The state of Maine Coastal Island Registry has a database with 3166 coastal islands. The largest is Mount Desert Island and the smallest are ledge exposed above the mean high tide. Fifteen island communities are inhabited year round. Many island names are repeated. For example, there are 30 “Ram Islands,” 30 “Little Islands” and 20 “Bar” Islands.
With this many islands there are a number of ferries from Ocean Point Inn that provide transportation to and from the islands, especially in the summer. Visiting one of these islands by ferry is a great day trip. Each island is unique in its own way and that can be an education in itself.
Monhegan Island is about 12 nautical miles off the mainland. In the summer the Balmy Days out of Boothbay Harbor makes the trip daily. There is also a daily ferry from New Harbor in season and the Monhegan Mail boat leaves from Port Clyde. All three options will give you a great boat trip.
The Casco Bay Lines provide ferry service from Portland to six islands in Casco Bay every day of the year! The islands include Peaks Island, Little Diamond Island, Great Diamond, Island, Cliff Island, Chebeague Island and Long Island. Have lunch at the Diamonds Edge Restaurant on Great Diamond Island, Peak’s Café on Peak’s Island or Calder’s Clam Shack on Chebeague Island. Bring your bicycles and bike around the islands.
Matinicus Island is 23 miles out to sea making it the most remote inhabited on the Atlantic Seaboard. Life here is not for the weak or faint of heart! There is no year round store, no bars or restaurants, no doctors or police, no paved roads and only one industry. Life on Matinicus is a challenge. The M/V Everett Libby crosses from Rockland to Matinicus based on high tides. The ferry does not run daily so be sure to check dates online. It is sure to be an amazing adventure!
Vinalhaven is located 12 miles off the coast of Maine in Penobscot Bay. It is the states largest offshore community and has one of the world’s largest lobster fishing fleets. The Maine State Ferry leaves from Rockland. the ferry will take cars as well as bikes but be sure to make round trip reservations well in advance. Vinalhaven is a rich and varied island community providing many amenities for the 1200 year round residents.
Other islands with ferry service that make fun day trips from Ocean Point Inn include North Haven, Islesboro, Swan’s Island, Isle of Haut, Grand Manana and Deer Isle. Reserve your ferry ahead of time and have a real out island adventure.