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Photo: Sandy Andrews

Cutler is the last good harbor on the Maine Coast before the Canadian border.  It is a lovely, busy fishing village with well-maintained houses, fishing boats, and working piers.  The scenery is picturesque, and the inhabitants are helpful and friendly.  The harbor is well protected, and even though you can see right out to the ocean on either side of Little River Island, very little surge enters.  It has two bars of cell service and excellent hiking opportunities.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Sandy Andrews

The harbor is easily approached. Enter using the channel on the eastern side of Little River Island, and be sure to observe red nun #2.

CAUTIONS:  1) The tidal range in Cutler is the greatest along the Downeast Coast — from plus 15.5 to minus 0.9  feet. One must consider this when putting out anchor rode and when approaching a floating dock or wharf.  2) Downeast cruisers need to pay attention to the measurement unit for depths along this part of the coast. On certain charts, they are in meters.

Classic lighthouse tower and house on a rocky shore with a pine forest behind.

Click the chart to open Navionics

Not to be used for Navigation .

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Depths are clearly charted. There are many fishing boat moorings, with most occupied. We have had good luck picking up an empty mooring and calling the phone number on the mooring. The last time we did so, the mooring owner let us use the mooring for two days and swung by in the evening to say hello with a gift of lobsters. The inner harbor is full, leaving no room for anchoring, so anchor outside the mooring field in about 20 feet of water. The closer you are to the mooring field, the smaller the early morning wakes from departing lobster boats. Holding is in good heavy mud.




Little River Lobster Co










Two bars via cell tower






Little River Lobster Co Use dumpster - per bag fee


Downeast Community Hospital 11 Hospital Drive, Machias, 207-255-3356


Getting Ashore

Photo: Copyright by Bill West

Diesel and lobsters are available from the Little River Lobster Co.,  207-259-7704 (the farthest-in wharf on the eastern side of the harbor).  Depth at the pier end is plenty deep for fueling, even at low tide. Don’t interfere with fishing boat traffic at the pier. While freshwater is not available here, there is a dumpster and LRLCo will accept trash for a small per-bag fee.

There are no stores or restaurants in Cutler. Justin, the LRLCo wharf manager, kindly lent the editor his pickup truck for a trip to Machias (20 minutes away) to buy a new starter battery and reprovision at Hannaford’s.

Cutler village with lobster boats moored in the foreground.

Photo: Courtesy of Hannaford


The nearest supermarket, Hannaford, is in Machias, 18 miles distant. If you ask around, you might find a generous Mainer willing to offer a ride or lend his or her truck.

Photo: Courtesy of Helen's Restaurant

Dine Out

The nearest restaurants are in Machias, a half-hour drive to the west. The editors have heard that Helen’s is well-known locally for its pies.

Nubble with pine trees jutting out from a stony beach, surrounded by still water.

Photo: Sandy Andrews


Maine Coast Heritage Trust owns the points on either side of the harbor and maintains beautiful hiking trails on both properties.  Trail maps are available from MCHT’s website. The Eastern Knubble trailhead can be accessed from any of the piers on the eastern side of the harbor by walking east on Route 191.  It is on the right just before reaching the post office and is well marked. This is an approximately one-mile round trip walk.  Views from the knubble are gorgeous. The Western Head Preserve is best accessed by dinghying to the beach just outside of the small point on the western side of the harbor. Be sure to account for the tide when securing your dinghy. The trail passes along the beach and is easily found. This approximately 3.5-mile round-trip traverses beautiful mossy woods and passes along bold cliffs with crashing surf. While the trails are good, they pass over some rough country so wear appropriate footwear.

Looking down at a rocky coast jutting into the sea, from on a high bluff.

Photo: Courtesy of MCHT

Other Things To Do

If you have access to a car (or don’t mind hitch-hiking), The Bold Coast Trail offers a 10-mile loop along ocean cliffs. The trailhead is only four miles away to the NE of Cutler Harbor.


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