For a time in the Nineteenth Century it was fashionable to name towns after exotic foreign places. The village of Corea on the Downeast coast is one of them. Intentionally or otherwise, its founders misspelled the name. Personally, I think that gives it a certain cachet that Mexico or Peru or Madrid lack. Maybe I think about these things too much. But what else am I supposed to do while driving to a hike?
Corea is on a small, irregular peninsula between Prospect Harbor and Gouldboro Bay. There are two short hikes worth checking out.
Two miles east of the village of Prospect Harbor, on ME 195, is Frenchman Bay Conservancy's Corea Heath Preserve. The 1.3 mile lollipop hike is an easy stroll. At first, trail skirts the edge of the heath, keeping to the dry hardwood forest. It's a good place to find spring wildflowers and migrating songbirds.
The trail drops off a low hill, down crumbling granite and past blueberries and lady slippers. To the north, through dense alders, you get glimpses of the open heath. Bog laurel blooms add pale violet here and there.
A small stream flows into the heath. Several beaver dams block the stream, creating a large pond. The trail follows its rocky shore. There are several side trails with fine views and even a bench where you can sit and watch for beavers or osprey—there's a nest on a telephone pole near the trailhead.
The trail loops back through mossy bog before gaining higher ground and returning you to the trailhead.
About a mile farther east on ME 195, on the opposite side of the road, is a very short trail that leads to a viewing platform in the open heath. This hike is part of the Gouldboro Unit of Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge.