This somewhat challenging but short hike to the top of Duck Harbor Mountain and back down is well... read more
Hi, we just got back from a few days hiking and biking on Isle au Haut. My understanding is that in late Sep, there is no ferry to/from Duck Harbor, where the spectacular trails, including the Goat and Cliff trails are, so... More
Hi, we just got back from a few days hiking and biking on Isle au Haut. My understanding is that in late Sep, there is no ferry to/from Duck Harbor, where the spectacular trails, including the Goat and Cliff trails are, so you must hike from the Town Landing to the South End of the island, about 5 miles via the Ranger Station. We took the Duck Harbor Trail down from where we were staying at the "Keeper's House" and it was about 4 miles, and took us 2 hours, really taking our time---not strenuous but long. We then took the Western road down, starting adjacent to the campground...right by the first picnic area (30 minutes) to the Cliff trail, which was more strenuous...lots of ups and downs, which took us 45 minutes, and connected back to the Western Head trail (1 hour, 10 minutes, and again about the same strenuousness as the Cliff trail) then back to the Western Road, an easy walk which took us about 30 minutes to get to the Duck Harbor Boat landing...which doesn't land there once the NPS takes in the float in mid-Sep, from what the Rangers told us. After about 8.5 miles of hiking with only a single 30 minute stop/rest for lunch, we were very glad to get on the boat and ride back to town where we had another mile to get back to our accomodation. It would have been 5 miles back and would have been a challenge to make by nightfall and we were exhausted. You might think of renting bikes and take the island road down to (and back from) the trail heads then beginning your hike, assuming you are getting over there on the boat that arrives around 1045-1100 a.m., otherwise it would be a tremendous challenge to hike down, around a bit, and back and still make the 530 pm Mailboat back to Stonington. There is nowhere to stay overnight if you get stuck. Except near the Town Landing mailboat stop (the only one in fall), there is NO availability of food on the south end of the island at Duck Harbor in the national park where the spectacular trails, including the cliff trail, are located. YOU MUST bring your own lunch unless you are stopping at the town landing and then hiking or biking down, which would be about 5 miles one way. There is only one lunch source, the Maine Lobster Lady food truck with picnic tables at the general store just north of the town landing which is pretty good. It's worth the effort, but the trip requires advance planning.