This trail was easily one of my favorites thus far. It was so beautiful that we ended up doing almost 2 extra miles because of how many times we went off the trail to see more views. It took us longer than we planned, but it was totally worth it because when we were done the sun was setting and it was stunning. Overall, the trail was a great workout, it had a great mix of hiking in the woods and hiking along the ocean, and it had several vistas, view points, and beaches. If you love the ocean you will love this trail. It is a great reminder of how beautiful the rocky coast of Maine is.
Trail #4 of 2022
Date completed: April 3, 2022
Location: Phippsburg, ME
Length: 3.8 miles
Our total: 5.6 miles
Elevation gain: 285 ft
Route type: Loop
AllTrails rating: Moderate, 4.5/5🌟
Hermit Island AllTrails Link
AllTrails Overview: “Discover this 3.8-mile loop trail near Sebasco Estates, Maine. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 1 h 22 min to complete. This trail is great for camping, hiking, and running, and it’s unlikely you’ll encounter many other people while exploring.” – Hermit Island AllTrails Link
AllTrails Description: “SEASONAL CLOSURE: Hermit Island is only open to visitors outside of the summer camping season. During summer, the trails are only open to campers with reservations. For more information, please visit https://hermitisland.com/. This trail is very steep in several areas without railings and has uneven and unstable surfaces. The trail passes through the woods and to some secluded coves. Most of the trails are well marked. There are no facilities available in the offseason, so please remember to pack out everything you bring to the park.” – Hermit Island AllTrails Link
AllTrails Tips: “From the parking lot of Hermit Island Campground. Start NW towards the large anchor. Take Lee Side Way. Walk right onto Dune Way and veer left to West Dune Way. Follow West Dune Way to Western Reach on the left. From there its a few steps to Cross Island and that will lead you to Osprey Point.” – Hermit Island AllTrails Link
The Adventure Story
The trail was super easy to find and to follow while using directions from the AllTrails app. It led us to Head Beach Rd where we followed the long dirt road to a parking lot outside the campground. We parked in the empty parking lot and started the trail from there. One side of the parking lot had a small beach area and the other side had a small dirt road that led to the actual start of the trail. We explored the small beach area first which wasn’t much, but it was pretty.
We followed the small dirt trail along the ocean and noticed that there was a sign for Head Beach off to the side so we decided to follow it. As you see in the pictures above, we definitely were not disappointed. We were not expecting there to be an empty and beautiful beach for us to walk along so we took full advantage of it. Of course, at this time, it was the beginning of April in Maine so it was chilly and windy along the ocean. We stayed as long as could and enjoyed every minute of it. Once we started getting chilly we ended up heading back to the trail so we could warm up from moving.
We followed the dirt road for almost a mile before the “hiking” trail in the woods started. Along the dirt road there were campsites, a pond, another access point to the beach, and a couple view points. The AllTrails map was super easy to follow up until this point and there were several signs along the way showing where each road went.
We stayed on the dirt road for a while until we saw a lookout point that we did not want to miss. There was a small cabin with a deck with a beautiful view (the picture above on the bottom right). We were not sure, but it seemed like maybe during camping season this cabin could be rented. If that is the case, you would have a fantastic view during your stay and you would be close to the beach area.
Once we got to the hiking trail sign, we were led into the woods. Here we had a choice on whether to take the red trail or the blue trail. We were not sure of the differences between the trails so we went on a whim and decided to take the blue trail. After following the blue trail for a while and having it intertwine with the red trail a few times, we noticed that the red trail went through the woods more and the blue trail had more openings in the tress with views of the ocean. In our opinion, the blue trail was a great choice.
This part of the trail was also well marked and easy to follow. It was muddy in some places due to the fact that it was early in the season, but it was easy to avoid or go around. There were some tree roots sticking up, but they were also easy to avoid if you were paying attention. I tend to look at my feet a lot when I hike so I was able to avoid them for the most part. We noticed a lot of mushrooms growing throughout this part and we even saw some of them on the trees.
As I said in the beginning, I really like that this trail has a mix of hiking in the woods and hiking along the ocean. The wooded part of the blue trail did not last long as it eventually connected with the red trail. Once these trails connected to be one, it followed along the rocky coastline.
The rocky coastline was absolutely gorgeous. It was steep at some parts, but it wasn’t too challenging. This is where we gained most of our elevation. The path was easy to see and follow when it was along the rocks. The water was a perfect blue, some areas even had a turquoise tint to it. The sea was calmer than I expected for a windy day but the waves were still crashing against the rocks something fierce. I think that is why I like the ocean so much – it’s wild and brawny, yet there is something ever so calming about it; something so calming that whenever I am near it I feel at peace.
We came across an opening in the rocks where the waves were rolling in and out and Nick and I sat there for a while and just took it all in (see the picture above on the bottom left). I am not sure if it was high tide at this point, but if it wasn’t, I can imagine it’s a sight to see when it is. If you need to stop and take a break this would be the perfect spot to do it, trust me!
One of our favorite parts of this hike was an open beach that the trail crossed through (see the pictures above). It felt like we were lost at sea and stranded on a private island. It actually kind of reminded us of scenes from Pirate’s of the Caribbean. The best part of this beach was that we were the only ones there. We walked around, climbed on the rocks, took so many pictures and just really enjoyed ourselves.
The beach was filled with a lot of seaweed and shells, as well as washed up lobster traps. The waves were calmer here than they were along the rocky coastline trail but still were loud enough to enjoy. The sun was starting to set, the sky was changing, and the sunrays were bouncing off different parts of the trail.
Once we had our fun at the beach, we continued along on the trail and came across this area with long golden grass. The sun was getting lower and the way that the sunrays bounced off of the grass was otherworldly. It honestly felt like we were on a different planet and I haven’t seen anything like it before. There was a small sandy trail that went through the middle of the grass (see the top right picture above) and we followed it for a few minutes and found another beach. We didn’t stay to long at this beach because we knew we still had another mile and a half to go and we wanted to make it back to our car before the sun fully set.
We walked the rest of the trail, which was on another dirt road, and came across a campsite that had a spectacular sunset view (the top two pictures above) before it ended. If we ever camp here we will definitely look into booking this site because watching the sunset there each night would be incredible. It was quiet, calm, and peaceful – it was a literal dream.
This was a loop trail, so once we were done we ended up back at the beach we came across in the beginning. We watched the sun set here as long as we could before we headed out to grab food. It was amazing that we got to enjoy the same beach in the afternoon and at sunset, both times alone.
Every trail that I complete I will be putting together a video of my experience on the trail.
It will be a first person point of view video which is almost like you are there with me on the adventure.
You can find this video on my Instagram here and on my TikTok here.
Post Hike Snacks
After this hike we went to the same place we did after finishing the Cliff Trail, Brynes Irish Pub in Bath, ME. As per usual, we got beer and wings – our favorite meal after a good hike! This pub is one of our favorites in this area so we eat here frequently. They always have a great rotating draft list filled with local brews as well as mixed drink specials. The food menu is shorter, but has many delicious options and they always have rotating weekly specials.
As stated in the Cliff Trail post, we recommend the wings because they are always crispy and juicy. We love the homemade whiskey sauce or the unicorn wings which is their take on a garlic buffalo sauce with shredded parmesan – some of my favorite wings in the area!
ALSO! If you are a fan of trivia, they host their own every Thursday at 6:30pm.
The above photos are from Brynes Irish Pub’s Facebook page. All credit goes to them.
Message From the Author
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Real & Authentic. Happy & Healing.