Travel Resources - Maine Islands
Guides to Maine Islands
Enjoying Maine's Islands
This guidebook takes travelers to all the Maine islands that are accessible by public ferry. In addition to travel advice on planning around ferry schedules, packing enough warm clothing and when not to bring the dog, the book discusses the history, lore and legends of the islands. Note: A highly-recommended book about the Maine coastal region is Frommer's Maine Coast.
Some Maine towns are islands onto themselves. We've listed these below, plus some other significant islands, even if they aren't incorporated as towns. Additional islands are included in the Map of Maine Islands above.
Downeast Acadia Islands
Mount Desert Island : Mount Desert Island is the largest island off the coast of Maine and the sixth largest island in the contiguous United States. Home to Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island includes four towns. The four towns are Bar Harbor (with the villages of Eden, Hulls Cove, Salisbury Cove and Town Hill), Mount Desert (with the villages of Hall Quarry, Northeast Harbor, Otter Creek, Pretty Marsh, Seal Harbor some Somesville), Southwest Harbor (with the villages of Manset and Seawall) and Tremont (with the villages of Bass Harbor, Bernard, Gotts Island, Seal Cove and West Tremont).
Beals : Beals is an island town connected to the mainland by bridge across Moosabec Reach to West Jonesport. With a population under 1,000, it shares events with the neighboring town of Jonesport, such as the annual Moosabec Summerfest. For more info about this island town see Wikipedia.
Great Cranberry : Two miles long and about a mile wide, Great Cranberry Island has a population of under 50 and is the largest of five islands (Great Cranberry, Little Cranberry or Islesford, Sutton, Bear and Baker) that comprise the Town of Cransberry Isles. With no bridge to the island, it is reached by ferry from Southwest Harbor and by mailboat/ferry from Northeast Harbor, plus by several water taxis. For more info about the island, see the private Cranberry Isles website.
Little Cranberry : At 200 acres in size, Little Cranberry Island (Islesford) is the second-largest of the five Cranberry Islands. It is reached by ferry from Southwest Harbor and by mailboat/ferry from Northeast Harbor, plus by several water taxis. For more info about the island, see Little Cranberry's Community Sponsored Website and the private Cranberry Isles website.
Frenchboro : The Town of Frenchboro is comprised of 12 islands (Long Island, Black Island, Crow Island, Little Duck and Great Duck Islands, Drum Island, two Green Islands, Harbor Island, Mount Desert Rock, Placentia and Pond Island). The area is served by the Maine Department of Transportation's Frenchboro ferry running from Bass Harbor on Mount Desert Island (MDI). The Frenchboro Lobster Festival, a long-savored annual event, is held in August. For more info about Frenchboro see the Frenchboro Online private website.
Swan's Island : The Town of Swan's Island is a 13.9 square mile island with a year-round population of under 400 and a summertime population of about 1,000. Swan's Island is home to the annual Sweet Chariot Music Festival. The island is reached by ferry from Bass Harbor on Mount Desert Island. For more info about Swan's Island see the town's Official website.
Midcoast - Penobscot Bay Islands
Isle au Haut : Isle au Haut, located in Upper Penobscot Bay, includes portions of Acadia National Park (which encompasses about 60% of the island's 12.7 square mile land area). The population of Isle au Haut is under 100 and it is reached by mailboat ferry from Stonington (and in summers from Duck Harbor). For more info about the island see the mail boat website.
Islesboro : Located in upper Penobscot Bay, Islesboro is a narrow, 14 mile island between East and West Penobscot Bay. The population is slightly over 600 year-round residents. Islesboro is served by a Maine Department of Transportation ferry that runs between the island and Lincolnville. For more info about this Maine island town see Town of Islesboro.
North Haven : One of Maine's fourteen unbridged island communities, North Haven lies in Penobscot Bay approximately twelve miles from the midcoast city of Rockland. It is served by a Maine Department of Transportation ferry making three round trips a day from Rockland. The island's ferry link is of course dependent on the whims of wind and tide. Population is under 300, but swells in the summer with the arrival of summer residents. For more info about this island town see Town of North Haven.
Squirrel Island : Located off the coast of Boothbay Harbor, Squirrel Island is a summer resort colony (vacated during the winter due to the need to drain above-ground plumbing). There are no vehicles on the island, rather, it features a network of paved sidewalks. Island activities include beaches, tennis and boating. The island is served by a ferry (The Novelty of Balmy Day Cruises) with regularly scheduled trips between it and Boothbay Harbor.
Vinalhaven : Located in the Fox Islands, Vinalhaven was once famed for its high quality pinkish-gray granite. It is now a lobstering center with a population over 1,200, With no bridge to the island, Vinalhaven is reached by ferry from Rockland and by air taxi from the Rockland airport. For more info about this island town see the Vinalhaven Chamber of Commerce and Wikipedia.
Monhegan : Monhegan Island is about 1.75 miles long and 3/4 mile wide. It's population is under 100. The island is reached by ferry from either Boothbay Harbor, Port Clyde or New Harbor. For more info about Monhegan Island there are various private websites: Monhegan Commons and Monhegan Welcome.
Matinicus : Matinicus Island Plantation is comprised of eight islands in Penobscot Bay of which the largest, Matinicus Isle, is about two miles long by 1 mile wide and has a population well under 100. Matinicus Isle is reached by ferry from Rockland. For more info about Matinicus Isle see Wikipedia.
Criehaven : Criehaven is a .7 square mile island with no permanent residents, though there are summer homes and seasonal lobster-fishing families. The island is located south of Matinicus Isle in outer Penobscot Bay. For more info about Criehaven (also known as Ragged Island) see Wikipedia.
Lower Midcoast - Muscongus Bay Islands
Hupper Island : Hupper Island is an approximately 250-acre island. It is located just off the coast of Port Clyde near the mouth of the St. George River. For more info about the island see its private website.
Oar Island : Oar Island is a privately-owned 42 acre vacation island. For more info see its website.
Casco Bay Islands
Chebeague Island : Chebeague Island is located in Casco Bay, about 10 miles from Portland, Maine. The island is reached by the CTC Ferry to Cousins Island (which is connected by bridge to Yarmouth) and by the Casco Bay Lines. For more info about the island see the Town of Chebeague Island website, the privately run Chebeague site and Wikipedia.
Cousins Island : Cousins Island is connected by bridge to Yarmouth, Maine, of which it is a part. A ferry runs between Cousins Island and Chebeague Island to the southeast.
Cliff Island : Cliff Island is part of the city of Portland, Maine. Year-round residents number fewer than 100, but this doubles in the summer. The island is reached by a Casco Bay Lines ferry.
Great Diamond Island : Great Diamond Island is also part of the city of Portland. It's population is under 100 and it is reached by a Casco Bay Lines ferry.
Peaks Island : Peaks Island is still another island portion of the city of Portland. Year-round residents number about 1,000, but the summer population is about 6,000. Peaks Island is reached by a Casco Bay Lines ferry. For more info about the island see Wikipedia.
Long Island : The Maine island town of Long Island is 1.4 square miles in size and has a population of over 200. The island is reached by ferry service from the Casco Bay Lines.
Cushing Island : Cushing Island, though part of the city of Portland, is privately-owned and occupied by about 50 seasonal households (including seasonal renters). Known to current residents as Cushing's Island, it is served by the passenger ferry St. Croix, which departs from Long Wharf off of Commercial Street in Portland. For more info about the island see the private website and Wikipedia.