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Shackford Head

Guidelines for Use of LMF Properties

Walking/Hiking Wildlife Observation/Study Cross-country skiing/Snow-shoeing 

Project Description

Shackford Head, with 2.5 miles of undeveloped shoreline marked by pebble beaches, natural arches and sheltered coves, provides a wonderful vantage point from which to survey the Canadian islands of Campobello and Grand Manan as well as West Quoddy Head.

The State’s purchase of this headland in 1989 ensured that the land would never again be subject to major development schemes as it was in the 1970s, when the Pittston Company sought to construct an oil refinery on the site. When the property was listed for sale early in 1988, the Eastport Land Trust proposed it to the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) Program for acquisition–hoping to forestall large-scale commercial or residential development on the site. The State was able to acquire the land for less than the appraised value, and the Maine Coastal Program contributed funds to help complete the purchase.

Now Shackford Head State Park jointly managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and the City of Eastport is open year-round for daytime hiking and picnicking. Its 173-foot promontory offers panoramic views of Cobscook Bay, while side trails lead to secluded coves, and spots where small caves and natural arches are cut into the granite cliffs. Two sites on Shackford Head contain some of the oldest marine fossils in Maine, dating back about 412 million years. Interpretive signs describe a site, just offshore, where several Civil War warships were salvaged and burned.

A detailed trail map and write-up is available in the regional Cobscook Trails guidebook, available at area businesses and through the Quoddy Regional Land Trust (207-733-5509 or email QRLT.