With some of the cleanest water and least developed natural areas on the East Coast of the United States, DownEast Acadia is ideal for wildlife watching, birding, fishing, stargazing, or simply soaking in the quiet beauty.
These experiences are here to enjoy thanks to the incredible network of organizations and individuals who generously provide hundreds of thousands of acres of preserved lands and recreation areas and who care for the hiking trails, signage, parking lots, and privies.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
MCHT conserves coastal lands and islands along the Maine Coast, including 35 public-access preserves in DownEast Acadia. These preserves offer hiking trails, picnic areas, swimming beaches, camping, water access, cabins for rent, and a community garden. Many preserves contain rare and unusual birds, habitats, and plants.
Downeast Coastal Conservancy
DCC maintains public hiking trails on 12 conservation areas, including coastal islands, water trails, riverside walks, beaches, and mountains on the sea. Features include water access for swimming & paddling, birdwatching, hiking trails, and picnic areas.
Downeast Salmon Federation
DSF owns and holds conservation easements on over 6,000 acres of land, including 43 miles of river and stream, most of which is open to the public for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, or paddling. Several cabins are available for reservation by the public.
Downeast Lakes Land Trust
DLLT protects 370,000 acres of wildlife habitat and watersheds that are part of a 1.4 million-acre international wildlife corridor between Maine and New Brunswick. DLLT provides wilderness campsites and manages a 55,678-acre Community Forest for wildlife habitat, sustainable forest products, and public recreation.
The Nature Conservancy
TNC protects nearly 2,000 acres of coastal land in Downeast Maine with coastal hiking trails and beaches and conservation habitat around inland lakes and waterways.
Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust
GPMCT manages the 4,500-acre Great Pond Mountain Wildlands for wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation, including mountain biking, paddling, and hiking. GPMCT protects the six Phillips Lake Islands, accessible from water only and open to the public for day use. GPMCT protects 72 forested acres with a plethora of vernal pools, including two of State Significance.
Frenchman Bay Conservancy
FBC currently protects 8,000 acres, including forest, wetlands, coastline, mountains, wild blueberry fields, and waterfront along a wild and scenic river. FBC maintains 28+ miles of hiking trails through conservation easements or owned preserves with panoramic vistas, sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, and features designed especially for kids.
Crabtree Neck Land Trust
CNLT protects more than 400 acres on Crabtree Neck with seven miles of trails on six public preserves. These preserves protect a historic rural landscape, including wildlife habitat, scenic view-sheds, and open spaces endangered by development pressure.
Island Heritage Trust
IHT holds conservation easements for habitat preservation on over 771 acres of private land on Deer Isle, including 13+ miles of coastal shore, wildlife habitat, islands, and forests. IHT owns 459 acres on 18 properties with public access to hiking & swimming. IHT hosts the annual Wings, Waves, & Woods birding festival each May.
Blue Hill Heritage Trust
BHHT protects over 10,000 acres of land for wildlife, recreation, scenic beauty, sustainable use, and historical importance. These lands protect ecological and community health and traditional livelihoods. Features include hiking trails, coastal and inland water access, and picnic areas.
Woodie Wheaton Land Trust
WWLT protects the watersheds and lands of the Chiputneticook Lakes region, a group of lakes along the international boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. WWLT includes one of Maine’s last remaining native landlocked salmon fisheries and some of the best smallmouth bass habitat in the United States. Public recreation features include water access for paddling, camping, swimming; hiking trails; and picnic areas.
Maine Island Trail Association
MITA manages a 375-mile water trail along the Maine coast that connects over 240 wild islands and mainland sites open for day use or overnight camping. Many private landowners, nonprofit organizations, and federal, state, and municipal agencies committed to coastal access and stewardship allow access to their properties as part of the Maine Island Trail.
You are a Land Steward, too!
DownEast Acadia’s natural landscapes and recreation areas are an incredible gift provided by conservation organizations, state and federal agencies, municipalities, and private landowners.
We can all do our part to keep trails and campsites open and preserve a long-standing local tradition of public access.
Always leave the land as you found it—or better. Remove all trash and pick up trash that someone else left. Stay on marked trails. Watch wildlife from a distance. Camp in designated areas. Be considerate of other people. Know and follow the visitor rules of each preserve – they are in place to protect you as well as other people, the land, and wildlife.
Visitor Resources: Leave No Trace | Look Out for ME | How to “Go” in the Woods | DownEast Salmon Federation | Maine Coast Heritage Trust | DownEast Coastal Conservancy | Blue Hill Heritage Trust | Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust | Island Heritage Trust | DownEast Lakes Land Trust | Crabtree Neck Land Trust | Frenchman Bay Conservancy | Woodie Wheaton Land Trust | The Nature Conservancy | Maine Island Trail Association
To help you plan your trip we provide information on drive time and distances to and around the region. Plus info on other commercial transportation options.
Once you arrive in DownEast Acadia, you will want to access local sources of visitor information, state laws, recreation rules, and road conditions.
To help you pack or plan your day, check out the current weather in the region or learn about year-round averages of temperature and precipitation.