The Beautiful Island of Islesboro Maine

Islesboro Island from the top of Mt Battie, Camden Hills State Park

Islesboro, a breathtakingly beautiful, quiet island off the coast of Lincolnville, is a 14 mile long, narrow island in upper Penobscot Bay. It lies 3 miles from Lincolnville and only 2 miles from the east shore. Penobscot Native Americans called the island Pitaubegwimenahanuk, which meant, “the island that lies between two channels.” The island has three major villages (and I use the term “major” lightly): Dark Harbor, North Islesboro, and Pripet.

Islesboro is accessible via a ferry out of Lincolnville Beach. The ferry ride only takes about 20 minutes, and costs $10 per person (prices are subject to change). Call (207) 789-5611 for more information.

Islesboro’s 2000 census showed a population density of 42.3 people per square mile, and though there was no census performed for the white tail deer population, locals wonder if the numbers would rival theirs. It is common to see deer all over the island at all times of day.

Islesboro is popular with kayakers, hikers, bikers, and people who just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of mainland life. The air is fresh, the scenery is priceless, and many people just keep coming back for more year after year. Islesboro is a place to rejuvenate and refuel.

Islesboro’s Grindle Point Lighthouse was built in 1874. The Sailors’ Memorial Museum is now housed in what used to be the lightkeeper’s dwelling. The Museum, which is only open in the summer months, features a unique collection of maritime and lighthouse memorabilia.

The Islesboro Historical Society also operates a museum in a building that first served as the Islesboro Town Hall, and later as the Island’s high school. This Museum is open during July and August.

Islesboro is also home to Warren Island State Park, the only Maine State Park accessible only by boat. There are no phones or electricity on Warren Island, so you may feel as if you’ve traveled back in time. This 70-acre island is only about a half-mile from Islesboro, and is equipped with a pier and dock, and a few courtesy moorings in deeper water. Warren Island offers 10 campsites and 2 Adirondack Shelters. Some of the sites are available by reservation through the Maine State Park Reservation System. Others are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Park is a birdwatcher’s dream, as the island is home to a pair of Ospreys, and there are also frequent sightings of Great Horned Owls, Great Glue Herons, ducks, loons, cormorants, and sandpipers.

Of course, some people do like to sleep in beds, and if you are one of those people, there are beds on Islesboro. Aunt Laura’s is an 1855 restored cape with rooms available for only $80 per night (prices are subject to change). Aunt Laura’s also offers two weekly rental units. Call (207) 323-2189 for more information.  Aunt Laura’s is also pet-friendly.

Presently, there are no restaurants on Islesboro, but the Island Market is located near the ferry terminal, and offers a variety of foods and beverages including homemade cookies and fresh pizza.

John Travolta and Kirsti Alley each spend parts of their summers on Islesboro, so it must be gorgeous, right?

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