Author Kassie Strout is a native of coastal Maine, currently living on the island with her family where she enjoys running, hiking, and exploring Acadia National Park (and all kinds of places, really). In the cooler months, she’s avid reader and binge-watcher of various t.v. shows. She also appreciates strong coffee and sweet food.

 

A few years ago, about fifty percent of the people I talked to had some passing familiarity with Milbridge or insist they’d heard of it. Since then, this percentage has increased to about 75-80 percent, whether it’s because of the increasing popularity of the Bold Coast Scenic Byway (Milbridge is part of the route), programs like Mano en Mano, or local eateries, I’m pretty excited that people are starting to see the many things this coastal town has to offer.

General Idea: Small coastal town with a rich history in the fishing and shipbuilding industries, with a mixture of year-round and seasonal activities.

Approximate distance from MDI: 48 miles/ little over an hour drive from Bar Harbor.

Rated for: Scenic coastal views, food, family friendly.

On The Way

Milbridge is part of the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, which begins down in Gouldsboro and stretches all the way to the Canandian border. This is the most popular way into Milbridge (via Route 1).

Probably the most notable stop on the way to Milbridge from MDI is Acadia National Park’s Schoodic Peninsula in Winter Harbor (you can also get there via ferry, which is a bit quicker than driving). Schoodic Peninsula offers several hikes, some biking, and camping. You can also stay in your car and drive the loop if you just want to pass through (you will still have to pay park fees though).

Although, if you’re feeling adventurous, you might consider taking ME Rte 182 (more commonly referred to as the Black’s Woods Road), taking a right once you get to Cherryfield to get to Milbridge. This is a scenic, winding rural road with views of lakes and mountains, and is stunning when the fall foliage is peaking. If it’s still warm, you can stop for a swim at Spring River, or hike up Tunk Mountain (fairly strenuous, although there are easier loops, too). You’ll also encounter Catherine’s Hill, the site of a popular local ghost story.


To Do

Walk through the Milbridge Commons. This project is a collaboration between the Women’s Health Resource Library and Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and features a walking path, seasonal gardens, and they’re currently fundraising to build a playground. The walking path is built to be accessible for strollers and wheelchairs, so everyone in the community can enjoy.

See the local gardens. Another cool project from the Women’s Health Resource Library is Incredible Edible Milbridge’s community gardens. Community members are encouraged to take what they need from the gardens, in an effort to encourage health and sustainability in the community.

Check out a gift shop. If shopping is your thing, check out Riverlily, located right on Main Street. It’s a gift shop featuring unique jewelry, toys, books, decor, and all kinds of goodies. You really just have to stop in and peruse what they have in stock, it’s really fun and whimsical!

Picnic at McClellan Park. For nature enthusiasts, McLellan Park is a bit out-of-the-way, but well worth it. It’s owned/operated by the Town of Milbridge, and has a campground, picnic tables, and some walking paths. FYI, it is a “rocky beach” (i.e. no sand).

Go to an outdoor concert. Back in the day, the Milbridge Theater was a one-screen movie theater with a showing at 7:30 p.m. Friday- Sunday (with a matinee if it was especially popular or a children’s movie), and the best movie theater popcorn I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, the movie theater no longer exists, but Gateway Milbridge is a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the downtown community. There’s a summer concert series where the old movie theater was, and one of their more recent projects featured lighthouses designed by local artists that were displayed on Main Street.




Food

Depending on what you’re in the mood for and the time of year you’re visiting, Milbridge has a few different options. Year round options include 44 North, which offers lunch and dinner in a casual family dining environment. The Milbridge House is a great breakfast/brunch option, and their homemade donuts are amazing.

One of the more popular places during the summer months is Vasquez Mexican Take Out. It’s family owned and operated, offering authentic Mexican cuisine. Bring it home or sit on the picnic tables outside and watch the Main Street summer traffic!

Another seasonal option is Fire & Dough Pizza, which offers delicious wood-fire pizza. This is on my list of to-dos, but I have heard rave reviews (and you can add bacon to anything, which is a major bonus in my book).

If you’re looking for fresh seafood to prepare for yourself or a crowd, head down the Wyman Road to Chipman’s Wharf, where you can get lobster, crabmeat, and even steamers.

For those with a sweet tooth, Flour Girls Bakery is a must. They not only have all kinds of whoopie pies and baked goods, but offer two different types of paninis on any given day.


Cool Stuff to Know

Milbridge Days. The last weekend of July, there’s a celebration called “Milbridge Days” with all kinds of activities, most of which are family friendly. On Friday night, Gateway Milbridge hosts a concert/dance as part of their outdoor concert series. Saturday morning kicks off with a pancake breakfast, and there’s also a 5k that takes place down the road a bit. There’s also a parade, petting zoo, lobster cookout, codfish races, and fireworks. There’s a theme every year, and a Facebook page that shares updates and details all year long.

Historical Society. The Milbridge Historical Society features exhibits on the town’s history in shipbuilding and fishing. I remember walking through the exhibits as a kid and thinking they were pretty cool. Outside, you’ll find memorials dedicated to local veterans dating as far back as the Civil War.




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