A Magical Hike in Great Wass Island Preserve

As I mentioned in my previous post, the hike through the Great Wass Island Preserve was recommended to me by Arnold, owner of Crossroads Farm. And again, it was one of the best recommendations I’ve ever gotten. The trail is about a five mile loop that cuts across the interior of the island through some rare heath and fir forest before cresting and leading along the ridge. Here, the bedrock is largely exposed, though what places have been covered with thin layers of soil are now smothered in thick swaths of bushes. These various habitats of the preserve support rare subarctic species such as bake-apple, pitcher plants, and a fluffy white lichen that I saw in other places but which I can’t seem to remember the name of.

After about an hour of cutting through forest and bog, I emerged on one of the most spectacular, breath-taking coasts I have ever seen. I definitely made some exclamations out loud. It was unbelievably, impossibly beautiful. The trail leads over the rocky coast for about a mile and a half but that stretch took me nearly two hours to complete – it was that amazing. I made frequent stops to admire the fractured granite and basalt, watch the swooping birds, and marvel at the power of the perfectly blue waves. It was stunning. After hiking along the shore, the trail turns back inland leading back through jack pine forest and heath.

Trail through the heath, Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Trail through the heath, Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Towering trees, Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Towering trees, Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Fluffy white lichen, Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Fluffy white lichen, Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Me, Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Me, Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Birds in flight, Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Birds in flight, Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine

Great Wass Island Preserve, Great Wass Island, Maine