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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ferry to Islesboro

On our last day in Maine we decided to take the ferry from Lincolnville to the 14 mile long narrow island of  Islesboro.  If you're on the way to the ferry make sure to stop at Dot's for lunch to bring with you like I did because their food was amazing!  I got a chicken pecan salad wrap and a giant ginger snap cookie that might have been one of the best cookies I've eaten in my entire life.  Lots of locals were stopping in and picking up sandwiches, always a good sign, and they sell gourmet food and wine too.

The ferry to Islesboro is only about a 20 minute crossing, which is my kind of ride.  It's $10 per adult to ride round trip, but the vehicle rate is $27.50 and includes the driver.  It turned out we got undercharged by a few dollars because our truck has more than 4 wheels, so keep that in mind too.

The harbor was dotted with buoys and the lobster boats were out making their rounds.

Lincolnville from the ferry

Hopefully the L'il Bugger's traps were full and they made a good haul.

Coming in on the ferry the first thing we saw was Grindle Point Light which was built in 1874.  The tower is open to the public and the building has nautical related displays but we did not stop...definitely next time.

 I finally convinced Wayne to quit driving randomly and we stopped at the Rabbit Corner Cafe to get some guidance.  The barista got us a map and showed us where the footpaths on the island could be found.  We didn't have a lot of time since we didn't get to the island until 12:30 and we wanted to catch the 2:30 ferry back out, but the Hutchins Island trail wasn't far or long so that's where we headed.

The trail is maintained by Islesboro Land Trust and you can get there by taking the main road to Bluff Road and then park where it intersects with Hutchins Island Lane.  From there it was just a short walk down the road to the preserve.  If you want to live on Hutchins Island Lane there is currently a waterfront 4 bedroom Cape Cod for sale for half a million dollars.  Let me know if you buy it, I'll want to come visit.

We were in luck and it was low tide when we reached the beach. See the houses in the distance?  A lot of properties out on "points" had private roads leading to them and one of those private roads leads to the summer home of John Travolta.  Rumor has it Kirstie Alley sold her property, but an island this size maybe one big celebrity is enough.

When the tide is low a strip of land is exposed that allows access to Hutchins Island.

It was a crunchy walk.

If you have a boat you can easily check out Hutchins Island as well as other Islesboro spots, but we had to make do with hoofing it.  We didn't go all the way around because of the time problem.

 Back across the sandbar we spent another few minutes exploring the Elaine Coomb's trail.  Wayne's take on it was "nothing spectacular" but methinks he's gotten a little spoiled by big destinations like Yellowstone and has forgotten how to appreciate nature's more common beauties.

There was a marker on the trail for Ansley Marie Bell, a local girl who loved exploring this area and died at the tender age of 6 in 2008.  At her funeral requests for donations to the trust were made in lieu of flowers.

After leaving and heading back toward town we saw this guy hanging out.  When we stopped to watch for awhile another motorist stopped and said it had been hanging out there all morning.  Hopefully it wasn't suffering from a serious injury.

Before getting in line to get back on the ferry we stopped at the General Store to get Wayne a sandwich (the amount of people in there getting deli sandwiches made was astounding and everything smelled delicious) and ran in to the local lineman from Central Maine Power.

Wayne is convinced this is the job and the life he wants to have, even before we ran into the guy it was all he could talk about while we drove around the island.  They conversed for quite awhile and I wandered down the road to get a mocha at the Rabbit Corner Cafe while they talked shop...and employment opportunities?

Here's a little background on past and present marine ecology around the area from Islesboro Land Trust:
Early Islesboro settlers found an abundance of cod, halibut and salmon. “The waters abounded in fish and the shores in clams… The salmon were so plenty that the first town poor protested against being served with salmon more than twice a week.”

Unfortunately now this is the reality:  Today... there are hardly any cod at all and those found are a fraction of the size that once lived full, productive lives in and near Penobscot Bay. Same for haddock, flounder and numerous other fish species that not so long ago swarmed Penobscot Bay.  I had some haddock while in the area since I enjoy fish and not crustaceans, and let me tell ya, I'd love to see the waters around Maine once again swarming with haddock and cod!

The Gulf of Maine evolved from a marine system dominated by large predatory fish, primarily cod, into something radically different. Researchers call this an “ecosystem flip,” whereby a whole, natural system capsized and, because of reinforcing feedback mechanisms, entered into an entirely different state.  “Dynamic food webs and dynamic climate are colliding. Big fish are ecologically extinct,” said Dr. Robert Steneck, University of Maine School of Marine Sciences, quoted in a November 19, 2012 Portland Press Herald report by North Cairn.

Want to know more about the history of Islesboro itself?  Here's a link!


  1. Ohhh, I agree with you. The island looks very inviting, if not in a spectacular way, then in a welcoming sort of way ... kinda like you'd love to hang out there for a while or forever, or at least till winter blasted in!

  2. Looks wonderful, if a bit gray. I'll bet there were a lot fewer people than in Yellowstone as well.