Timber Point Island & Trail
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The Jurassic-aged natural beauty of Timber Point is an all-inclusive taste of every biome I’ve ever found in my adventures on the remote Maine coast; and possibly why I list this as one of my top five spots I’ve ever visited.
It’s open year round from dawn-dusk and free admittance (donations are accepted to support Rachel Carson’s National Wildlife Refuge). I found it to be a bit tricky with finding a parking space as there are only a handful of spots. It took me a good four tries to realize making it out there right after breakfast was the most opportune time. The trailhead provided little in the means of amenities (no bathrooms/visitors center) but did have a very intuitive map as well as a tide chart for those wishing to venture out to the island (more on that later, I promise). Using the wide dirt paths, elevated walkways, and allowing myself time to use the observations platforms throughout, I found thousands of ferns itching to unfurl, a pollinator garden, and an outrageous amount of chipmunks stocking up for the colder months ahead (literally an insane amount- we nicknamed this place “Chipmunk Island”). Exiting the forest, the salty air blowing from the coastline hits you before you see the waves crashing against the beach.
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I was lucky enough to find myself at low tide upon arrival, and, taking my time, worked my way over the slippery rocks, barnacles and sea snails to the 13-acre island. It’s absolutely worth the trek and the multiple visits to find parking – I took the next hour to truly discover all the island has to offer. I made my way to the Southernmost point of the island to capture the waves (keep your eyes out for the hundreds of little black spiders crawling around in the rocky shoreline). Once satisfied, I trekked the rest of the 1.4 mile loop back to the trailhead. I do suggest bringing a rain slicker or wind breaker along, as the wind picks up quite a bit along this part of the coastline.
During the summer months, there are resident volunteers who are there every day from May to September to provide guided walks each Friday and Saturday. This is what makes Timber Point Island one of the few preserves with the notoriety of being a must-visit by the Portland Press Herald. The Ewing’s family estate, which is a perfectly maintained specimen of 1930’s architecture, helped Timber Point retain it’s natural beauty until it was purchased as part of Rachel Caron’s National Wildlife Refuge in 2011.