Exploring The Trail
Hiking the Cliff Trail was planned last minute, but ended up being totally worth it. AllTrails states that the trail is 2.1 miles long, but we strayed off the trail a few times to see lookouts and vistas, so our overall total was 2.9 miles. On our way to the trail it was partly sunny and warm, but once we got to the trail the weather was cloudy and the ocean was at low tide. So the view wasn’t what we expected, but it was still beautiful.
When I first started adventuring I always focused a lot on the view because it’s the most important part, right? I mean, yes, to an extent. However, I quickly learned that you cannot control everything, especially the weather, so letting a not so perfect view ruin your time is unnecessary. Instead, I have learned to focus on the entire journey of the adventure as a whole because that’s what really matters.
This trail starts behind the Harpswell Town Office in Harpswell, ME. There is a big parking lot for the office building which is where we parked after office hours, so it was empty. You can start the loop trail from either the left side (starting on a mile long road, hiking the cliff, then ending with a trail through the woods) or the right side (starting in the woods, hiking the cliff, then ending on a mile long road) – we started on the right side.
Along the trail on the right side we came across an opening which had a small road, a tower and a recycling center. The recycling center had a huge pile of broken toilets so that was kind of interesting. After passing this sight the trail led us back into the woods. A short distance later the Cliff Trail “officially” started (as per the trail sign seen above).
This side of the trail, through the woods, was well marked and we had no trouble finding where to go. We also downloaded the AllTrails map and used it as guidance which was super helpful. There were a lot of tree roots throughout the trail, but they were easy to avoid if you were paying attention. They honestly made for a very pretty hike.
At this time it was late March in Maine, so nature was still coming out of winter mode. There were areas that were wet, some small ponds and puddles were still frozen, and there was snow in areas that did not get much sunlight. While some areas of the trail did not get a lot of sunlight, others did. There was still a good portion of the trail that was already vibrant green and beautiful. You could see the small plants and moss blooming, small streams flowing, and leaves growing.
Once we got to the top of the cliff the sun was already starting to go down. We knew that we did not have a lot of time until it got dark so we enjoyed the view as long as we could and started back up. It was a beautiful view even when the weather was cloudy and the ocean was at low tide. We could see a line of ducks swimming in the little bit of water around the center island and there were a few birds flying around squawking. Up to this point we had not seen anyone else on the trail and there was nobody at the top. Taking in the view was quiet, calm, and peaceful.
After taking in the cliff view we continued further along the trail and saw a frozen waterfall (see above, on the left). The view from here is probably gorgeous during late spring or summer if the waterfall actually flows. As the sun started to set more, the trail got darker, but between the trail being well marked well and the AllTrails map we were able to find our way around.
We stopped at a few lookout areas where we saw a gaggle of geese and another waterfall. Unfortunately the area around the last waterfall (see above, on the right) was muddy so we were not able to get as close as we wanted. The last part of the trail was a flat, gravel road that led back to the parking lot.
Post Hike Snacks
On our way home after we finished the trail we stopped at Brynes Irish Pub in Bath, ME to get 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.
Personally, 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.