Isleboro and Vinalhaven

My younger son and I explored Maine's coastal islands this weekend, visiting Isleboro on Saturday and Vinalhaven on Sunday.  


The ferry to Isleboro runs every hour from Lincolnville, and only takes 20 minutes to make the crossing.  One thing I noticed on both the Isleboro and Vinalhaven ferries was that many people remain in their cars or in the cabin of the ferry during the crossing.  I stayed outside and was rewarded with views of harbor porpoises, seals and osprey.

Once on Isleboro, we visited the Turtle Head Preserve.  This is a small but beautiful preserve with expansive views of Penobscot Bay.  The preserve is at the end of Turtle Head Road.  There is no sign until you reach the parking lot for the preserve, and Turtle Head Road is marked as a private road.

Here is a trail map from our hike.

View from the northern tip of Isleboro in Turtle Head Preserve

The trails through Turtle Head Preserve are well defined.
After grabbing lunch at the local grocery store, we visited the Grindle Point Lighthouse.  There is a small museum (free, donations accepted) but the main attraction is climbing up inside the lighthouse itself.  From the top of the lighthouse there are 360 degree views of Isleboro, Warren Island, the ferry terminal and Penobscot Bay. 

View from atop Grindle Point Lighthouse.


The ferry from Rockland to Vinalhaven takes 75 minutes.  (Useful note: call a day in advance to get a "line number" from the Vinalhaven terminal, since you will need that to leave the island.)

Our first stop on Vinalhaven were Little Tip Toe and Big Tip Toe Mountains.  These are short hikes that lead to excellent views.  Little Tip Toe overlooks Crockett Cove and Isleboro.  From Big Tip Toe, you can see West Penobscot Bay and the mountains around Camden.  We parked at the small parking lot near Little Tip Toe and walked from one to the other along a trail.  Here is a map of our hike.
Summit of Little Tip Toe.

View from Little Tip Toe

View of Camden Hills from Big Tip Toe

Both summit trails were short but steep.  This is the trail to Big Tip Toe.

Sitting on top of Big Tip Toe enjoying the view.

After touring the island and getting lunch, we headed to Lanes Island Preserve.  Lanes Island Preserve is a coastal preserve with views of the island's rocky shoreline and access to a small sandy beach and picnic area.  A series of trails run through the preserve.  Here is a map of our hike. 

There is little shade along the trails at Lanes Island Preserve.


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