Deer Isle and Stonington (Pine Hill Preserve, Barred Island Preserve, Settlement Quarry Preserve, Bridge End Park and Reach Knolls Campground)

My younger son and I explored Deer Isle and Stonington this weekend.

We started Friday after work by camping at Reach Knolls Campground in Brooklin. This is a small but exceptionally well run campground located right on the water. It has clean facilities, hot showers, a beach with small swim platform, and caring and friendly management. We were fortunate enough to get a waterfront tent site with electricity and an amazing view. After eating dinner we walked down and explored the beach area, spotting two harbor porpoises feeding off shore. For more information on the campground visit their website at

Views from our campsite
Our first stop Saturday morning was Pine Hill Preserve on Little Deer Isle.  This Island Heritage Trust preserve provides great views with only minimal effort. A short 1/10 mile walk leads to a massive stone wall, the remains of a larger rock formation from which stone was removed to build the supports for the nearby Deer Isle bridge. A very steep but short trail to the right leads to the top, offering views of the surrounding area. 

Our next stop was Barred Island Preserve, a beautiful preserve managed by The Nature Conservancy.   Our hike took us through a coastal forest, across a sandbar (accessible two hours on either side of low tide) and out to Barred Island itself.  While there are no trails on the island itself, we explored the perimeter along the rocky shoreline enjoying views of the area.


Our next stop was the Settlement Quarry Preserve, an Island Heritage Trust preserve in Stonington.  The preserve is the site of a former quarry and has interpretive signs throughout explaining quarry operations and the geology of the area.  The quarry also provides expansive views of Webb Cove.  In addition to visiting the quarry, we hiked the glacial erratic trail (spoiler alert: we had no idea what a glacial erratic was but it sounded cool and possibly massive.  The hike was pleasant through forested woodlands but the erratic itself was a medium sized boulder.  Nonetheless, we learned about the boulder and glaciers from the adjacent interpretive sign so I will count it as a win for us.)  For more information on the preserve visit Island Heritage Trust's website.


Our final stop on the trip was Bridge End Park, a small but scenic municipal park adjacent to the Deer Isle Bridge.  The park has picnic tables, restrooms, a boat ramp, and at low tide provides the opportunity to explore the area directly under the bridge. 

I am not a civil engineer, but I would think at some point the tree growing under the bridge will become a problem?
View from the small island looking back at the parking lot for the park


Popular Posts