turnouts eventually located at gateways in Milbridge, Machias, Eastport, and Perry. Paper maps are available at Chambers of Commerce, businesses, and information centers along the route, as well as via local information websites such as DownEast & Acadia Regional Tourism and the Maine Office of Tourism. Excellent maps of the area already exist, and will be updated over time to specifically include the Bold Coast Scenic Byway and important sites of the region.
For a detailed list of websites, visitor centers, chambers, and local businesses that carry maps and brochures regarding the Bold Coast region, and for other necessary visitor services, see Appendix 5—Local Way-finding Information.
For information regarding future infrastructure improvements such as scenic turnouts, interpretive signage, and trails, see Chapter P- Priority Capital Improvements Plan
Coastal Villages Area—Milbridge to Machias
Prior to entering Milbridge, just a short drive from Route 1 in Steuben
are the Pigeon Hill
trail and the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge
, both of which provide opportunities for exhilarating views and hikes at the coastal entrance to “Downeast” Maine. Steuben village is a small historic village center, and marks the beginning of the Bold Coast section of the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium
sculpture trail (other host towns along the Byway include Milbridge, Harrington, Addison, Jonesport, Roque Bluffs, Machias, Lubec, and Eastport, with it’s culmination in Calais).
Downtown Milbridge is easily walkable, and contains many historic 19th
century homes including that of blueberry baron Jasper Wyman (located close to the start of the byway route). Milbridge is the home of a family owned-and operated Christmas wreath company, has an active fishing harbor situated at the mouth of the Narraguagus River, and offers opportunities to sample fresh, local seafood and enjoy wildlife watching boat tours. Several tour operators offer private wildlife viewing and sightseeing tours from the public dock just outside of town. Visitors can learn about the town’s maritime heritage at the Milbridge Historical Society
. Just a short drive from downtown Milbridge
is McClellan Park
, a municipal park and campground with walking trails and picnic benches situated at the edge of the rugged rocky coast. Milbridge Days
is an enduring annual community celebration with events such as the infamous codfish relay race.
From Milbridge, the Byway follows Route 1 through Cherryfield
, known as “the Blueberry Capital of the World.” Wyman’s of Maine, located at the northern edge of Cherryfield, is one of the largest wild blueberry producers in the world! (The factories and a sample of their vast holdings of blueberry barrens are visible from Route 193 north, about 10-15 minutes out of Cherryfield.)
Cherryfield is a historic lumbering village built on the Narraguagus River and boasts a downtown historic district
of over 75 acres spanning both sides of the river. This National Historic District contains 52 substantially intact contributing structures. The Cherryfield Historical Society
provides a downloadable walking tour.
Cherryfield contains antique and gift shops, an old-fashioned general store, a B&B offering English Tea, and hosts Destination Cherryfield
and Cherryfield Days
, both annual hometown celebrations with local crafts, music, and home-cooked food. Downtown Cherryfield offers a leisurely stroll around the Narraguagus River with several pocket parks for picnicking, fishing, and enjoying the meander of the water. Just outside of town are blueberry and vegetable farms
, a winery, and an alpaca farm, all offering fresh products and farm tours. A local operator offers scheduled or chartered tours of the blueberry barrens, the Great Heath, the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, the Maine Ice Age Trail
, and more.
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
, a segment of the East Coast Greenway
, is easily accessible from the Cable Pool boat launch, also the starting point for a peaceful paddle up the Narraguagus River. The Downeast Sunrise Trail is an 85-mile, multi-use rail-trail conversion through undeveloped forests and wetland, with awesome views of mountains and lakes. The trail links Bold Coast communities from Steuben to Pembroke.
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
From Cherryfield, the Byway route
continues along Route 1 through Harrington
, where historic homes, salt marshes, agricultural land, blueberry fields, tidal mudflats, and coastal forests abound. In Harrington, the Frank E. Woodworth Preserve
trail winds through moss-carpeted woodlands containing trees more than a century old. The trail emerges at the shoreline overlooking the upper reaches of Pleasant Bay. Several tidal rivers converge off Ripley Neck, supporting a wide array of shorebirds and waterfowl. Harrington is the home of a locally owned and operated wreath company that manages 4,000 acres of balsam forest. Lynch Hill Farms
, a family-operated cranberry farm which occasionally offers tours, is located just south of the byway on Route 1A in Harrington.
