Monhegan Island is a roughly one-square-mile island in Maine is about nine miles off of the Maine coast. It is a rustic artist and tourist paradise with beautiful views and hiking trails that climb most of the 200-foot bluffs that overlook the ocean. While one can stay on the island, we generally go there on a day trip.
If you don’t have your own boat, you can take a ferry to get here from Port Clyde, New Harbor, or Boothbay Harbor. We took a pleasant 20-mile, 70-minute passenger-only cruise on the mail boat from lovely Port Clyde. (Hint: make your reservation and purchase car parking in advance to secure a spot).
Hiking Monhegan Island
Then we headed straight for the hiking trails, heading north to the northern-most tip of the island and well over halfway around the perimeter via the seaside Cliff Trail. Although we took few unintentional detours on the poorly and confusingly marked trails, the trails were lovely and we hit some of the island’s most scenic sections, including Pebble Beach and the Seal Ledges, Pulpit Rock, Black Head (the highest spot on the island at 160 feet), Squeakier Cove and Little Whitehead. It was a wonderful hike with many ups and downs, providing some much-needed exercise. And let’s face it: it is a small island and you can’t get too lost.
By then, we were ready for a wonderful lunch (a delicious chilled raspberry soup, two generously stuffed lobster rolls, and an okay slice of blueberry pie a la mode) at a window table of the pretty and beautifully situated Island Inn. On another trip, we also enjoyed their clam chowder, lobster slider, and pan-fried haddock sandwich.
We then walked an additional third of the island, through residential areas, with their gardens, community memo walls, stored lobstering equipment, and into a few of the artist studios and galleries that are open to visitors on select days.
We strolled down to the pretty Lobster Cove, stopping at a few artist studios and galleries and taking a break at the Monhegan Brewing Company for a sample of four beers (a very interesting Berliner with wild Maine blueberry juice, Blond Ale, IPA and finishing off with a stout).
Then, after climbing Lighthouse Hill at the center of the island, we admired the view and took quick stops at the island’s history museum and primary Monhegan art exhibit space before heading back to the ferry.
The return voyage was via the scenic route, out of the harbor and along the cliff-laced east coast of the island that we had hiked that morning. A very different and much cooler perspective of the coast we had recently hiked and seen from above.
A a wonderful way to spend a day in mid-coast Maine.
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