There are so many great reasons to visit Maine: its distinct natural beauty, cute coastal towns, fresh seafood, rich history, and a never-ending array of outdoor activities. You can find all of that and more right here on Deer Isle, Maine!
Beauty surrounds Deer Isle in every direction being the second largest island in Maine. Stonington on Deer Isle is also the #1 lobster port in the whole country. Pilgrim’s Inn itself is one of the oldest buildings in the area built 230 years ago! And there are a plethora of nature walks and hikes around the island and surrounding areas. Deer Isle draws many nature enthusiasts and offers several hiking trails that are perfect for both beginners and experienced hikers. With hiking being one of the most popular activities to do on the island, we have compiled a list of the best hiking trails on Deer Isle and why they are worth exploring:
- Barred Island Preserve Trail – This trail is a must see on Deer Isle. The 1.6-mile trail is located on 28 acre preserve on the western shore of Deer Isle. Hikers follow a path through a beautiful moss-covered forest surrounded by spruce and pine trees before leading them to a lovely rock and sand beach. Visitors will want to plan their hike around low tide when the beach connects to a small island they may explore. The trail is relatively easy and offers breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding islands. Barred Island Preserve Trail is located off of Goose Cove Road near Aragosta restaurant.
- Edgar M. Tennis Preserve – This trail is located on a 145 acre preserve generously donated by Edgar M. Tennis and his family. The trail is divided into two main areas, both taking visitors through beautiful forested areas as well as past several scenic overlooks that provide breathtaking views of the coast and nearby islands. A good portion of this trail is right alongside the rocky coastline making it one of the most popular trails on the island with spectacular water views. Some trail highlights include a 19th century homestead and a small pocket beach. Edgar M. Tennis Preserve Trail is one of the longer hikes on the island, around 3.7 miles, so come prepared with proper footwear. There are some exposed roots and elevation changes which rate this trail as moderately challenging, but well worth the trek. This trail is located on Tennis Road off of Sunshine, near Nervous Nellies Jams and Jellies.
- Settlement Quarry Trail – This 1.5-mile loop trail is situated on the eastern side of Deer Isle just north of Stonington off of Oceanville Road. Settlement Quarry Trail takes hikers through an old granite quarry featuring pink and white feldspar and quartz. A wooden boardwalk and a lush forest trail leads visitors out onto a smooth granite overlook with unique views of Webb Cove, Isle au Haut, Deer Isle’s Merchant Row, and other surrounding small islands. The trail is relatively easy and offers a chance to learn about the island’s rich geological history.
- Scott’s Landing Preserve Trail – This approximately 1-mile trail is located on a 24 acre preserve and is a great trail for birders and nature lovers alike. Scott’s Landing Preserve is named after the family that ran the ferry crossing nearby before the bridge was built to Deer Isle. The trail leads across the meadow which was once the Scott family farm. There are multiple beach access points near the shore that provide panoramic views of Eggemoggin Reach and the Deer Isle Bridge. This is a great place to sit, relax, and enjoy the view.
- Lily Pond Trail – This short trail is located in the heart of Deer Isle and is within walking distance from Pilgrim’s Inn. Lily Pond Tail takes hikers through a forest of hemlock trees before leading them to a picturesque pond. Though beautiful all year round, the Lily Pond is one of premier swimming destinations on the island in the summer months. The trail is easy hiking and offers a chance to see wildlife, including deer and various bird species. Don’t forget to pack a beach towel as one will be drawn to relax in the shade and stay while.
All of these and more wonderful trails on Deer Isle are cared for by Island Heritage Trust. You may find virtual guided nature walk guides brought to you by the Deer Isle-Stonington Chamber of Commerce.
Overall, these trails offer a great mix of scenic views, wildlife, and history, making them some of the best hiking trails on Deer Isle, Maine. We hope to see you soon enjoying our beautiful lands here on Deer Isle! Book your stay at the historical Pilgrim’s Inn to be right in the heart of the action.