Harpswell Cliff Trail and Long Reach Mountain Trail
The jewel of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, the Cliff Trail is an absolute must see if you’re cruising along Route 1 on Maine’s beautiful mid-coast region. Offering stunning views of the Long Reach Reserve, this 2.3 mile loop is rated as Moderate on All Trails and considered pet and kid friendly.
The trail head starts at the Harpswell Town Clerk’s Office with ample parking on the back side of the building and ends behind the Harpswell recycling center. There is also a Porta-Potty in the parking lot should you need one.
Although this is trail is considered a loop and you could go in either direction, I would highly recommend starting on the Clerk’s Office side unless you want some pretty steep descents. That being said, there are some steep climbs in places that are riddle with lots of roots - which is probably why this otherwise easy trail is rated Moderate. Personally, I would always rather climb up something steep than go down something steep. You do you!
The total elevation gain is 269 ft but it’s not a steady climb. It’s in a few spots where it just kind of happens all at once. There was one place where we ended up scrambling up a the face of a bolder to get to one of the best overlooks but you don’t have to go that way.
The trail is well-maintained and plenty wide. Plank bridges are provided over particularly muddy, swampy sections.
The yellow blazes will take you along along the much shorter Cliff Trail Loop. The white blazes will bring you to Long Reach Mountain which is where you get the views. Be careful as these cliff are 150 ft sheer drop offs. And my Quay sunglasses fell victim to their siren call. I was trying to get a good picture and they slipped off the top of my head. Just saying, watch where you’re stepping and keep a close eye on kiddos and four-legged friends. It’s a long way down.
One of the highlights of this trail system is the Fairy Village. Visitors are invited to build homes from natural materials found the forest floor for our mystical friends. It was a great touch and sweet ending to this hike.
Enjoy gorgeous views. Lots of birds. And the fresh, Maine coastal air. There is nothing better than Maine coastal air.
I absolutely loved this trail and would do again. Next time, I would bring lunch and picnic on the top of the cliffs. We didn’t bring the doggos because it was hot that day and we weren’t sure if we’d want to stop for lunch somewhere along the way. I don’t think we would bring our dogs on this hike because they’re both little, tiny beans and would likely have trouble clearing some of the roots. I probably wouldn’t take young children on this trail either for that reason. Short-legged hiking companions will need to be carried at least part of the way.
Have you ever been to Harpswell? What are your favorite trails in Maine and beyond? Tell me all about it in the comments below.