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4.4 miles

Elevation Gain

538 ft

Route Type



Added by Olivia Gosselin

Accessible by boat, Monhegan Island, off the coast of Maine, is a precious stretch of land with over 17 miles of hiking trails maintained by Monhegan Associates, a private land trust.

Nearly 10 miles off the coast of Maine, Monhegan Island is accessible by your choice of three ferry lines. Each vary in terms of length of stay on the island and time spent on the water.  Be sure you do your research prior to reserving your tickets.  Below you can find more information :

  1. Monhegan Boat Line from Port Clyde : www.monheganboat.com
  2. Hardy Boat Cruises from New Harbor : www.hardyboat.com
  3. The Balmy Days II from Boothbay Harbor : www.monhegandaytrip.com

My personal advice would be to hop aboard Hardy Boat Cruises from New Harbor.  Hardy Boat Cruises is a small, eco-tourism business owned by a local family.  I find the staff to be particularly welcoming and extremely knowledgeable about the surrounding geography and wildlife.  Additionally, organic treats and self-serve coffee are provided aboard the boat.  Most importantly, Hardy Boat Cruises is stationed on the wharf, off Route 32.  It just so happens that one of the top Maine lobster shacks sits on this second-story deck.  In fact, Shaws Fish and Lobster Wharf serves up some of the best Maine lobster rolls around.  It doesn’t get much better.

As you approach Monhegan Island, to your right will be Manana Island and just to your left lies Monhegan.  Sitting atop Manana Island is a modest stone house with nearly 500 steps leading up from the water to the front door.  Shutter Island came to mind immediately, it’s a must see.  A few feet off of the Monhegan wharf, you’ll find a gray shack called The Barnacle, which sells everything from tasty pastries to wine by the bottle.  Be sure to pick up a $1 Monhegan Island Trail Map for a detailed visual of the island’s extensive hiking network.  Once you’ve bought this, you’re ready to hit the trails.      

Taking advice from the island locals, begin your adventure down Main Street following signs for Lobster Cove.  At Lobster Cove, you’ll find a shipwreck called the D.T. Sheridan from the 1980s along with spectacular ocean views.  This is a great location for a photo opp as the contrast between the green spruce and turquoise water is breathtaking.  To continue your hike, follow Cliff #1 trail around the perimeter of the island.  Known as an artist’s sanctuary, it’s not uncommon to stumble upon a painter or two, easels and all, capturing the natural beauty on canvas.  Keep your eyes peeled for wild raspberries along the route and if you’re lucky, you might be able to spot a harbor seal swimming around a cove.  If you’re scared of heights and fear nearing the cliff’s edge, you can take the more wooded trail, #1A.  Depending on your motives for the day, continue around the whole perimeter of the island via Cliff #1 or head back towards the village using one of the many hiking trails cutting across Monhegan. 

Two more hours to kill before your ferry arrives?  No problem.  Reward yourself with a cold, crisp beer from Monhegan Brewing Company, a family owned brewery located on the south end of the island.  If you have young ones, head towards Sand Beach instead to take a dip in the rocky waters, picnic on the white sand, or absorb the warmth of the sun.  Feeling brave?  Swim towards the wharf ladder and take a leap of faith from the pier.  If I observed a grandmother egging on her grandchildren to jump, I think you can do it. 

Maybe you’re itching for another day on the island ?  No problem.  Reserve a room at one of the nine hotels situated in close proximity to the village.  Grab some cheese and wine from The Barnacle and take in the sunset from a set of adirondeck chairs overlooking the still waters.

For more information, follow this link : http://monheganwelcome.com

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