Imagine a place where the whispering wind rustles through the leaves, the chirping of birds is your soundtrack, and the scent of pine and sea salt fills the air. This is the experience that awaits you when you hike the enchanting Devil’s Back Trail in Harpswell, Maine. This trail, a paradise for outdoor adventurers, offers a unique blend of coastal and forest scenery that is sure to captivate any nature lover. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, the Devil’s Back Trail promises an unforgettable journey through one of Maine’s most beautiful landscapes.

Overview of the Devil’s Back Trail

The Devil’s Back Trail is located on Orr’s Island, one of the many islands that make up the town of Harpswell. The trail is divided into two sections: the East and West trails. Both trails are relatively easy to moderate, making them accessible to hikers of all skill levels. The East trail offers a more forested hike, while the West trail provides stunning views of the coastline.

Getting to the Trail

Reaching the Devil’s Back Trail is a journey in itself. From Portland, Maine, it’s about a 45-minute drive. You’ll travel along Route 1 before turning onto Route 24, which will take you through a series of picturesque islands connected by bridges. The trailhead is located off of Harpswell Islands Road, with a small parking area available for visitors.

Exploring the East Trail

The East trail of the Devil’s Back is a 1.5-mile loop that takes you through a dense forest of pine, spruce, and birch trees. As you walk, you’ll be serenaded by the sounds of various bird species, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a white-tailed deer or a red fox. The trail is well-marked and includes several footbridges that cross over small streams.

Discovering the West Trail

The West trail is slightly shorter, at just under a mile, but what it lacks in length, it makes up for in views. This trail takes you along the rocky coastline, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll also pass by a historic cemetery and the remnants of an old homestead, adding a touch of history to your hike.

Wildlife and Flora

One of the highlights of hiking the Devil’s Back Trail is the opportunity to observe the local wildlife and flora. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the variety of species that can be spotted, including ospreys, bald eagles, and various songbirds. The trail is also home to a diverse range of plant life, from the towering pine trees to the delicate wildflowers that dot the forest floor.

What to Bring

When preparing for your hike, it’s important to pack appropriately. Here are some essentials you should consider:

  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • Water and snacks
  • A map of the trail
  • Binoculars for birdwatching
  • A camera to capture the stunning views


The Devil’s Back Trail in Harpswell, Maine, is a true gem for outdoor enthusiasts. With its blend of forest and coastal scenery, diverse wildlife, and easy accessibility, it’s a destination that deserves a spot on any hiker’s bucket list. So lace up your hiking boots, pack your essentials, and prepare to be enchanted by the beauty of the Devil’s Back Trail.

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