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The Downeast coastline of Maine offers visitors a year-round recreational paradise, still pristine and still off-the-beaten track.  For sailors and kayakers, hunters and fishermen, “leaf-peepers” and birdwatchers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers, the country promises spectacular outdoor adventure.

As you head northeast from Mt. Desert Island the rest of the world grows distant.  Dramatic rocky headlands, countless uninhabited islands, broad estuaries and expansive salt marshes and tidal clam flats dominate the coast.  You will discover small towns and working harbors nested in protected bays and docks piled high with lobster traps and commercial fishing gear.  Yachts are rare and even working boats seem widely scattered in these expansive waters.

Inland, large tracts of quiet forests, freshwater wetlands, free-flowing rivers and blueberry barrens stretch before you.  “Posted” and “No Trespassing” signs are still a rarity and it is part of the culture to feel free to explore and enjoy undeveloped lands.  Hiking trails vary from faint rough game trails to old woods roads and even to some well maintained trails on conservation land.

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When you visit you will also find wildlife abundant.  Near the coast seals, ospreys, loons and bald eagles are commonplace.  During the summer, rugged offshore islands host a cacophony of nesting seabirds.  By early fall thousands of southbound shorebirds crowd the intertidal mudflats.  Waves of waterfowl follow the coastline during migration, many stopping to feed and rest in the protected bays.  Large flocks of the hardier species will stay throughout the winter.  In all, more than 250 species of birds have been spotted along the Downeast Coast.  Deer, black bear, coyote, fox and beaver also frequent our region, and small numbers of Atlantic salmon, a federally endangered species, are struggling to make a comeback in our estuaries and rivers. Less commonly sighted mammals include fisher, bobcat and moose.

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It is important to the local economies that our summer residents and vacationing visitors treasure their memories of a part of the world that still retains its appealing regional identity.  Pleasant River Wildlife Foundation and our partners are working to keep the natural beauty and integrity of the land intact, to maintain wildlife populations, to help communities retain a strong sense of place, and to ensure permanent public access to all of our lands.

PO Box 154 • Addison • Maine • 04606 • [email protected]