This hike on Great Head Trail is a wonderful mix of ocean views, rocky scrambles, and hidden history. Near the top of the granite steps at the beginning of the hike, a large millstone (6'10" in diameter) can be found to the left. In the early 1900's, the Satterlee family owned this area. They built a stone tower on the highest point that included a tea room and an observatory. The ruins of this tower still remain. Along the trail you can also find a bronze monument for David Phillips McKinney, who died in this location in 1969.
- Distance: 1.9 miles round trip. There is a way to shorten the hike to 1.3 miles (see description below).
- Terrain and Safety: The trail is rocky with uneven footing. Good foot wear is recommended. Rocky granite, short steep sections. Steep drops into the ocean. Keep children away from the edge.
- The trail begins at the far end of Sand Beach with granite steps. A right at the top of the steps leads to an open ledge ascent that provide excellent views of Sand Beach and The Beehive.
- The trail continues along the headland with dramatic views of the coastline and ocean. It is a gradual grade to reach the highest point at 145 feet above sea level. At this point the ruins of a 1915 tea house can be seen. You can also see a plaque dedicated to David Phillips McKinney who died in this location in 1969.
- The trail turns away from the shore and descends through the forest. A cedar post marks a junction in the trail.
- For a shorter loop (1.3 miles) , take the trail to the left. It climbs steeply before leveling out and leading back to Sand Beach.
- For a longer loop (1.9 miles) continue straight.
- The trail angles back toward the ocean with occasional views.
- At the next junction, turn left for a easy walk back to the top of the steps where the hike began. Descend the steps to Sand Beach.