Giant's Stairs

Giant's Stairs

View of Casco Bay from Giant's StairsFamily Hike - Giant's Stairs Trail

 For dramatic coastal scenery in Harpswell, nothing beats the Giant’s Stairs. Named for its interesting geologic history, the Giant’s Stairs trail follows the rocky coastline with gorgeous views of eastern Casco Bay, often with crashing waves glinting in the sunlight. On any given day you might see rafts of ducks, foraging harbor seals, or a lobster boat hauling traps.

The Giant's Stairs trail and property is owned and maintained by the Town of Harpswell. In 1910 the 2.5-acre strip of coastal land was deeded to the Town by Captain William Henry Sinnett, a lifelong resident of Bailey Island. Historically there was a narrow foot path filled with poison ivy that led to the monument and beautiful views, but in 2008 with a Maine Recreation Trail Grant, the Maine Conservation Corps and various Town committees and community members, the rustic 700-foot path was resurfaced, widened, and stabilized. The remaining 700 feet of trail runs across the rocky ledges where you can find a small rocky beach, Pinnacle Rock, and "Thunder Hole." Please be sure to follow the red blazes along the rocks to stay on Town property.

The rock formations here are a geologist’s dream, but even a layman can appreciate the gigantic forces that shaped this coastline going back 500 million years. Layers of mud formed the original sedimentary rock, along with deposits of minerals that later crystallized into quartz and garnet. Movements in the Earth’s crust pushed the rock layers upward, causing massive buckling and cracking. Gradually, hot magma from deep below the surface flowed into one large crack and formed a vertical seam of dark basalt rock, known to scientists as an “intrusive volcanic dike.

The abutting McIntosh Lot Preserve is managed by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and compliments the Giant's Stairs trail by completing a loop back to the parking area.

Please be respectful to the land owners surrounding this property.

PARKING IS LIMITED.  Parking is at the Episcopal Church when not in use at the intersection of Washington Street and Ocean Avenue and at an area 2/10 of a mile down Washington Avenue from the Church. There is a loading/unloading zone at the head of the trail (end of Ocean Street), not to be used for parking and no parking on Ocean Street anywhere.  Please follow these parking rules and do  not park unsafely and create a safety hazard.  Thank you - Town of Harpswell.


19 Ocean Street Bailey IslandME  04003