[dropcap letter=”H”]ikers who wend their way to these headland cliffs are rewarded with views of a coastal landscape essentially unaltered from what French explorer Samuel de Champlain would have seen in 1604. A proposed residential subdivision almost changed this, but the development was nixed in 1988 when Maine Coast Heritage Trust stepped up to conserve the property, guaranteeing permanent public access to this knockout vista and 700 surrounding acres.
A century earlier, in 1888, a merchant schooner called the Flora was beached here after an accident at sea. The area had “a bad reputation for lawlessness,” one historian wrote. “The people living along this wild section of coast, with its Gothic cliffs, looked to the sea for their living, not only by the fish they caught, but by the spoil of wrecks.” The Flora’s crew, according to a newspaper account, spent their first night ashore fending off marauders intent on plundering their cargo, until a U.S. Life-Saving Service crew showed up to help.
Today, the locals are nicer, but the preserve’s cliffs are still Gothic and its 3 miles of coastline still wild. It takes its name from the shape of the peninsula on which it sits, and visitors follow trails past bogs, cobble beaches, and the occasional spruce grouse — not to mention rocky promontories that feel like the world’s ragged edge.
Sponsored by Maine Coast Heritage Trust. This spot is one of dozens of pristine coastal havens conserved for you by MCHT. All of MCHT’s 130-plus preserves are free and open to the public. Click here to find one near you.
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