Visitor Activities

Hiking Trail

Wildlife comes first on national wildlife refuges. All human activities must be compatible with the needs of wildlife. Six priority public uses are encouraged when they do not interfere with the individual refuge's mission. These are: hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation.

The refuge offers excellent opportunities for bird watching,hiking and photography. Foot trails wind through a variety of habitats, from spruce-fir woodlands to grasslands to freshwater and saltwater marshes to mudflats. On Petit Manan Point Division, the Hollingsworth Trail is a 1.8-mile loop with views of heaths and cobble beaches. Interpretive signs offer insight into refuge wildlife, habitats, and management. The Birch Point Trail (four miles round trip) begins in a blueberry field and leads to the salt marshes of Dyer Bay, passing through a mixed-wood forest. The Gouldsboro Bay Division offers a 1.6 mile (round trip) Salt Marsh Trail hike through rolling conifer forest with two views of a saltmarsh and Corea Heath Division offers a 0.4 mile universally accessible trail to an observation platform overlooking the heath. Commercial groups and researchers should contact the refuge to determine if a Special Use Permit is required. 

Maine Coastal Islands - Hiking Trails (pdf)

Seabird islands are closed to the public during the nesting season, April 1 - August 31, to minimize disturbance to the birds. Commercial tour boats provide views of nesting seabirds on Petit Manan, Seal and Machias Seal islands. Islands are open for daylight use only from September 1 through March 31 but have no dock or moorings; sea conditions make landing hazardous.

Portions of the refuge are open to in-season hunting. The Gouldsboro Bay and Sawyer's Marsh divisions are open to migratory game bird and waterfowl and small and big game hunting. Bois Bubert Island is open to white-tailed deer hunting only. Many refuge islands are open to migratory waterfowl hunting, please contact the refuge for more information. The Petit Manan Point Division is open to muzzleloader hunt season only.

* Two islands are open for primitive camping, maintained by the Maine Island Trail Association. Reservations are required through our Milbridge office 207-546-2124 ext. 10.

* Two islands (Seal and Duck) are closed to the public year round due to the presence of unexploded ordnance. 


Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Hunting Regulations (pdf)