New Harbor and Monhegan Island, ME

Shaw's Wharf
Moving further south along the Maine coast, we planned our next stop in New Harbor.  The intend was to explore this region and couple it with a few days visit on Monhegan Island via the Hardy Boat Cruises located at Shaw’s Wharf.   The Wharf also provides the opportunity to buy lobsters, at the local coop, fresh off the boat in the afternoon as the boats come in. 

Locating our lobster source and securing our boat reservations, we checked out the nearby Pemaquid historic area.  In 1908, a replica of the stone tower at Fort William Henry (1692-1696) was built.  This had also been the earlier site of Fort Charles and was later the site for Fort Frederick.  All were attempts by the English to secure this area, but the local Indians and French easily overtook the first 2 forts.  Local revolutionaries tore down the third fort, in 1775, to prevent the English from occupying it.  

The nearby Pemaquid Lighthouse and former keeper’s home, now the Fishermen’s Museum, are located at Pemaquid Point, which extends out into the Gulf of Maine.  The Lighthouse is one of the most painted and photographed along the coast and the Museum provides a history of the areas fishing industry. 
Entering Monhegan Harbor
Boarding the ferry the next morning, we bundled up in multiple layers in order to ward off the 45-degree temperature and 15-20 mph winds.  The rocky seas were turning a few of the guest a little green on the 1-hour cruise to Monhegan Island, but we arrived with no problems. Paved roads do not exist on the island.  The only vehicles seen are trucks owned by various hotels or bed and breakfast, which are utilized for carting guest’s luggage to the accommodations, not the guest.  Walking is the only way to get anywhere on the island.

Purchasing a trail map on the ferry, we were ready to explore as soon as we arrived.  The tiny island is only 1.75 X .75 miles but there are 17 miles of trails that lead to gorgeous overlooks of ragged shorelines being battered by the surf.  Monhegan Island has long been regarded as an artist’s colony, and it seemed that half the visitors we passed on our walks were carrying professional grade cameras, tripods, easels or painting gear.  Alan brought along his paints and paper and spent part of the afternoon painting from the 160-foot cliff at Whitehead.  While exploring the island, we also walked up to Lighthouse Hill to check out yet another lighthouse; this one was built in 1824.

As the tourist season comes to an end after Columbus Day, the lobster and fishing industry come alive.  Evidence of their influence on the island is seen as you wander around the gravel roads.  Lobster traps are stacked and boat lines are rolled and ready to go back into action soon.  The lobstermen have instituted a self-imposed season in order not to conflict with the ferries bringing visitors to the island from mid-June into October.

Having failed to make prior reservations, our venture out to the island was a day trip only, and 5-hours after our arrival, we had to be back at the dock.  Next time, we’ll plan a little better.
Going incognito on Monhegan
Our lunch spot on Monhegan

On Monhegan Island

Pemaquid Beach

Pemaquid River

New Harbor

Hardy Ferry

Goats living on nearby Manana Island

On Monhegan

On Monhegan Island

On Monhegan Island

Overview of Monhegan Harbor

Monhegan Lighthouse

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