Columbia’s retail center, locally known as The Four Corners, offers a compact and comprehensive service center. Folklore Farm
, a small farm deeply involved in community education programs, an alpaca farm that also offers lodging, and other farms
easily accessible from the Four Corners offer opportunities for visitors to learn about farming life. Not far off the beaten tracks in Columbia are endless miles of dirt roads winding through vast blueberry barrens (incredible scenery, but not a good idea to explore without a local guide…especially during harvest season!).
Columbia Falls, a short loop off the official Byway route, contains many historic homes in its walkable village, including the Historic Ruggles House Museum
, which showcases Federal Design and Adam Ornament (including a flying staircase and original furniture.)
The Wreaths Across America Museum
showcases US military items and documents the history of the organization, including its wreath donation program. 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. A traditional blacksmith’s
trade may be caught at the Margaretta Days Festival
in Machias. A local pottery artist can be visited in the heart of Columbia Falls village.
From Route 1 in Columbia Falls, just beyond the village center, the Byway route
turns southward on Route 187 towards Jonesport
. You won’t miss the turn – it is marked by a giant blueberry-shaped gift shop and bakery
located at the intersection of Route187 and Route 1. Blueberries used in the bakery of this shop come from the shopkeepers’ farm, Wescogus Farm, located just a short drive down Route 187. Farm tours and blueberry lore are offered during the annual Machias Wild Blueberry Festival
Addison and South Addison
About 2 miles south on Route 187, just past Wescogus Farm, a slight detour into the town of Addison
offers vistas across wildlife-rich tidal saltmarshes, a quaint and historic village, and a stop along the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium
at a beautiful little park and picnic area. In Addison several boat landings provide access to numerous points along the Maine Island Trail Association’s
trail network of islands and water. Visitors can camp overnight in Addison, visit art galleries, kayak the Island Trail, or charter a boat tour of the Pleasant River Estuary
With just a little more travel time, South Addison offers exploration of Tibbett Island
, a 23-acre island just 600 feet offshore. 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
Lincoln Park, adjacent to the Lamb of God Church, greets visitors at the gateway to Jonesport
, where Route 187 South meets the sea. This 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 2014 Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium
. Sweeping vistas of Moosabec reach and the Jonesport/Beals bridge can be enjoyed from granite benches. Limited parking is available, and downtown Jonesport is just a short stroll away through a compact, historic, picturesque, and hard-working fishing village.
The main street of downtown Jonesport is quite walkable, and offers excellent views of a classic working waterfront (as do many of the winding side streets…the Old House Point Road is not to be missed!) Moosabec Mussels
offers tours of their mussel and clam processing facility. Visitors can watch fishermen work in the small cove off Hopkins Beach or from the public boat launch near the historical society. Chartered boat tours provide opportunities to see and even touch local wildlife, hear tales from the deep, and watch fishermen tending traps. Fresh, locally caught seafood is available from several downtown fisheries businesses. Area stores are gathering places for swapping stories with local folk.
Peabody Memorial Library
, in the heart of downtown Jonesport, hosts a non-profit art in the library program for 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 Historical Society’s 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 evident today. The Jonesport Historical Society preserves artifacts and houses the “Jonesport Heritage Center,” an expansive computer database of local history.
The Jonesport Peapod
is manufactured in downtown Jonesport. Modeled after a century-old wooden rowing/sailing boat, this peapod was traditionally used for lobstering and carrying people and supplies along the coast (if you rent the shipyard owner’s cottage, use of a sailing peapod is included!)
The Maine Coast Sardine History Museum is a small museum preserving the history of the Maine Sardine Industry. Exhibits include hundreds of photographs, original cans, labels, packaging, crates, letterheads, and billheads, and original fishing, processing, and canning equipment.
The Nellie Chapin Marker
, located adjacent to the Coast Guard Station, 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 annual Jonesport/Beals lobster boat races
and regular summer Moosabec Mudruns
offer plenty of fast, noisy, and hilariously fun, family-friendly local color.
A community equally steeped in fishing culture is Beals Island
, just a quick trip over the Jonesport/Beals Bridge. Beals Island offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of a hard-working, family-oriented fishing community. Beals Island claims to host the worlds tallest lobster trap Christmas tree
Beyond the island community of Beals is Great Wass Island. The Downeast Institute
, a shellfish hatchery, offers educational tours about marine biology and the raising of shellfish seed. Further out on the southern point of the island is the Great Wass Island Preserve
, with trails winding over 1,500 acres through deep, moss-floored spruce and fir forests, with spectacular cliff-top views over the islands of Eastern Bay
From Jonesport, the Byway route
loops back around to the north on Route 187, wending its way along the rocky coast of Chandler Bay. Sandy River Beach, a rare-for-the-area expanse of public access sand beach, offers picnic tables and grills near a public-access parking lot (please be mindful of the private residences located close to the public area and along the beach.)
