Whether you live on MDI or just visit us a lot, it can be sometimes nice to have an adventure in the form of a day trip. Day trips mean you can keep your home base and maybe see a little something you weren’t planning on.

We are going to feature regular day trip destinations here (and maybe collect them into a book eventually), for this trip, we head to Mariaville Falls and loop around Graham Lake.

Destination: Mariaville Falls Scenic Loop Drive

General Idea: Scenic lake and blueberry barren views. Hiking, fishing opportunities and brewery tasting room visit.
Approximate Distance From MDI: 1 hour 20min drive to the preserve,  if you do the whole loop  about 2 hour 30 min drive excluding stops
Rated for: Rainy day friendly, moderately active, beer lovers, fishing, kid friendly

On The Way (Trip Map in Google Maps

Grab some coffee and water as you head though Ellsworth, and head North on ME-180 via Green Lake Fish Hatchery.

Stop for picnic/lunch/fishing supplies at Otis General Store and take ME-181 to Mariaville Falls Preserve.  Walk down to the falls for your picnic and fishing and then head to Airline Brewing Company’s Brewery Tasting Room in Amhert on ME-9/Airline Road.

Return to Ellsworth heading south on ME-179 taking in so beautiful long open views over blueberry barrens and beyond. On the way back to Mount Desert Island, stop in for a late lunch/early dinner at the Airline Brewing Pub in Ellsworth for a pint of you favorite taste and some great pub food; it’s a very fun place – say hello to “Zeus” the bartender from us!

To Do

This is a scenic drive, take you time to enjoy the glimpses of the lake and woods. Stop and fish if you want or bring  a kayak/canoe, you go past  quite a few carry in boat ramps – there are even a couple of paved ramps for a longer summer day.

Here are our three highlight stops:

  • Visit Green Lake Fish Hatchery. Self guided tours of the hatchery and nature trails with glacial boulders, vernal pool, and homestead sites.
  • Visit Mariaville Falls.  These step falls are a short walk from the parking areas at this Frenchmans Bay Preserve.   The trails to the falls are not difficult, but do have some narrower and steep sections. Fishing spots abound. The trails goes beyond the falls to the edge of the preserve where there is a nice flat picnic rock (Download the trail map ahead of time for easy reference.)
  • Visit Airline Brewing Co. Brewery Tasting Room. Located in the former Paul Bunyan Furniture Company workshop (and not to be confused with their pub in Ellsworth – more on that later), taste a flight of local brews amidst artifacts of Maine’s woodworking past or enjoy outside seating and the horseshoe pits. The beers are English style brews – which makes perfect sense when you find out the owner is a fellow Yorkshire  (UK) native.


We suggest a picnic to enjoy at the falls and Otis General Store has great sandwiches and food you could take to go.

Airline Brewing Company Brewery Tasting Room does have snack items and a daily special to tide you over, but you’ll want to be hungry for your meal at their Airline Brewing Pub on your way back through Ellsworth.

If you’re not in the mood for a pub meal (Zeus will be sad), maybe grab an ice cream at Morton’s Moo or a lobster roll and Chowder at Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound.

Cool Stuff To Know

Cut your own Christmas tree at Christmas Tree Ranch for a winter day out.

Peruvian Link headquarters is in Amherst and they have a retail store you’ll drive right past. We didn’t check to see if there was a pricing advantage….. so if you do, let us know!

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