As the “Best Micro Adventures in Each State” articles and other pieces in our Uproxx GPS series have been driving home, a microadventure is simply a small sojourn in nature. It’s a time to step away from your phone and computer and immerse yourself in the wilderness for a bit. You don’t have to go far, and you don’t have to stay long. One night under the stars is satisfying enough to keep you grounded when you go back to the routines of your daily life.
In an effort to help you get your microadventure on, we’ve compiled five guides based on regions of the United States. Having covered the West, Southwest, Midwest, and Southeast, we are wrapping things up in the Northeast. These 11 states offer natural waterslides, spectacular multi-state views, and feral ponies. Yes. Wild f*cking horses.
Maine: Cutler Coast Public Lands
We love headlands and really promontories of all types, which is why they keep popping up in these lists. Steep sea cliffs; rocky shores; high, breaking waves and tide pools delight us. The Cutler Coast Public Lands includes 4.5 miles of headlands broken up by beaches and pocket coves, plus blueberry barrens, heaths, and woodlands. It’s a 12,234-acre stretch of land that includes 10 miles of trails and some of the best views in the state.
European explorers first arrived around 1605, and settlers followed in 1785, but an archeological expedition in 1984 revealed fire-cracked rocks and stone tools — indicating the area was used by native people for centuries. Cutler Coast lived a number of previous lives as a sawmill, a dairy farm, and a cheese factory, before being heavily harvested for spruce and fir pulp. Maine acquired the central part of the existing public lands in 1989, and in 1997, a generous donation from The Conservation Fund/Richard King Mellon Foundation and Maine Coast Heritage Trust quadrupled the size of the preserve.
The State of Maine reports three primitive campsites at Fairy Head (though some people feel like there are at least a couple more established spots) that are operated on a first come, first served with no reservations. Truth be told, you have to get a little lucky to snag a spot during the loveliest times of the year. The camps have a pit toilet, but otherwise, you haul in everything that you need. Open fires are prohibited, and you have to take your trash out with you. Though this is certainly roughing it, you’ll enjoy almost total privacy and an absolutely phenomenal setting. This place is legit.
Once you set up camp bright and early, you have the rest of the day to do some exploring. Definitely spend time exploring tide pools. Then, do some hiking. Be sure to pack sturdy shoes because the terrain is rough and can be quite slippery the closer you get to boardwalks and cliffs’ edges. We really like The Black Point Brook Loop, which comes in at a 5.5 -mile round trip. It’s all wooded trails and rocky cliffside hikes for the initial part, and the return is more mellow.