When my wife and I have a spare hour or so, and we want to get a little exercise (but not a whole lot), one of our favorite things to do is to take the Belfast Harbor Walk. It’s a very simple and flat stroll, a little more than two miles in total length, starting and ending on the east end of The Footbridge across the Passagassawakeag River where it flows into Penobscot Bay. The Harbor Walk takes you through the Front Street Shipyard, one of Belfast’s newest and most fascinating businesses. FSS provides comprehensive services to both private yachts and commercial vessels.
They also build boats. On any given day, you might see – up on dry land! – a 120’ pleasure yacht registered in the Marshall Islands, or one of the huge red tug boats that helps to dock ships in Searsport, plus a wide variety of other sail and power boats of all sizes. They also have a Facebook page where they often post pictures of boats they’re working on.
After you pass through the shipyard you pass by a few great eateries, and also the Marshall Wharf Brewing Company, a local microbrewery. Then you come to Belfast’s Main Street, where you can choose to walk up and explore the retail shops and restaurants, or continue across following Harbor Walk. You’ll meander past City Landing, through Heritage Park and Steamboat Landing, to the trail’s end at the Belfast Boathouse, with a fine view of the outer harbor and Islesboro across the bay. After we’ve reached the Boathouse and had a brief rest on a bench, we always walk down on the floating docks at City Landing on our return to the Footbridge. You can often see large numbers of starfish clinging to the granite blocks of the pier.
Directions from Searsport Shores: Turn left out of The Shores to head toward Belfast. Drive about 3.5 miles and take a left turn on Footbridge Rd. Drive to the bottom of the hill and park on the side of the road, at the east end of the Footbridge where you start your Harbor Walk. This entire walk is wheelchair accessible.