This not-so-hidden gem on the Maine coast has a history of war, bootlegging, and was almost lost to becoming a liquid gas terminal. Thankfully it's now an uninhabited island with beautiful coastal views.

Sears Island off the coast of Searsport is definitely worthy of your visitation this fall. The island offers miles of hiking trails, beaches, and wildlife. The island is one of the largest undeveloped islands on the Eastern Seaboard. Back in 2003, it was nearly lost as plans marked the island as a potential location for a liquid gas terminal. However the plan was strongly opposed and paved the way for its preservation.

Paul Wolfe, Townsquare Media

According to the Friends of Sears Island, the history of the island begins with the Native Americans who called the island Wassumkeag. It's believed fisherman in the 15th and 16th centuries were the first "folks from away" to visit the island.

Paul Wolfe, Townsquare Media

Sears Island's war time history includes brushes with British war ships during the Revolutionary War. The brig Defense was scuttled off shore after being chased down by British ships. During World War II, arms being sent to allied forces were shipped from the docks of Sears Island.

During Prohibition Sears Island became popular with bootleggers. The island was used as a drop-off and stash for illegal liquor.

Paul Wolfe, Townsquare Media

Access to Sears Island is located off Route 1 in Searsport. Simply drive down Sears Island Road to the parking area and main gate to the island at the end of the road.

The island has seven main trails to choose from. Each trail system guides you to key parts of the island. These trails are not only enjoyable in warmer months, but also popular for cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. You can download a map of the island's trail system here.

There is no fee to enjoy the island trail system. Keep this island beautiful by carrying out any trash.

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