Celtic Heritage at Commissary Point LbNA # 18205
|Placed Date||Sep 20 2005|
|Location||Trescott Twp., ME|
Celtic Heritage at Commissary Point
To reach the Commissary Point Hiking Area, managed by Maine Inland Fish and Wildlife, take Route 189 east from the village of Whiting 1.5 miles to Commissary Point Road. Turn left (north) on Commissary Point and drive to the end of the road, approximately one mile.
Note: The road will go up a short hill and curve to the right. You’ll pass a two-story white home on the right and a cleared field on the left. After this point the road turns into a two track. Continue straight. After a very short way the road/two-track is blocked by a gate, and you’ll find the Commissary Point Hiking Area parking lot on the left. There’s a number of trails at Commissary Point, including the Rocky Point Trail, the Dennison Point Trail (which you passed on the road on the way in), and a system of trails past the gate. For these letterboxes you’ll take the Rocky Point Trail, indicated by the sign-in box at the parking lot.
For trail maps of this location and other trails around Cobscook Bay, pick up a copy of the Cobscook Trails hiking guide, available at the Quoddy Regional Land Trust on US Rte. 1 in Whiting, the Whiting Village Store (Mobile Gas Station), or other locations around the bay.
I decided to do this particular series of stamps after a friend and local historian told me about a bit about the history of this location. Apparently, during the potato famine in Ireland and the exodus of people from that land, some of the Irish people seeking a new home in America landed at Commissary Point. They were poor and often had no food to eat or even shoes on their feet. This friend related a story of her ancestors, poor too, sharing what little food they had with the new arrivals walking from Commissary Point to the nearest settlement.
From the parking lot, take the Rocky Point Trail. Sign in if you’d like. Look for these landmarks to guide you to the first box.
1. Cross the same stream twice.
2. Pass a large downed tree on your left. The root mass stands about 7 or 8 feet high.
3. Pass through an area of trees sporting large, bulbous masses. A wooden bowl maker would love these trees.
4. Arrive at another large, downed tree on your right. A “V” shaped spruce with a faint white blaze stands on the trail-side of the downed tree.
To find Box 1 (a mini-box, only a stamp – no logbook), stand even with the tall jagged stump and backtrack down the trail 11 steps. Spot a tree at 20 degrees, 12 steps off the trail. The mini-box is hidden under a rock on the trail-side of the tree.
Continue along the trail and when you come to a fork take the East Loop. Hike until you reach the water – Whiting Bay. Just as the trail curves parallel to the shore, find a jagged stump with the remains of a once standing tree fallen along the water side of the trail. Look across the water (or the tide flats depending on the time of day). You’ll see the Little Augusta boat launch (on US Rte. 1) at 300 degrees.
From this stump, continue along the trail and count the white trail blazes you pass. Between the 18th and 19th blazes past the jagged stump you’ll walk through a large downed tree across the path (fortunately the trail managers have cut a clear section through the tree). You can see a white home directly across the water to the left of the boat launch. 30 steps farther up the trail on the left find a pair of four-trunked birch trees and a lumpy gray boulder on their left. Mini-box 2 (again, no logbook) is hidden on the water-side of this boulder under a rock.
Now on to the final box. Continue along the trail. Shortly you’ll pass through a wild blueberry patch. Note the short trail leading to a rock outcropping that looks out over the water. What a perfect spot for sitting, gazing, meditating and stamping! Continue 30 steps along the main trail and reach a lovely white pine on the right side of the trail. 15 steps from this white pine at 20 degrees you’ll find a group of birch with a tangle of twigs and brush at their base. Find the third box of the Celtic Heritage series, and the logbook for this group, hidden amidst this brush.
To get back to the parking area, continue along the trail. When you come to a split in the trail, notice the sign in a tree to your left. You’ve come full circle. Go back the way you came.