Approximately nine miles of trails fan out from the village, through the “wildlands” and along the perimeter of the island, scaling cliffs that are the highest in Maine. Some of the trails, marked on the Trail Map, are suitable for families with small children or people with limited time or physical prowess; others are considerably more challenging.
Regular trail maintenance is important for a variety of reasons. While we pride ourselves on being a ‘hands-off’ organization, well designed trails prevent environmental degradation by providing adequate water drainage, erosion prevention measures, and other safeguards against human impact. They keep people on the paths and off the native flora. At the same time, well-made trails are safer for hikers who benefit from secure footing.
Since 2013 an on-island seasonal forestry management crew has worked in the spring and fall work to keep trails in good condition. In addition to our seasonal crew we also rely on volunteers to help keep our trails cleared during the summer months.
In 2005 we asked the Maine Conservation Corps (MCC) for their recommendations to repair and restore the trails. Their suggestions have provided a basis for our trail stewardship since.
The Lobster Cove Trail reconstruction project, funded by the Monhegan Associates and a grant from the Recreational Trails Program, was completed in 2010 by a crew from the Maine Conservation Corps and volunteers on the island.
In 2016 The Pebble Beach Trail (#14) to Pebble Beach was successfully rerouted around a large area of erosion to allow access to this popular destination.
The Trails Policy provides guidelines for those who work to maintain trails.