Giant Stairs and Cairns on Bailey Island in Maine

By
Education & Training with Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group

Today was another gorgeous day here in Maine.  My family and I wandered down to Bailey Island to explore the Giant Stairs trail.  Much to our surprise we stumbled onto a little gorge hidden just off the trail filled with cairns.  If you have never seen them, they are generally piles of stones usually in a inverted cone shape.

Many moons ago they were used to hold torches and light up coastal areas.  Now they are simply markers left by visitors to be washed away at the next big storm.

If you find yourself in the Harpswell area of Maine, head down route 24 S, through Orr's Island, over the Cribstone Bridge to Bailey's Island.  A little while after you pass Mackerel Cove on the right, turn left onto Washington.  Wind a little way until you reach a small shingle style church.  You can park in front of the church and continue down the road on foot.  You will find the path that leads to the Giant Stairs.  Enjoy!

Cairns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cairnHere is the cairn my son made while we were there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by

The Maine Real Estate Network - Kristen Wheatley - Lewiston-Auburn Maine Real Estate

Maine Realtor Kristen Wheatley  

Kristen Wheatley is a Maine Realtor working and living in Central Maine.  She specializes in the sale of residential and investment property in the Lewiston-Auburn area and surrounding towns.  Kristen uses the latest tools and mobile technology to provide a superior experience and results for her clients and enjoys sharing these technology skills and teaching other real estate professionals and local small business owners.

The Maine Real Estate NetworkKristen Wheatley, Associate Broker
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Rainmaker
656,967
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

I've seen these while hiking all over the country. People have fun with them, but I think some people believe they have some mystical power!

Sep 19, 2010 03:19 PM #1
Rainmaker
269,999
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

They are cool to find.  My Aunt was with us and was busy trying to convince my son they were some kind of fairy homes.  He smiled and kindly humored her, but looked at me and rolled his eyes.  Of course this is the same Aunt who tried unsuccessfully to convince him that he had an "imagination button" on his head.

There are also people who think a piece of burnt toast with an image on it is mystical too. :)

Sep 19, 2010 04:06 PM #2
Rainer
355,890
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Medfield, MA
Sells Real Estate!

Hmm...don't know about the toast, but I have heard tales about the cairns dating back quite a ways. Nice post, Kristen. Sounds like you had a nice Sunday. We have really good friends in Bangor. This would be a nice side trip the next time we go up for a visit. Can ya get thar from heyuh?

Sep 19, 2010 04:56 PM #3
Rainmaker
269,999
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

Yes, there are some in other areas that are supposed to be quite old.  These by the ocean get washed away regularly, but are still fun to see.

LOL!  Only if you ask for directions with the right accent and lose the Mass license plates.  Sounds like you have the accent down! :)

Sep 19, 2010 05:10 PM #4
Ambassador
2,758,101
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Kristen, Just another interesting little thing we'd never know about Maine without your help!  Thanks!

Sep 19, 2010 11:21 PM #5
Rainmaker
3,874,081
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Kristen,

What a great way to spend a Sunday! I appreciate to the insight of things we would find in Maine..your a great advocate of your area..thanks for the info!

Sep 20, 2010 12:02 AM #6
Rainmaker
269,999
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

BLiz:  If you make it up here, all you need to do is strike up a conversation with the locals here and they will direct you to the tucked away places.  There are so many really cool things that most visitors just don't find since they tend to be at the end of timy winding roads. :)

Dorie:  It was a wonderfully relaxing day.

Sep 20, 2010 01:53 AM #7
Rainer
258,200
Charles Edwards Bentonville
Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 - Bentonville, AR
AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker

Kristen, Great post.

Super cool place. I like that old bridge. There is a place near there called Cundy's Harbor that was home to Maine's esteemed, trailblazing  Senator Margaret Chase Smith. I had friends that were her neighbors years ago. Enjoy your beautiful part of the world!

Sep 20, 2010 02:20 AM #8
Rainer
237,354
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Kristen - Great post!  I love Maine and have spent some wonderful vacations there. Thanks for the advice about finding out of the way places - can't wait for my next visit!

Sep 20, 2010 02:25 AM #9
Rainmaker
269,999
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

Hello Charles.  They are currently working on restoring the Cribstone bridge so they have this rickety feeling temporary one up for people to use.  It is plenty strong, but feels kind of like driving over an erctor set!  Cundy's Harbor is also gorgeous.  I'm kind of partial to Stovers since it is another one that many people don't seem to know is there.  Today I get to make a rare trip down to the Portland area for a picnic at Fort Williams.  Ironically, I've never seen the Portland Headlight, so this should be fun.

We look forward to having you Judy!

Sep 20, 2010 03:23 AM #10
Rainer
130,624
Mel Wagner
Knipe Realty - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Agent Salem Oregon Real Estate

Kristen-one of my favorites ways to spend a day off is to drive over to the Oregon Coast.  I will now be looking for these.  So glad you enjoyed your family day off!

Sep 20, 2010 04:37 AM #11
Rainmaker
449,271
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Those cairns are pretty cool Kristen. I remember reading that they used to be placed to mark mass graves in Scotland and Ireland, particularly after battles. Probably the ones on the beaches of Maine are a little more benign than that.

 

Sep 20, 2010 06:36 AM #12
Rainmaker
88,098
StepStone Realty
StepStone Realty, LLC - Austin, TX
Freedom to Succeed

Do they hold the power to clear my Monday plate faster?  If so, I'll come every Sunday!  Pretty cool pictures, Kristen :)

Sep 20, 2010 09:40 AM #13
Rainmaker
635,293
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Oh my, Kristen - the Giant Stairs looks and sounds like the perfect place for an early morning hike.  Beautiful pictures!

wake forest nc house chick

Sep 20, 2010 10:05 AM #14
Rainmaker
269,999
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

Mel:  That sounds like fun.  I bet they have them there too.

Malcolm:  Boy I hope so!

Daniel:  Yes, and the fairies that live in them can make all your dreams come true! :)

Leesa:  It is particularly beautiful in the early morning.  Especially if it is nice and foggy.

Sep 20, 2010 04:48 PM #15
Rainer
124,137
Lisa Hicks
Hoang Realty - Augusta, ME
Serving Central and Southern Maine

Kristin - my grandparents had a summer cottage down in Harpswell and we spent summers there when I was a kids.  Would you believe I do not remember ever hearing about Giant Stairs on Bailey Island?????  I'll have to go check them out.

Sep 21, 2010 02:02 AM #16
Rainmaker
269,999
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

Lisa:  I think there is no end to the places people can explore here.  I'm not even sure if people who have lived there for generations have "seen it all."

Sep 21, 2010 02:08 AM #17
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