Jonesboro, Roque Bluffs, and Whitneyville
Continuing further along Route 187, look for the Maine Central Model Railroad
(consisting of more than 400 freight cars, 20 diesel engines and some 3,000 feet of track!) located in a private residence and open for viewing by the public. Further north is the Hubbard Rake Company
, manufacturer of the classic hand-held blueberry rake, and innovator of the 5-foot harvester as well as the miniature backpacker’s rake. Ike Hubbard welcomes folks to talk shop and maybe rake some blueberries.
Just before Route 187 rejoins Route 1 is Garden Side Dairy
at Hatch Knoll Farm
, a family goat farm offering specialty goat milk cheeses, classes, and opportunities to interact with the goats and walk in the boots of the farmers.
The Byway route
rejoins Route 1 in Jonesboro
. Here visitors can enjoy a game of golf, hike along the Tide Mill Creek
trail, or relax and picnic beside the Chandler River at the Jonesboro Memorial Park, site of the historic settlement of Chandler River Village.
A short side trip from Jonesboro southward again about 8 miles from US Route 1 takes the traveler to Roque Bluffs State Park
, a 274-acre park offering miles of hiking trails, a picnic area and freshwater pond, and sandy beach lined with wild beach roses, perfect for swimming, beach-combing, wildlife viewing, and paddling. During the annual Wild Blueberry Festival
in Machias, Welch Farm
, near the state park, offers educational and historic tours of their family-owned wild blueberry farm.
Another short drive out of Jonesboro village, this time a few minutes south along Route 1, leads to the Blueberry Hill Farm
Agricultural Research Station, where the University of Maine conducts research into blueberry farming techniques (tours are available, but visitors must arrange these well in advance.)
From Jonesboro, the Byway continues its winding course along Route 1 through the dense coastal forests and scenic blueberry barrens of Whitneyville toward the town of Machias
. Whitneyville is the home of a family-owned and -operated commercial Christmas wreath company.
As the Shire
town of Washington County, Machias is a cultural and service center regionally famous for its role in the Revolutionary War. Machias is the site of the Battle of the Margaretta
, the first naval battle of the Revolution. The Burnham Tavern
, now a museum in downtown Machias, played an important role in that battle, gaining distinction as one of 21 homes in the United States most significant to the American Revolution. A historic walking tour is provided.
, a Maine Downtown Network Community, is situated along the Machias River and around Bad Little Falls Park. Machias’ greater downtown contains numerous exemplary 19th
century structures, and unique shopping, lodging, and dining opportunities (including world-famous blueberry pie and delectable lobster stew!) all within a walkable distance. Machias is home to the University of Maine at Machias
and the Beehive Design Collective
(located in a historic Grange Hall and open to the public), both participating in arts, community, educational, entertainment and philanthropic events throughout the year.
The Downeast Sunrise Trail
is easily accessible from downtown Machias, near the dyke where antique vendors, and fisher-folk display their offerings, canoe and kayak tours begin, and the Machias Farmer’s Market is held. Machias hosts several yearly festivals celebrating art, history, food, and local culture, including the Wild Blueberry Festival
and Margaretta Days
, and hosts a monthly First Friday art walk through most of the year.
From downtown Machias, Route 92 offers a detour to Machiasport, home of the Gates House Museum
and the Fort O’Brien State Historic Site
, which preserves the remains of a fort that was originally built in 1775 to protect Machias Bay, and was destroyed and re-built three times over a 90 year period.
Bold Coast Area—East Machias to Lubec
Beyond Machias, the Byway route
passes through the commercial section of East Machias, which contains numerous B&B’s in historic homes. Located adjacent to the river is the East Machias Aquatic Research Center
, a research and community outreach facility on the East Machias River, where visitors can tour the fish hatchery, flow-through fresh water experimental facility, state certified water quality testing laboratory, Technical Resources Center, and Historic Museum/Education Center. Just after crossing the bridge over the East Machias River, The Byway route turns to the south along Route 191 and passes through the walkable historic district of East Machias
, consisting of thirty-two buildings on 630 acres, including the Washington Academy campus, churches, and private residences.
