The Down East Sunrise Trail is a multi-use trail system in Maine that’s open year-round to ATV, snowmobile, dirt bikes, and non-motorized use. The Eastern Trail segment runs between Machias and Ayers Junction, with many notable features along the way, including salt marshes, bald eagles, farmer’s markets, lakes and ponds, lighthouses, reversing tidal falls and other gems of coastal Maine. Side trips include Roque Bluffs State Park, East Machias Aquatic Research Center (EMARC) to learn about Maine’s fisheries. Cutler Coast Public Lands, Cobscook Bay and Quoddy Head State Parks, Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Gleason Cove Park, Shackford Head State Park, and historic Eastport.
Sections within the 28-mile Eastern Trail include Machias to East Machias (4 miles), East Machias to Rocky Lake Crossing (7 miles), Rocky Lake Crossing to Dennysville (10 miles), and Dennysville to Ayers Junction.
For more information, including downloadable trail maps with parking spots, visit SunriseTrail.org.
Sunrise Trail Permitted Uses
The Sunrise Trail is open to both non-motorized and motorized use with the following conditions:
Non-motorized use includes, but is not limited to, walking, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and skiing.
All motorized vehicles must be legally registered as either an ATV and/or snowmobile.
Vehicles registered or built for on-road use such as cars, trucks, jeeps and motorcycles are prohibited.
Other vehicles such as golf carts, scooters/mopeds or Dual Sport motorcycles must be registered as an ATV to be on the Sunrise Trail.
The trail is developed and maintained for snowmobiles and/or ATVs up to 60 inches wide.
During winter, snow conditions may determine which types of vehicles may use the trail. If the trail is snow-covered, ATVs and horseback riding are not allowed.
The following uses are permitted when the trail is snow covered: snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding, skiing, bicycling and hiking.
If the gravel trail surface is exposed and frozen (no snow) and conditions allow, ATV use is permitted as long as the trail has not been officially closed.
Construction & Mud Closings
If a section of the trail is closed due to construction it will be identified as “CONSTRUCTION ZONE, NO TRESPASSING” and is closed to all public use.
Trails closed during mud season will have signs stating “STOP TRAIL CLOSED DUE TO SATURATED SOILS.”
Pedestrian use is permitted during mud season and is defined as walking, jogging or hiking use only.