North Haven Maine
North Haven Island - a small island community in the middle of Penobscot Bay
North Haven is a small island (about 9 miles long and 3 miles wide) located in the middle of Penobscot Bay. North Haven is one of only 14 remaining year-round un-bridged islands in Maine. It is separated from the better-known Vinalhaven by a mile-wide strait of water known as the Fox Islands Thoroughfare.
In fact, North Haven was once simply the North Island of Vinalhaven. It was set off from Vinalhaven and incorporated in 1846 as Fox Isle. In 1847, the name was changed to North Haven. Today, North Haven is its own distinct community, but one that still lives and works closely with its neighboring Vinalhaven.
North Haven is accessible thanks to the Maine State Ferry System. A ferry runs to North Haven from Rockland, which is about 12 miles away. The trip takes about an hour in fair weather. The three daily departure times are: 9:30, 2:15, and 5:15. Call (207) 596-2203 for more information. Equinox Island Transport also offers service to North Haven. (207) 236-6890. You can also reach North Haven via air taxi from the Rockland airport. (207) 594-0747.
North Haven is a tiny, tightly-knit community with a year round population of only 350. The island community is home to the smallest school district in the State of Maine. The North Haven Community School serves grades K through 12 and has a total enrollment of about 70 students.
There are two choices for lodging on North Haven:
Our Place Inn and Cottages, located about two miles from town, is open year round. The establishment is comprised of a 19th Century farmhouse and three separate self-contained cottages. Call (207) 867-4998 for more information.
Nebo Lodge is open June through December. Nebo Lodge is owned and operated by U.S. Congresswoman and North Haven resident Chellie Pingree. Breakfast is included with a stay at Nebo Lodge, and dinner is also available, as is a full bar. Nebo Lodge also offers free wireless Internet access. Call (207) 867-2007 for more information. What else is there in North Haven? Quite a bit, surprisingly.
The North Haven Arts and Enrichment at Waterman’s Community Center is a non-profit organization that includes a 134-seat theater, state of the art sound and lighting equipment, a spacious community room for special events, and a popular coffee shop. They offer a wide range of programs year-round. They also offer several summer camps for children.
The Carrier Ceramic Art Gallery is open for regular hours during July and August. During the rest of the year, the gallery is open by appointment. The pieces in the gallery are created and fired in Silvia Carrier’s studio space, which is adjacent to the gallery..
There are three restaurants on the island, one of which is open year-round. There is a small grocery market, a public library, a medical clinic, and a post office. There are also two gift shops, several public beaches, and an award-winning 9-hole golf course.
Throw in the historical society museum and the Saturday morning farmer’s market, and there’s plenty to do in North Haven. Still, most summer visitors spend their time lounging and relaxing, or biking and birdwatching. Life is lived at a slower pace in North Haven.
Photos by Elisabeth Burnett. We would like to thank Elisabeth Burnett for granting us permission to use her images of North Haven. You can view more images of North Haven and Maine by visitng Elisabeth's Flickr page.