Western Head Preserve

Cutler, Maine
The Western Head Preserve, nestled in the picturesque coastal town of Cutler, Maine, is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike.
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About This Location

The Western Head Preserve, nestled in the picturesque coastal town of Cutler, Maine, is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. Covering a vast expanse of 250 acres, this spectacular nature preserve is managed and owned by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving and stewarding the scenic beauty and ecological value of Maine’s coastal lands and islands.

What makes Western Head Preserve truly special are its 3.5 miles of hiking trails that wind through diverse landscapes, offering a delightful journey for visitors. The trails meander through cobble beaches, where the rhythmic sounds of waves crashing against the shore provide a serene backdrop. Mossy forests, with their enchanting greenery, create a sense of wonder as you explore the preserve.

As you navigate the preserve’s well-marked trails, you’ll have the opportunity to visit several bluffs that provide dramatic and awe-inspiring views of the surrounding coastal scenery. These headlands offer vistas that capture the raw and unspoiled beauty of Downeast Maine, making your exploration of the preserve an unforgettable experience.

Parking and accessing the Western Head Preserve may require a bit of navigation. Visitors can park in a small dirt lot located on Destiny Bay Road, not far from the road’s end. This area holds 3-4 cars. From there, you’ll embark on a short walk down the road and past a private residence, leading you to the preserve’s trailhead. Once you’ve reached the trailhead, you’ll find a map and a clearly marked trail system that will guide you through the preserve’s captivating terrain.

The Western Head Preserve Trail, one of the preserve’s most popular routes, forms a 3.2-mile loop. With only 250 feet of elevation gain, it is rated as an easy trail, suitable for hikers of all skill levels. While the trail can typically be completed in 1 to 1.5 hours, you’ll likely want to allocate extra time to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking views and natural beauty that the preserve has to offer. Birdwatchers, in particular, will find this trail a rewarding destination, as it provides opportunities to spot various avian species. Given the preserve’s tranquil and less-frequented setting, encountering other hikers is unlikely, allowing you to savor the peace and solitude of the natural surroundings. For those with canine companions, dogs are welcome but must be leashed. Be sure to pick up after pets.

In 2023, an exciting development for the Western Head Preserve emerged through a partnership between the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the town of Cutler. This collaboration promises to enhance the preserve’s accessibility and amenities, including the expansion of parking facilities, additional trails, and new features. These improvements will undoubtedly contribute to the continued enjoyment and exploration of this remarkable natural haven along Maine’s coast.

Location

Address: Destiny Bay Road, Cutler, Maine
Place GPS Coordinates: 44.653889, -67.214444
Parking GPS Coordinates: 44.653889, -67.214444
Parking Notes: There is a circular dirt parking area located near the end of Destiny Bay Road in Cutler, Maine. The parking area is free to park at and it is located about a quarter-mile from the trailhead.

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