1-minute side trail: Hunters Cliff, MDI, Maine

Let me tell you about this whole “side trail” business. While filming “One-minute hikes,” I’m sometimes tempted to take a short trail nearby, a trail that veers off the main trail. And sometimes these little adventures are worth sharing with you.

About this side trail: The trail to Hunters Cliff is across from the trailhead to Day Mountain, just past the town of Seal Harbor on Route 3. The parking lot for both trails is on the right of the road, and the trail to Day Mountain is across the road on the left. The trail to Lower Day Mountain and Hunters Cliff is on the right, right off of the parking lot. It takes just a few minutes to reach the bump of granite that is Lower Day Mountain, and it takes about 10-15 minutes to hike down to Hunters Cliff. You’ll cross one carriage trail on the way. Most of the trail is marked by cairns, rock piles. The trail ends at the cliffs, which can be hiked along. A metal rail protects hikers from falling, but it is corroded at both ends, where the metal reaches below high tide. This part of the hike can be dangerous.

Personal note: I would suggest that anyone taking this side trail wear pants. Much of the trail is narrow with low, prickly bushes on either side. In other words, it’s impossible not to scratch your legs. Pay attention to the cairns; some of them are small and it’s easy to wander off trail. Nevertheless, I’m glad I took this side trail. The ocean view at the end was well worth the extra hiking.

Photo by Aislinn Sarnacki. A view from Hunters Cliff Trail on Mount Desert Island on Dec. 16, 2011.


Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com.