3 reasons to visit sleepy Corea, a village near Acadia National Park’s Schoodic section

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Sunsets over Corea's boat-filled harbor can be magical. Hilary Nangle photo. Whenever I visit Maine’s Schoodic Peninsula, home to the only mainland section of Acadia National Park, I also detour out to Corea, a lobstering village in the town of Gouldsboro. Corea tips a peninsula that until 2002, was also home to a Navy base. Now it’s a sleepy spot with dreamy views: The boat-filled harbor seems straight out of a calendar page.

1. Chapter Two

Stop in to Chapter Two, in Corea, Maine, for books, art, or tips on area preserves. Tom Nangle photo. Rosemary and Gary Levin’s gallery-shop is a multi-faceted find for book and art lovers. It comprises the main building, filled with fine craft mingled with antiquarian books along with space for workshops conducted by Rosemary and visiting artists.

The Spurling Gallery at Chapter Two, in Corea, Maine, is filled with handmade treasures. Hilary Nangle photo. The adjacent Spurling Gallery displays more artisan crafts, including Rosemary’s hand-hooked rugs.

Behind the shop is The End, a garage filled with bargain books, as well as a short nature path.

Chapter Two is a browser’s delight, and I rarely leave without purchasing something or gaining tips for local hikes from Garry.

2. Corea Wharf Gallery

The Corea Wharf Gallery is in a repurposed fish shack on Corea Harbor. Hilary Nangle photoA dirt lane just beyond the Post Office leads to a small grouping of somewhat ramshackle fish shacks hanging over the harbor. The first of these has been spruced up to house the Corea Wharf Gallery, which displays historic photographs of Corea, created between 1940-1960 by Louise Z. Young. Born in Corea in 1919, Young was a friend of painter Marsden Hartley, and took many candid photographs of him around the area. She also worked with noted photographer Bernice Abbott. Also here are artifacts from Corea’s history, especially ones connected to fishing.

The gallery also sells hot dogs, lobster rolls, and homemade potato chips (!). Savor the food along with the views from picnic tables on the wharf overlooking the harbor. Heaven!

3. Corea Heath

The Corea Heath is especialy prized by birders. Hilary Nangle photo. In 2008 Frenchman Bay Conservancy purchased 600 acres of land known as the Corea Heath, and that summer volunteers began cutting trails. Heath is a local word for peat land or bog, and this one is a rare coastal plateau bog, distinguished because it rises above the surrounding landscape. It’s a spectacular property, with divergent ecosystems including bogs, ledges, and mixed-wood forest. Natural features include pitcher plants, sphagnum mosses, rare vascular plants, and jack pines. It’s a fabulous place for bird-watching too, and the preserve borders a section of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

We  had the Corea Heath Trail and the view over a beaver dam all to ourselves. Hilary Nangle photoThe easy 1.25-mile lollipop trail loops down to a bog with a beaver lodge. Work on the trail is in progress, and boardwalks have yet to be constructed over a few wet places, so wear boots or try to edge around the water (not easy, I sunk down to my ankle on a spot that looked dry enough to hold me) or prepare for wet feet. Do wear bug dope. Although I hiked in mid day, I imagine the wildlife watching here would be spectacular nearer to sunrise and sunset. When we visited, we were the only ones in the preserve.

While there are no inns  in Corea, two nearby ones are among my favorites in the state: Elsa’s Inn on the Harbor and Oceanside Meadows. Neither is fancy or fussy.

 

8 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Barry. Yes, The Black Duck is a lovely B&B with two waterfront cottages. I didn’t include it because it’s actively for sale.

  2. Most photographers who have discovered Corea, speak of it lovingly. In hushed, reverent tones.

    I spent a week there one summer, rented an entire house built right ON the water (yes, I stepped out of the back door onto a deck on the water) for $600. What a deal!

    Spent the whole week mostly exploring on foot and taking photos. There is also a little island offshore that is accessible at low tide.

    If you visit my blog at http://www.michelestapleton.com/blog/ one of the photos in the rotation of masthead photos is of the Corea harbor. So picturesque.

  3. Nice shot! Yes, we spent a week in Corea a few years back in a house edging the ocean. It was heavenly.

  4. Corea Cottages is also another wonderful place to stay! All three houses are right on the water, family owned and operated for three generations.

  5. Good old Corea, Maine…..that’s where my family’s from….Dad was a lobsterfisherman…since passed…We grew up learning the trade (I have a younger bro and sis)…..I hated everything about it and Corea and could’nt wait to get out……just sayin’….live in Boston and love the cape….I guess what makes it so apealling for other folks, is it’s cut-off from the rest of the world…..so, enjoy….just glad I don’t have to live there!!!!t

  6. Hello, enjoyed your site.
    We will fly up from VA to Boston on Sunday, and drive up to Corea to spend 4 nights before driving up to St. John, New Brunswick.
    We love nature, and beautiful scenery. Of course, we will have a car. Because of my knees, we do not do too much hiking.
    What would your suggest as must do’s for our trip?
    Really looking forward to getting there.

  7. Apologies for the late reply — I’ve been on the road researching. You’ve certainly got perfect weather! The artists and artisans galleries in the region are excellent — always makes a fun day looping through Hancock, Sullivan, and the Schoodic Pennsula and visiting them. Check to see if the Schoodic Institute or Oceanside Meadows Inn have any programs on their schedules. You can also take the ferry to Bar Harbor for a day trip — visit downtown sights, tour, or use the Island Explorer to get around. Enjoy!

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