Following Route 191 further south, the Byway route
winds toward Cutler along a rocky shoreline with dramatic views over Holmes Bay and Little Machias Bay. A stop at the A2Z variety store at the former Cutler Naval Base offers local information, local art, and everything else the traveler needs before hitting the trails beyond Cutler. (Call ahead and ask for the store owner; he just might take you out on his boat for an authentic experience of harvesting “wrinkles”, touring islands, and viewing a shipwreck and an old gold mine!)
Along the route is Looks Gourmet Food Company, in the town of Whiting, which has been producing specialty seafood products reflective of Downeast Maine traditions since it was originally formed as the East Machias Canning Company in 1917! Their product line, Bar Harbor Foods
, can be purchased in grocery stores and other retail businesses throughout the region.
is a picturesque village with 19th
century homes perched above an active fishing harbor. Stop in at the Town Office/Library to enjoy an amazing view of Cutler Harbor and learn about local life. Chartered puffin tours are available. Travelers can take a day tour of the historic Little River Lighthouse
, host a special event on the island, or even spend the night! Just before reaching Cutler village is the Western Head Preserve
, a 3.5-mile hiking trail with spectacular views of the coastline and of Little River Lighthouse.
West of Cutler village, Byway travelers can explore the quintessential Bold Coast Trail at the Cutler Coast Public Preserve Land
, with choices of a 5- or 10-mile loop trail traversing the Atlantic Ocean’s remote and rugged shoreline. The trails traverse steep cliffs with stunning views over hidden coves, immense ocean vistas. A full experience of the coastal forest is provided by an interior trail winding through mossy woods, grasslands, blueberry fields, and bogs. Several primitive campsites are maintained along the trail. Adjacent to the Cutler Coast preserve is the Bog Brook Cove Preserve, a 1,780-acre preserve characterized by rocky knolls separated by gently sloping ground, swampy flats, wet meadows, and small brooks. The diverse habitat is home to a great variety of wildlife, including black bear, bobcat, and fisher.
From Cutler, the route turns northeast on Route 189 toward the easternmost town of Lubec
. Lubec’s walkable downtown is lined with historic structures and its harbor is an active working waterfront. Lubec
is a full service center with retail shops, restaurants, lodging, museums and galleries all located in the heart of the downtown.
The Lost Fishermen’s Memorial Park
, located at the edge of the sea in downtown Lubec, provides a dramatic location to contemplate the power of the sea—the Bay of Fundy creates a visibly formidable force to boaters in the passage between Lubec and Campobello Island. McCurdy’s Smokehouse
, a complex of buildings once used to smoke and pack herring, is now a museum to the cultural and economic significance of the herring industry. The R.S. Peacock Fire Museum, located at the town fire department, is home of the 1865 hand-propelled pumper tub “Torrent”, and other historic fire-fighting equipment. Take a guided or self-guided tour of historic or natural sites with Tours of Lubec and Cobscook
Lubec is an arts and cultural center, home to the SummerKeys Concerts
, Lubec Arts Alive, ARTWORKSOFMAINE
, and the Cobscook Community Learning Center
, all of which host events, performances, celebrations, and classes for the public. The Cobscook Community Learning Center also hosts the annual Downeast Spring Birding Festival
Lubec is the home of the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse
, situated at the eastern-most point of the United States. A visitors’ center located inside the 1858 Light Keepers’ house within the lighthouse contains historic information and a small maritime art gallery. Quoddy Head Light is within Quoddy Head State Park
and near Hamilton Cove Preserve
, two perfect opportunities to explore the quintessential Bold Coast landscape. Other opportunities to explore include Mowry Beach
, the Pike Lands
, and other public conserved lands.
Lubec is the first gateway to the Two-Nation Vacation
experience (note that passports are required
for entrance into Canada). The Eastport/Lubec Ferry
and the East Coast Ferries
connect Lubec to Deer, Campobello, White Head, and Grand Manan Islands, all located in New Brunswick, Canada. Island hopping by ferry or with one of the many private touring companies in town provides unique opportunities for international exploration of bays, islands, and lighthouse, and for whale watching. Lubec and Campobello Island jointly sponsor the Bay of Fundy International Marathon
, a Boston Marathon qualifier whose route spans two countries.
