DownEast Acadia Regional Tourism (DART) strongly supports programs that connect the region’s people and places, such as the Downeast Fisheries Trail, Maine Ice Age Trail, Downeast Birding Trail, Maine Sculpture Trail, our five Scenic Byways, Cobscook Trails, Maine Beer and Wine trails, culinary trails, regional and national bike trails (Bold Coast Scenic Bikeway, US Bike Route 1, East Coast Greenway/Down East Sunrise Trail), and other themed itineraries such as lighthouses tours and farmers markets.
Washington County Council of Governments (WCCOG) – The WCCOG provides 1/3-time staff for administrative oversight and program coordination. WCCOG is a municipal membership organization that delivers a wide range of customized planning, advisory and resources development services to help communities build the future of Washington County, with some overlap into Hancock County.
Two-Nation Vacation — The New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture and the Maine Office of Tourism strive to create awareness of a unique cross border vacation experience – the “Two Nation Vacation”. Maritime Canada and Downeast Maine share a maritime and resource-based history and culture set amongst the raw landscape of the eastern coast. The initiative aims to highlight the similarities binding these countries together through each region’s unique strengths. Key International partners include Roosevelt Campobello International Park, St. Croix International Historic Site, St. Croix International Waterway Commission, and Charlotte County Regional Tourism Association.
Maine Sculpture Trail — The Trail began as an artist-in-residence program to bring sculptors from around the world to DownEast Acadia to create a piece of public art from Maine granite. Sculptures were designed and built within the environmental and cultural context of individual communities. Five Symposia resulted in 37 sculptures that make up the Trail. The Maine Sculpture Trail is connected to Sculpture St. John, a similar symposium in New Brunswick, to make an International Sculpture Trail.
Down East Fisheries Trail — Down East Fisheries Trail highlights the culture and heritage of fishing in Downeast Maine. From Penobscot Bay to Cobscook Bay, the Downeast Fisheries Trail connects historic and active fisheries sites that illustrate the region’s maritime heritage. The Downeast Fisheries Trail builds on local marine resources to strengthen community life and the experience of visitors. This is a project of the Maine Sea Grant and Sunrise County Economic Council working in collaboration with the Down East Resource Conservation & Development Council.
Maine Ice Age Trail – The Maine Ice Age Trail was created under the direction of the Quaternary Studies program at the University of Maine. The trail highlights significant geological sites related to the most recent Ice Age and directs visitors to the finest and most accessible of these features located along the margins of the last great North American continental ice sheet.
Maine Birding Trail – The Maine Birding Trail makes it easy to plan a birding vacation in wild, scenic places along the rocky coast or in the deep forest, that feature excellent birding, but also have excellent parking, paths, facilities, etc. The Trail was created in partnership with Maine Audubon, the Maine Office of Tourism, the Maine Department of Conservation, and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. This trail includes 82 official sites throughout Maine, with 14 sites located in the Down East region.
Downeast Sunrise Trail – A four-season multi-use trail extending 87 miles between Ayers Junction in Washington County and Washington Junction in Hancock County. The compacted gravel trail makes up the longest contiguous off-road portion of the East Coast Greenway, a trail extending along the eastern part of the United States from Key West, Florida to the Canadian border at Calais. The trail is owned by the Department of Transportation and managed by the Department of Conservation; the Sunrise Trail Coalition, a citizen advocacy group, is active in trail planning, maintenance, and promotion.
Cobscook Trails – A cooperative effort of conservation organizations, landowners, and community partners in the DownEast area seeking to expand nature-based recreation and tourism opportunities. The group publishes a guide to hiking opportunities around the Cobscook Bay and Bold Coast Region.
Maine Island Trail – A recreational waterway that spans the entire coast of Maine and connects over 200 island and mainland sites accessible by personal watercraft for day visits or overnight camping. Trail properties are owned by an assortment of private landowners, conservation organizations, and federal, state and municipal agencies, all of whom generously make their land available to visitors in exchange for the promise of respectful use and careful stewardship.
East Coast Greenway – A 2,900 mile long connection of existing and planned shared-use trails that will eventually provide a continuous, car-free bike/ped route from Calais to Key West, Florida. The East Coast Greenway is almost entirely on public right-of-way, incorporating waterfront esplanades, park paths, abandoned railroad corridors, canal towpaths, and pathways along highway corridors.