29
Aug-2014

Shackford Head State Park

Step back in time at this wild Maine state park.

One of the state parks less frequented  by tourists, Shackford Head State Park is a nature lover’s dream. This heavily forested state park is located on Moose Island, which is just a few miles from Eastport, Maine, the easternmost city in the United States.

This state park was named after one of the area’s most prominent citizens Captain John Shackford. Captain Shackford served as a solider in the American Revolutionary War and also owned the land which now compasses the 90-acre park. Later in the 1970s this unspoiled natural paradise was almost lost forever when an oil company sought to purchase the land, hoping to build an oil refinery on the property. But this proposal did not sit well with many of the locals, and so the Eastport Land Trust purchased it with the help of the state in 1988, forever preserving its natural state.

Today the park is as wild and natural as it was when the first settlers arrived in the area. Most visitors of the park will be happy to find that there is not much development on the property. The only facilities you will find at this state park are restroom area and small parking lot near the entrance of the park. But don’t let the lack of facilities fool you because there are lots to do here at Shackford Head State Park.

One of the best features of the park is its extensive trail system that will take you to some of the most breathtaking views of the park. Visitors can take the 0.3 mile overlook trail to the top of Shackford Head Overlook, which provides them with spectacular views of the area, including Broad Cove. There is also another overlook on the opposite side of the park called Schooner Overlook that has some of the most beautiful views of Cobscook Bay.

The park has a beautiful beach for people to enjoy but because of the historic importance of the beach swimming is not allowed. During the 1900s the beach area and the waters around it was used to destroy several historical American Civil War ships for salvage purposes. A plaque is erected on the beach that explains more about the ships and their historical significance. But a picnic along the beach area is a nice way to spend time on this secluded area–just remember to always carry out any trash that you might bring in.

The wildlife that calls this park home is very abundant and thriving. The visitors of this park will have a chance to see some of over 28 different bird species including nesting American bald eagles. Other animals also call this park home and hunting is strictly prohibited by the Maine Department of Conservation. Camping is also off limits so that the wildlife like the bald eagle can nest in peace without the stress of human interaction. In fact, some trails are periodically closed if a nesting pair of bald eagles is in the area.

So if are looking for a place to enjoy nature without all the distractions of tourists and development, Shackford Head State Park is the perfect location. Bring the whole family and enjoy a day of peace and serenity in one of Maine’s most wild places.

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