The Fundy Isles: New Brunswick, Canada
Just a short trip from Lubec across the international bridge to Campobello Island is Roosevelt Campobello International Park
, featuring President and Eleanor Roosevelt’s summer home and celebrating the friendship between Canada and the United States. The park includes 2,800-acres with trails winding through beaches, bogs, forests, and ocean headlands.
also offers several dining and lodging places, and is the perfect location to explore an island community by bicycle. At the eastern end of the island is East Quoddy Head Light, a beautiful lookout spot over Canada’s Fundy Islands, but, due to intense currents in the area, caution must be used if venturing beyond the lookout point to the lighthouse itself.
Grand Manan and Whitehead Islands
and Deer Island
include lighthouses, beaches, soaring cliffs, colorful fishing boats, whales and seabirds, along with a range of simple and relaxing accommodations and dining experiences. These islands offer miles of undeveloped coast, hours of quiet, expansive ocean vistas, and villages of welcoming and creative hosts.
Cobscook Bay Area—Whiting to Eastport
Whiting, Edmunds, and Dennysville
From Lubec the Byway route
doubles back along Route 189 westward and rejoins Route 1 north in Whiting, where the Orange River Conservation Area
is located. The Orange River Conservation Area properties, Reynolds Marsh Overlook, Marsh Island Preserve and Orange River Landing, provide two water access sites for paddlers.
The Byway then circles around Cobscook Bay
, through the most remote and least traveled portion of the Byway, which traverses dense coastal forest with intermittent views of Cobscook Bay and numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge
, Edmunds Division, one of the oldest National Wildlife Refuges, is located within the Atlantic Flyway and has over 50 miles of dirt roads and trails. Cobscook Bay State Park
, 888 acres surrounded on three sides by ocean, provides numerous remote campsites along the water’s edge. Edmunds is home to the Tide Mill Organic Farm
, a 1,600-acre family farm for nine generations offering educational programs and farm tours.
The historic village of Dennysville
, which hugs the Denny’s River, can be enjoyed via a quick loop off the main Byway route. Dennysville’s Historic District includes 22 Colonial Revival and Federal style buildings on 300 acres, and hosts a year-round farmer’s market.
Perry and Pembroke
Reversing Falls Park
showcases a unique natural phenomenon created by the tidal current. The Downeast Amateur Astronomer's Observatory
, high on a hill in Pembroke, welcomes visitors to revel in the clear, dark night skies. The annual Pembroke Trotting Association Farm and Horse Fair is held at the Pembroke Trotting Association Fair Grounds
, one of the oldest fairgrounds in the country (used for agricultural exhibitions since 1841).
In Perry, enjoy Sipp Bay Preserve
, a 16-acre peninsula offering grassy open fields for picnicking; short walking trails, and great scenic views. Three public boat landings offer water access at Gleason's Cove, Sipp Bay, and Horse Landing. The town of Perry is proud to be located on the 45th Parallel - halfway between the Equator and the North Pole – as a funky gift shop located near the 45th parallel marker
Pleasant Point Indian Reservation
The Byway route
turns toward Eastport on Route 190 east in the town of Perry, and passes through the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation at Pleasant Point
. (Please drive slowly when traveling through the village of Pleasant Point!) The Waponahki Museum and Resource Center
, a museum of the Passamaquoddy Tribal culture, language, and traditions, hosts demonstrations on tribal dance, food, storytelling, woodworking, and art. Indian Day
is an annual celebration of the arts and culture of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. (The Abbe Museum
in Bar Harbor and the Passamaquoddy Cultural Heritage Museum
in Indian Township also provide comprehensive historic information and opportunities to learn about the Passamaquoddy culture.)
The Byway route crosses the Pleasant Point/Eastport causeway, with expansive 180-degree views of the waters and islands of Cobscook Bay and Passamaquoddy Bay, including remnants of herring weirs. The Bold Coast Scenic Byway culminates in the city of Eastport
, a full service fishing community with a working waterfront and rich cultural opportunities.
Eastport’s downtown Historic District
includes 29 structures on the National Historic register. The pedestrian-friendly downtown contains an eclectic mix of retail shops, galleries, museums, cultural centers, eateries, and inns. The Sutherland Overlook Park and Amphitheatre
is located at the water’s edge where the visitor can take in the harbor sights and sounds, stroll along the multi-modal pathway, or listen to music during the summer.
