On Saturday morning, we woke up at the crack of dawn and caught the first ferry to Monhegan. For those who don't know, Monhegan is a tiny island only twelve nautical miles off the coast of Port Clyde. There are no cars, and it boasts a population of under 100 people. It has always been a destination for artists, who travel from all over to be inspired and try their hand at depicting its beautiful scenery. Eager to check it out, we boarded our quaint little boat and sipped our hot coffees as we raced the rising sun across the ocean.
I did a little bit of research before arriving, but since there isn't really a town or any specific things to see, we kind of flew in blind. We had heard on the ferry over that the back side of the island was the place to go, so we set off. We started by walking up to the lighthouse for a view of the harbor. We then cut across the island on the Alder #6 trail until we hit Gull Cove, and were blown away when we emerged from the woods to this view.
Already hot and sweaty (and with warnings that there were no safe places to swin on the trail), we took advantage of our newfound watering hole and jumped in to cool off. I know this picture looks green screened guys but it's not! This little cove was so peaceful, deserted and beautiful it was like something from a disney movie. In fact this whole island felt like the set of Moonrise Kingdom in the best way possible.
We hiked along the coast until we hit Squeaker Cove. Because we were grossly underprepared (I was in Birkenstocks and we only had one bottle of water), we decided to turn in to cross the island through Cathedral Woods. And man oh man, these woods were sooo peaceful. The entire forest floor is covered in soft moss and the trees just tower over you. To make matters even better, we stumbled upon a literal colony of fairy houses. I'm talking like fifteen fairy houses, each one different and unique and perfectly constructed (see a prime example below).
After emerging out of the woods, and now very sweaty and hungry, we popped over to The Barnacle to pick up sandwiches and headed to Swim beach to cool off. After a good swim, and plenty of obsessing over the mountain goats on the neighboring island, we meandered through town before hopping on the ferry home. I loved all of the quaint, old Maine cottages...they were all complete with beautiful gardens and had me itching to check out the interiors!
There are a few other spots that are worth mentioning that we didn't really spend time investigating. The Island Inn is the largest building on the island and towers over the harbor. I've heard nothing but great things about staying here and would be curious to check it out for a night or two next time I visit. We also passed by the Monhegan Brewing Company, which is a fun activity if you're looking for something to do after hiking. There are plenty of other fun things to do as well including yoga and painting classes, kayak and boat rentals and just continuously exploring the island. Everything on the island is quite expensive, so I would recommend bringing along a picnic to enjoy mid hike (and lots of water)!
I cannot stress enough how beautiful Monhegan is and how absolutely worth it is to make the trip. Although we only stayed for the day, I felt like we got a really good sense of the island and saw everything that we wanted to see (it is tiny after all). I can easily imagine spending a summer here or even better, growing up coming here every summer. I feel like you enter another state of mind when you step off of the ferry and onto this island. There is something so simple and nice about the fact that you have to carry everything on with you, and the only roads you travel by are for your feet.