How to get there: To get to Harborside from Bucksport, follow US Route 1 east for approximately 1 mile. Turn right onto Route 175 (southbound) and drive for about 17 miles. Turn right to follow the convergence of Route 175 and Route 176. After 1.1 miles, turn right to continue southbound on Route 176. Take the first left onto Varnumville Road-Varnum Road. After 2.6 miles, turn left, returning to Route 176-Coastal Road. After 1.7 miles, take a right onto Cape Rosier Road.
The network of trails in the Holbrook Island Sanctuary State Park can be accessed by a number of roads in Harborside. Cape Rosier Road leads you to a parking lot and the trailhead to Aaron Trail. Off of Cape Rosier Road is the Otis Gray Road, which leads you to a parking lot and the Fresh Pond Trailhead. Also off of Cape Rosier Road is the Back Road-Goose Falls Road, which brings you to the trailhead for the Summit Trail and several coastal trails.
Information: Holbrook Island Santuary State Park was formed by Anita Harris, a longtime area resident who began acquiring land in Brooksville for a sanctuary in the 1960s. A nature lover, Harris donated 1,230 acres to the state in 1971 in order to “preserve for the future a piece of the unspoiled Maine that [she] used to know,” according to Friends of Holbrook Island Sanctuary. As of February 2012, the park included a network of more than 10 miles of trails. The park, which has no entrance fee, is open year-round from 9 a.m. to sunset. Camping is not permitted anywhere in the park or on Holbrook Island. Dogs must be leashed at all times and are not allowed on the beaches. Open fires are not permitted on the island or the beaches, but charcoal cookers and Coleman stoves are permitted on the beaches. The trails can be used for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Visitors could take several days exploring the many trails of the sanctuary, many of which run through diverse habitats and near ruins of old homesteads and buildings. For information, visit www.friendsofholbrook.org.
Personal note: Because there are so many points of access to the sanctuary, it’s hard to miss. If you get lost, residents of Brooksville and Harborside might be able to point you in the right direction. The trails are fairly easy, wide and marked with blazes and signs.