What could be better than a trail that runs along the entire down-east Maine coast? That is exactly what you will find in the Downeast Sunrise Trail. The trail, in an old rail corridor, starts in Washington Junction just east of Ellsworth and runs northeast to Ayers Junction. The total distance? Well, according to the map in their brochure (PDF) the final mile post is 87. According to the text in that same brochure the trail is 85 miles long. The discrepancy seems to be because the start of the trail is at mile post 2 – hence 85+ miles.
One nice thing about the trail, in addition to the spectacular countryside that is passes through, is that there are 10 parking areas along the distance of the trail allowing you to select a segment of the trail to use.
It should be noted that the Downeast Sunrise Trail is a multi-use trail and ATVs are allowed. The trail is also part of the East Coast Greenway that runs from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida.
Other Things to Do
Other things to do while in the area include:
- Visit Acadia National Park. Acadia is only a short drive from Ellsworth and should not be missed if you are already in the area.
- Visit the Birdsacre Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary in Ellsworth
- Go bird watching in the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is one of the northernmost on the Atlantic Flyway, which is a migratory route for birds that follows the east coast of North America.
- Take in the quaint Town of Bar Harbor.
Where to Stay
If you want to be close to the beginning of the trail in Ellsworth you will find a Comfort Inn and the Ramada Ellsworth. Personally, I think I would stay a short distance away in Bar Harbor. There you have many great lodging options including: