The Barred Island Preserve is a natural oasis in Downeast Maine. The small island’s lush coastal forest and stunning views make this enchanting spot a favorite of locals and visitors alike. You will enjoy sandy beaches, a serene hike, and a treasure trove of greenery when you explore the Barred Island Preserve off of Goose Cove Road. Pilgrim’s Inn is just 15 minutes away, making an afternoon at the preserve a perfect trip to take during your stay.
For more information on things to do in Deer Isle, you can download our free Vacation Guide. It features all our favorite outdoor activities in Downeast Maine, like a hike through Barred Island Preserve or a stroll through Blue Hill Maine Beaches.
Getting to the Barred Island Preserve
To experience Barred Island Preserve, you have to time it right. Always make sure to check the tides; the sandbar that acts as a natural bridge between land and island is submerged at all times except for three hours either side of low tide. Don’t worry, this six-hour window is more than enough time to explore the 48-acre island! Embark along the rugged wooden path toward the ocean, then cross over sand and low surf to the sandbar. Once you make it to the island, you’ll see incredible panoramic views of East Penobscot Bay. Mark Island Light and Isle au Haut are also visible in the distance. Become one with nature as you take in all of the beautiful bay and wildlife that encompasses this little piece of Deer Isle nature.
A Trail Through the Moss and Pines
You will be surrounded by towering pines and sprouting vegetation as you head down the main trail through the Barred Island Preserve. Make sure to take a moment to appreciate the sanctuary nature has created. Don’t forget to look skyward through the moss-covered trees at the sunlight that peeks through the boughs! This 2-mile round trip hike will truly leave you in awe. The trail is well-marked, so you shouldn’t have a hard time navigating. However, you should allow plenty of time to make your way through the forest and down to the beach, especially if you plan on stopping for a bit to rest and enjoy the view. Prepare for at least a 3-hour trip to fully absorb the beautiful forest views, and make a stop at Prayer Rock, a small rocky clearing in the forest, before closing the loop.
What to Bring to Barred Island Preserve
While the most important thing to bring on your trip to Barred Island Preserve is your sense of adventure, there are a few other items that are useful! Sneakers or boots are definitely a must. The hike isn’t difficult, but the tree roots and rocks in the trails can make parts hard to walk through. If you are looking to spend time in the water on the hidden sand bar, pack a pair of flip flops for wading as to not ruin your sneakers for the rest of the hike. Another recommendation would be to bring drinks and snacks, or even have Pilgrim’s Inn pack you a picnic lunch. Just make sure you take back everything you came with to keep the island in its pristine condition!
After Exploring Barred Island Preserve
After your adventures through Barred Island Preserve, come back to Pilgrim’s Inn to enjoy a tranquil, pampered evening. For a truly blissful getaway, enjoy some of our offered add-ons, like a rejuvenating in-room massage for ultimate relaxation after your day of hiking. After your restful night in one of our cozy rooms or cottages, wake up to a homemade breakfast before embarking on your next Maine excursion. See you soon at Pilgrim’s Inn!