Even at the height of summer, Castine is quiet, its stately colonial homes reposing at the water’s edge. At the harbor, the bustle of boats and kayaks seems diminished by the gracious old-money feel of the town. The galleries, shops, seasonal restaurants and inns also are subdued by the end-of-the-road nature of the town.
The village is nearly an island, with a narrow neck separating it from the rest of the mainland. When British forces occupied the town in the 1770s, they dug a canal that made the town an island for a time.
A favorite year-round walk begins near the site of that old canal. Driving south on Route 166, look for Wadsworth Cove Road on the right. Park at the beach and walk south along the road, up a short hill and into the village area.
You’ll pass the golf course. Turn right onto Battle Avenue and walk past the remains of Fort George. The Maine Maritime Academy campus is on the left, as are water views. Walk to Dyce Head Lighthouse, where a short trail leads to a stairway to the rocky shore, where you can look west to Islesboro and the Camden Hills.
Return to town along Perkins Street, stopping at Fort Madison. Check out the town pier where MMA’s State of Maine training ship and the schooner Bowdoin are usually docked.
Continue north on Water Street and head back to Wadsworth Cove Road, passing the pretty village green.
To get there: Drive south from Orland on Route 175 to Route 166 and follow into town.