Downeast Day Trip (Tidal Falls Preserve, Acadia Schoodic Peninsula and Petit Manan NWR)

My older son and I visited Tidal Falls Preserve, Schoodic Peninsula and the Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge today. 

Tidal Falls Preserve

Tidal Falls is an 8 acre preserve owned and managed by the Frenchman Bay Conservancy.  The rapid tides in the area create a series of rapids in the Taunton River.  The park doesn't have hiking trails, although you can walk along the river and up to the observation platform and picnic tables.  According to the preserve's website (, the best time to visit is within 2 hours on either side of low tide.  We made a last minute decision to stop here and hadn't timed our visit to see the falls at their best.  It was still enjoyable to watch the swift current rush past and we also spotted a seal while we were there.   

Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park

Schoodic Peninsula is the only part of Acadia National Park that is located on the mainland.  Around an hour from the Hull Cove Visitor Center on Mount Desert Island, Schoodic gets significantly less visitation than the main part of the park.  Schoodic offers hiking and biking trails as well as a campground area (currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) 

Despite it being the 4th of July, visitation was light today, partly due to temperatures in the high 50's combined with fog and light misting.  We spent our time in the park exploring the rocky shoreline around Schoodic Point and Blueberry Hill.


Hollingsworth Trail, Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge

The 2,195 acre Petit Manan Point Division in Steuben is one of four mainland units of the Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge.  The Hollingsworth Trail is one of two hiking trails maintained by USFWS in this section.  The 1.8 mile trail leads through a blueberry field (handpicking is permitted) and a coastal forest to an open beach area and rocky outcroppings.  We explored the beach in additional to the trail, adding an additional 1.5 miles to our hike.  We ventured down the beach in the hopes of spotting the Petit Manan Island Lighthouse through the fog to no avail.  The trail wound along dirt paths, wooden walkways, and occasional sections of exposed rock.  Although there were a few other visitors, overall the refuge provided a feeling of peace and solitude.




  1. Birch Point Trail (first one on the right upon entering the preserve) is also and excellent hike. around 4 miles, fairly flat and easy access. One of the less traversed trails in the refuge.


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