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There's no reason to travel too far when you have 4,600 islands to explore in your backyard

The Maine coastline has approximately 4,600 islands to explore - wait... what?

By: Affuera Vida + Save to a List

There are over 4,600 islands off the coast of Maine, so this year we chose to stay were we call home now and explore the coast. Now 4,600 is way too many island to explore on a week away from work, so we chose an area that had been on our radar since returning to Maine. The Archipelago as known to some lies south of Maine's premier destination, Acadia National Park, and in between some of the mid-coasts more well known islands like Vinyl Haven or Swan's Island. Out here we were looking for a grip of islands to base out of for 4-5 days to hike, swim, camp and explore. 

With a 13 ft Dauntless Boston Whaler in tow behind our Saab wagon, we definitely looked like the Griswald's when we showed up at the lobster boat ramp. However, we had been teaching ourselves the ins and outs of boating over the previous summer, so actually felt pretty confident in what we were doing. Loaded above the gunnels, the 3 of us, well 5 if you count the dog and the baby carried in the womb, set off through a maze of islands scattered below the tip of the Stonington peninsula. 

For many, ourselves included, the Maine coast conjures up images of a rocky, dark coast, but you'd be surprise once you get in the water and explore certain islands that beautiful, desolate white sand beaches lay waiting for your landing. Not only are many of this islands open to the public, the Maine Island Trail has worked very hard to connect a route for overnight paddlers and boaters seeking to access the wilderness on multi-day journeys. 

Traveling by kayak is definitely the way to go in some areas, but also having a small motor boat, gave us the opportunity to access places further from mainland by bringing our base camp. 

Related like brothers and sisters, each island looks similar but each offers something unique. Whether it is a quarry brimming with fresh water or the topography of the land offering 360 views in a tiny package - you can hike, find wildlife, discover amazing campsites and fresh seafood is always just a fishing line or snorkel away. 

Like many of you, we often dream of exotic destinations as the next place to take our family, yet the best journeys are often the ones right under our noses. For more information on accessing Maine's beautiful islands, check out the non-profit, Maine Island Trail, and buy a membership to receive a booklet and access token to an app that will unlock this watery world. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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