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Boot Head, Lubec

Boot Head in Lubec features moss-lined paths to coastal bogs, cobble beaches and rocky promontories that offer stunning views of Maine’s Bold Coast.


Boot Head is great for:

  • Hiking. Pack a picnic lunch before heading down the preserve’s gently rolling trails to some of the most scenic coastal vistas in Maine or hit the trail before dawn to catch a glimpse of the sun rising over the Grand Manan Channel. Scroll down for more trail info.
  • Birdwatching. Bald eagles, black guillemots, common eiders, and a variety of songbirds are often spotted, but Boot Head is more noteworthy for its resident spruce grouse.
  • Photography. From close-up shots of moss and wildflowers to panoramic images of a dramatic rocky shoreline, Boot Head offers a great variety of photographic subjects.
  • Snowshoeing. When the conditions are right, venture here to experience a winter wonderland of quiet beauty.

How to get there

From Route 1: follow Route 189 for 5.8 miles. Turn right onto Route 191 and drive 2.8 miles, and then turn left on Boot Cove Road continuing for 1.9 miles to parking lots on both sides of the road. The trailhead is located at the smaller parking area (marked by boulders).

From Lubec: take South Lubec Road toward Quoddy Head State Park and bear right in 2.7 miles onto Boot Cove Road. Travel 3.9 miles to the parking areas on both sides of the road and the trailhead on the left.


Get directions from Google Maps Printable Preserve Map

For a complete map with legend and guidelines, click on the Printable Preserve Map above.

Planning your hike

The terrain is level in the beginning. Head across the bog bridging and take the spur trail to view rare raised coastal peatland. Approach quietly and remain alert for spruce grouse in this area. Ahead reach a junction and the start of a loop.

The turn left leads to Boot Cove, a wide, scenic, cobble beach (please respect the privacy of our neighbor, who owns the northern part of the beach).

The loop to the right brings you to a platform overlooking the Grand Manan Channel and a spur trail that swings around the gulch before descending to a secluded cobble beach.

The main trail requires some steep climbs and leads to a series of panoramic oceanside vistas. Watch your step and those of young children! The complete loop is a little less than two miles, with an additional half mile including the spur trails.

Notes on topography, flora, and fauna

Jim’s Head and Boot Head form the two points of the anvil-shaped, 400-acre coastal section. The inland portion of the preserve connects with MCHT’s nearby Hamilton Cove Preserve – together they form nearly 2,000 acres of contiguous conservation land in the town of Lubec.

Boot Head preserve features upland forests, bogs, coastal wetlands, and steep rocky shoreline. Sphagnum-floored forests and stunted trees make for a magical look and feel. These same conditions make for a fragile environment with soil easily impacted by overuse—so be sure to stay on the trail.

The preserve is also home to Boot Cove Heath, one of the State’s 115 raised peatlands. While venturing along the preserve’s trails, stay alert for resident wildlife including bald eagles, spruce grouse, songbirds, and small mammals.

How this place became open to the public

MCHT acquired the bulk of the preserve in 1988 to ensure the property’s dramatic scenic beauty and diverse ecological values were not lost to a proposed 30-40 lot subdivision.

Preserve information/guidelines

  • No Camping Permitted
  • No Fires Permitted
  • Stay on Established Trails
    • Foot Traffic Only – Trails Are Not Suitable for Wheeled Vehicles
  • Carry Out All Trash
    • Including Human and Pet Waste and Toilet Paper
  • Keep Pets Under Control
  • Please Respect the Privacy of Preserve Neighbors
  • Do Not Remove Archaeological Artifacts