Step out our door, slip in mud. Walk through the garden, sink into the mud. Skip rocks at the beach, drop into the mud. It’s April on the coast and we’re making dents with every step we take. So it seemed like a good day to tell you about three islands you should consider visiting while you’re here. (thinking about water and land…you see the connection, right?)
#1 Sears Island
In the morning we watch it for the sunrise, in the evening we gaze at the moon cresting the ridge and in the fog we listen to the mooring bells protecting the ships making their way into Mack Point. Sears Island is just across from the campground, accessible by kayak, paddle board, car or bicycle…and completely uninhabited by humans. My buddy Ken wrote about it on this blog a few years back…every time he visits he heads there to jog the roads and the trails…and picnic on the break water. The Friends of Sears Island do an awesome job stewarding this 940 acre gem and if you keep an eye on their website they offer wonderful outdoor education programs for the entire family. You can even get a backpack from our local library that is specifically organized to better explore the island…without question, pack a picnic and spend the day. If you timing is good you can pick blackberries and blueberries for dessert. Interested in clamming? Steve leads a demo expedition every Sunday at low tide…once you know where to dig, all you need to do is get a license at town hall and you’ll be eating steamed clams in pasta every night!
Everything about the journey to Vinalhaven is pleasant. Catch an early ferry from Rockland Harbor and leave your car behind for the day…you can walk or ride a bike everywhere you’ll want to go once you land at the pier. The ferry trip is 12 beautiful miles and you’ll motor past tiny islands, iconic homes on spruce covered points, pods of dolphins and seals and more seabirds than you can name. When you get there you’ll be need to decide how to spend the day…swimming at the quarries? beach combing the sands at Lane’s Island Preserve? Pick buckets of blueberries for tomorrow’s pancakes? or rent kayaks from the local motel in town…on the other hand, you could choose to sit on a bench in the middle of the village and just watch the world go by until it’s time to head back to the mainland.
Before you go, you might check out this video for the pleasure of hearing the voices and stories of those who call these islands home. (North Haven is just across the thorofare from Vinalhaven). If you’re looking for a full day excursion that will delight and accommodate everyone in a multi-generational group you won’t be disappointed if you choose to head to Vinalhaven.
# 3 Deer Isle
Deer Isle and Stonington are quintessential destinations if you’re looking to visit Maine “off the beaten path.” If you enjoy driving through pretty country roads, stopping in picturesque villages and discovering a pebble strewn beach that isn’t even on a map, this is the destination for you. You could bicycle the peninsula but I wouldn’t…there’s not a two inch shoulder in many places. Stonington is the perfect destination to roll the windows down and just soak in the blueberry barrens, tiny farms and stop at every artist studio you can find. It takes grit to live this far down on the Bay and tourists are rewarded by a warm welcome from the folks who call this undulating land home.
Our tiny corner of the world can be boiled down to an equal lateral triangle. Each side is a collection of calendar perfect villages, all worthy of exploring and an easy drive from the campground…90 minutes to either vertex if you drive with intention, hours of pleasure if you let yourself wander…did I mention that there’s lots of breweries and fabulous food joints along the way? Ask us in the office and we’ll map out an itinerary just for you.