Hiking Solo










An empty bench is a beautiful sight.

Hiking solo isn’t all about going alone; it’s also about being alone. Ten years ago, I would be the only car in the parking lot on the Donnell Land Preserve and hike Schoodic and Black Mountains without seeing a soul. Today, by 10:00 AM the lot is full and the trails are not crowded but it isn’t a solo hike. I know the public lands  and land trusts  are established and maintained so we, the masses, may enjoy the beauty of these special spots without having the funds to purchase a spectacular view, gate it off and keep it for oneself… but a part of the enjoyment is the solitude so, in a way, I get the attitude of wanting to keep it all for oneself.

I purposely excluded a large house sitting on the peninsula next to the rock beach from my pictures. I was both disgusted that the structure interrupted the natural beauty I was seeing and jealous that I didn’t own it.

I’d like to think that if I owned a few hundred (or thousand) acres of unique property that I’d give a hunk to prosperity and maybe the land trusts and the generosity of the few is a way to do that which is more secure than a national designation that can be “reviewed” or a state public land that can be changed if a greater good is determined. Although it happens infrequently, land trusts are not always all about generosity. As with anything that holds value, there is an opportunity for well, opportunity. It’s complicated and like our public lands and our healthcare system, it affects all of us and should not be determined by the needs, profit, or politically-biased opinions of a few and perhaps the publicity of both our North Woods National Monument and the debacle that is our healthcare reform will incite activism in areas that impact the majority of us.

What do we learn from spots of beauty and solitude becoming crowded? That people need more peace and beauty in their lives. Advocate for “go outside” as a prescription.

So, where is this beautiful spot? I was going to keep it a secret but I think it would be good for you to do this hike – and no one reads my blog anyway.  Hamilton Cove, Lubec, Maine – managed by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. THANK YOU, MCHT. The trail is well maintained and an easier walk than some in the area. I’m off to do Boot Cove today!

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