At the heart of town, the 1.4-mile Calais Waterfront Walkway follows the route of the former Maine Central Line, though the original rail bed dates to the Calais Railway, chartered in 1832the first charter issued by the state of Maine. Crews have transformed the right-of-way into a promenade that skirts the St. Croix River from Barker and South streets to Todd Street. The trailhead is at Pikes Park, the trail midpoint.
Whether you head east or west, you're guaranteed scenic vistas. Pause en route to peruse interpretive exhibits at the Downeast Maine Heritage Center or watch bald eagles scan the water from perches just feet from the trail. The city hopes to expand the walkway to 3 miles and link it to other trails in the St. Croix Valley.
On the opposite shore is St. Stephen, New Brunswick (Canada), which is developing its own system of waterfront parks and trails. If you want to check it out, it's within easy walking distance. The Waterfront Walkway passes within a hundred yards of the international bridge.
Parking and Trail Access
To reach the trailhead at Pikes Park, take State Route 9 east to its junction with US 1, turn right and follow signs to downtown Calais. The road becomes North Street, and the park is on the waterfront.
I love this trail along the river. It is well maintained and lovely throughout the year.