The Fort Sullivan Barracks Museum
, housed in the re-located officers quarters of historic Fort Sullivan, contains photographs and other military and civilian historical items. The Old Powder house is a visible remnant of part of the original Fort Sullivan, which was captured by the British in 1812. Raye’s Mustard Mill
, a working museum and retail store, showcases North America’s last remaining traditional stone-ground mustard mill that still utilizes the traditional cold grind process. The Tides Institute and Museum of Art exhibits cultural collections, sponsors cultural events, provides cultural education, and fosters cultural connections, and hosts the annual New Year’s event, the Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop
. Eastport is also home of the annual Eastport Pirate Festival
Close to downtown Eastport, Shackford Head State Park
encompasses 90 acres on Moose Island overlooking Cobscook Bay. This promontory at the entrance to Cobscook Bay encircles the west side of Broad Cove. Several miles of trails cross the headland. A hiking trail from the parking area leads through woods to a rocky headland 173 feet above sea level, passing several pocket beaches and protected coves. From this outlook, visitors can see Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada, the town of Lubec, and the Eastport cargo pier on Estes Head, as well as aquaculture pens where Atlantic salmon are raised.
Eastport’s Treat Island Preserve
, a 71-acre island preserve, can be accessed by kayak from Eastport or Lubec. Treat Island features a mix of open meadow and spruce forest, stunning views, bold headlands, and gravel beaches with relatively easy landing areas for kayaks and small boats. Meadows provide good vantage points to view resident wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, bald eagles, and northern harriers. Despite close proximity, access from both Lubec and Eastport is made challenging by very strong currents in this part of Passamaquoddy Bay.
During the summer, the Eastport/Lubec Ferry
connects Eastport and Lubec, and the East Coast Ferries
connect Eastport to Deer, Campobello, White Head, and Grand Manan Islands, all located in New Brunswick, Canada. Island hopping by ferry or with one of the many private touring companies in town provides unique opportunities for international exploration of bays, islands, and lighthouse, and for whale watching. If you get out there on the water between Eastport and Deer Island at the right time, you just might catch a glimpse of the Old Sow Whirlpool
, the largest natural whirlpool in the western hemisphere!
Beyond the Byway
There are many unique and distinct cultural, scenic, historic, and recreational opportunities surrounding the byway communities.
Byway travelers can continue northeast on Route 1 and explore the 45th parallel
marker, St. Croix Island International Historic Site
, and Devil’s Head Conservation Area
The international sister cities of Calais, Maine and St. Stephen, New Brunswick are both walkable service center communities straddling the international boundary of the St. Croix River
. Walking trails, boutiques, and historic downtowns characterize both cities. Calais and St. Stephen together host the International Homecoming Festival,
and serve as the main eastern border crossing for the Two-nation Vacation.
From Calais travelers may choose to spend more time in the region and head directly into the Province of New Brunswick
, Canada or continue north along Route 1 to access the many cultural, scenic, and recreational opportunities in northern Washington County and in Aroostook, the Crown of Maine
North of Calais on Route 1 travelers enter the historic industrial logging community of Baileyville
and the lakeside recreation destination of Princeton
. Winter and summer both inspire diverse outdoor opportunities in these water-and forest-dominated landscapes.
Adjacent to Princeton is Indian Township
, another Reservation of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. The Passamaquoddy Cultural Heritage Museum
is open to the public and occasionally offers workshops. Indian Township is home to several nationally known basket makers
whose work (and MUCH more!) is easily accessible at the Abbe Museum
in Bar Harbor.
During summer months, a journey to Grand Lake Stream, the Unorganized Territories
, and the Downeast Lakes
regions offers an intact and accessible wilderness experience like no other, and the Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival
is a renowned cultural event not to be missed.
Route 9 west from Calais toward Bangor takes the traveler through a rolling landscape of forests dotted with lakes and blueberry fields
. Distant views are of mountains, lakes, extensive wetlands, and windmills. In Alexander a short side trip down the Davis Road
leads to the Alexander Art Trail
, a peaceful walk in the forest amongst an exhibit of hand-carved oak sculptures.
From Route 9 in Beddington
, Route 193 South travels through the heart of Wyman’s
country back toward Cherryfield, where the Bold Coast Scenic Byway meets the Blackwoods Scenic Byway
and creates a loop back to Ellsworth
and the rest of Maine.
Just west of the original starting point in Milbridge, Route 1 passes through the town of Steuben
(home of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge
) which links the Bold Coast Scenic Byway and the Schoodic Scenic Byway
, and eventually winds its way back to Ellsworth, where the traveler accesses Bar Harbor, Bangor
, and beyond