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Statecation: The Cutler Coast 

There’s lots to see and do in this great state of ours. For the next several weeks, we’ll be checking out some places to get away for a day, or even a few, without costing you too much.First up, it’s only about a mile off the beaten path, but some folks forget it’s even there. This week we take you on a day hike along the Cutler Coast…where you just might want to stay awhile.Have a seat on Pulpit Rock and take in the swirling, crashing waters.This is the Cutler Bold Coast. Our guide for today, Lindsay McMahon, the recreational park ranger for this area, is taking us on her favorite hike.”I think this place is so unique in what it has to offer,” McMahon says. “This hike is so diverse in what it has to show you, the different types of forest, and you come out and the cliffs come out of the ocean. You’re just on a little road in Downeast Maine and you would have no idea that it’s here.”Before that shore breeze hits your skin, here’s where you start. The Cutler Public Lands are along Route 191, between Machias and Lubec. It’s a three-mile round trip from the parking lot to the coast and back, through a softwood forest some say is like something out of a fairy tale.”Down to the water is mostly spruce and fir forest and as you continue through the trail there’s mixed in cedar trees. There’s a couple inclines, but nothing huge. Some people are concerned there’s a lot of rocks, if you have back problems, things like that.”There are ten miles of trails to explore here, along cliffs, over grasslands and through blueberry barrens. In the coming months, orchids and a variety of plants will keep popping up.”Bring rain gear, bring a flashlight, extra food, extra water, warm clothes. Because so many times the climate will change out here in the blink of an eye,” McMahon says.She warns some parts of the longer trails are for more advanced hikers. Many search and rescue operations have had to find folks who’d lost their way.”They don’t know what they’re getting themselves into and they hike too much. It’s not like Acadia. It’s not as well groomed as a carriage trail or something like that. It’s a wilderness experience.”Suddenly the forest air cools, and we’ve arrived.”This is where the coastal trail would take you, looping in and out of these points. Around the corner is Fairy Head where the three campsites are located.”The campsites are about five miles in, and in the summer, she says they fill up fast. No fires are allowed.These lands are home to all sorts of creatures– turtles, beavers, hare and a variety of birds.”There’s often times seals and porpoises out here in the cove. There’s a Black Guillemot right there,” McMahon says, pointing out a bird in the water.She says seal-spotting is always a favorite.”You see them, they’ll pop their heads up as you go down the coast and it’s hard not to think it’s the same one following you along. They come up and their whiskers come out and they blow out air, and they look up at you with a lot of curiosity. ‘What are you doing here?'”And it’s worth being here, McMahon says. Especially if you’ve never really taken in what the Cutler Coast has to offer.”To spend two full summer days out here, even when I’m not working I come back. In the morning time at the campsites, you can wake up eat your breakfast out on the rocks that are being warmed by the sun,” she says. “It’s a great hike. It’s a great experience.”If you’re looking to make a stay of it, there’s plenty more to do in the area and more camping at other nearby sites, including Cobscook Bay State Park.But first, check out more information online at parksandlands.com. The site is a good starting point for planning a trip that suits you.Other Links:Cutler Coast Public Reserved LandsCobscook Bay State ParkQuoddy Head State ParkMachias Bay Area Chamber of CommerceLittle River LighthouseNext week, we’ll turn north, and take a trip to explore some ice caves.