Public Reserved Lands

Countless acres of Maine’s Public Reserved Lands are some of DownEast Acadia’s most outstanding natural locations.
Cutler Public Lands Marsh
Low tide on the salt marshes of Cutler Public Lands.

Visitors can enjoy DownEast Acadia’s Public Reserved Lands for their outstanding hiking, camping, birding, fishing, and hunting opportunities. They include Cutler’s Bold Coast, Donnell Pond, Duck Lake, Great Heath, Machias River Corridor, and Amherst Mountains Community Forest. Maine’s Public Reserved Lands are managed by the Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) for multiple uses, including wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, and sustainable timber harvesting.

Amherst Mountains COmmunity Forest

Amherst Mountains Community Forest is a 4,974-acre parcel with recreation trails and ecologically important forestland surrounding six ponds. Wildlife, including peregrine falcons, brook trout, deer, bear, partridge, and woodcock, thrive here; and thousands of migratory birds arrive each spring to nest on these lands.

Open year-round remote pond camping, hiking, snowmobiling, and ATVing are available here. Hikers enjoy the views to Acadia afforded at several of the overlooks. ATV and bicycle riders make use of the shared-use Ducktail Pond Road. During the Fall, foliage can be viewed from both the water or the trail. Ducktail Pond Road is about 8.9 miles to the east of the intersection of the Airline (SR9) and SR180.

Cutler Coast Public Reserved Lands

Explore a 12,234-acre expanse of blueberry barrens, woodlands, and peatlands with 4.5 miles of headlands—interspersed by pocket coves and cobble beaches—overlooking the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. Hikers can enjoy 10 miles of trails, three remote tent sites, and spectacular views from the property’s steep cliffs-part of the dramatic “Bold Coast” extending from Cutler to Lubec.

Cool, damp and windy conditions along the coast tend to stunt tree growth and favor species that usually occur in alpine and sub-alpine terrains such as Hooker’s iris, bird’s eye primrose, and baked Appleberry.

According to Maine Birding Trail, nearly 200 species are found on or near the Cutler Coast. Seabirds and ravens nest along shoreline ledges. Offshore, from early summer to early fall, visitors may spot seals, porpoises, and occasional humpback, finback, northern right, and minke whales.

The lands north of Route 191 have several raised coastal peatlands, also known as bogs or heaths. The bogs support an array of fascinating plants, including some sub-arctic and arctic species and carnivorous plants that draw nourishment from insects rather than the acidic water and nutrient-poor soils.

Due to the presence of blue joint meadows and other exemplary natural communities such as huckleberry-crowberry bog and maritime spruce-fir-larch forest, Maine designated 5,216 acres of the property as an Ecological Reserve.

Cutler Coast Public Reserved Lands
Rugged cliffs of Cutler Coast Public Reserved Lands.

Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land

The Donnell Pond Unit includes more than 14,000 acres of remote forested land with crystal clear lakes, secluded ponds, and mountains with panoramic views. Located in Hancock County between Franklin and Cherryfield, this is aa relatively easy to reach spot where visitors can enjoy outdoor recreation in a scenic, remote setting.

Duck Lake Public Reserved Land

Located in northern Hancock County, about 70 miles northeast of Bangor, the Duck Lake Unit comprises more than 27,000 acres of forested land. The unit’s gently rolling terrain and many lakes, streams, and wetlands are typical of Eastern Maine.

Attracted by the lakes, visitors enjoy fishing and camping in this semi-remote area. Duck Lake, the Unknown Lakes, and Gassabias Lake offer fishing, boating, swimming, camping, and snowmobiling opportunities.

Machias River Corridor

The Machias River Corridor envelopes the Machias River, home to the country’s most extensive self-sustaining wild Atlantic salmon run. The river system also supports a wide array of wading birds, waterfowl, and grassland species. The 76-mile Machias River canoe trip is popular with experienced paddlers. Visitors can also enjoy camping, birding, fishing, and hunting.

Rocky Lake

The 11,000-acre Rocky Lake Public Reserved Land near East Machias provides opportunities for boating, camping, and fishing in a wildlife-rich area. Spot nesting Bald Eagles, white-tailed deer, snowshoe hare, bobcat, coyote, black bear, and even fisher. Except for the Ecological Reserve that makes up 1,516 acres of the property to protect Maine’s biological diversity, the land is used for timber, wildlife, recreation, and other purposes.

Machias River Corridor
Paddle or hike along the scenic Machias River Corridor.

Planning Tools

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.

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