Monhegan Island, Maine

Written by Missy Johnston


Monhegan Island Harbor-Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Just 10 miles off of the coast of Maine around Boothbay, Monhegan Island is a tiny speck of land just about 1 square mile, and a terrific stop on a crewed yacht charter when cruising in Maine. This island can only be reached by boat, so visiting Monhegan Island by yacht charter is the perfect way to see this little tiny island just off the southern Maine Coast.


Monhegan Island Maine-Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Visited by John Smith in 1614, Monhegan Island was at that time prime native Indian fishing grounds. Not much has changed today as the year around residents, that number around 65 total, still predominantly make their living from the sea, both fishing and lobstering. There are no paved roads on the island and very few cars. The main harbor, which is a natural harbor offering good protection, is where local life centers, the fishing and lobster boats are moored, and where any incoming ferry boat or charter yacht arrives. Many of the homes of the residents are located around the main harbor, and for visitors there are cottages to rent.

Monhegan Island Local Homes

Monhegan Island Cottage-Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Sitting up on a bluff overlooking the harbor is the Island Inn, originally built in 1816, and extended in 1910 to the building seen today. A classic summer hotel from the turn of the 20th century once found on various New England Islands, the Island Inn today has large verandas from which to enjoy the scenery, and especially the sunsets over the harbor. With guest rooms all with private baths, a stay at the Island Inn is a feel of yesteryear, with more updated bath facilities. Only open in the summer, as there is no heat on the upper floors, all the rooms are furnished in antiques. The rooms do not have telephones, TV, or air conditioning and there are no elevators to the upper floors. The electricity that is available is produced on the island and therefore electricity conservation is requested. Island Inn dining focuses on fresh Maine summer fare and seafood. Besides the Island Inn, there are also several small cafes, a library, a one room school house, museum, little general store, and several small shops, mainly selling locally made crafts and jewelry.


Monhegan Island Inn-Photo Credit Missy Johnston

The speed of life on Monhegan Island is slow, and this is a great location for those that want to be away from it all. Nature on this island reigns supreme. Most of the undeveloped part of the island is protected with 17 miles of hiking trails. The hiking is terrific, through beautiful woods, and on trails that suddenly open to cliffs along the island edge, with the Atlantic Ocean waves pounding below. There are trails for all hiking interest levels; some that are quite steep and strenuous and others that offer a nice comfortable stroll. A wide variety of birds visit the island, and around the island perimeters, harbor seals can be seen. On a yacht charter cruising around the island watch for passing whales. And in these beautiful forests, along the trails of this tiny little island, keep an eye out for fairies and fairy houses, for while a sighting these shy fairies might be rare, fairy houses have been seen for generations in these forests. Any hiker on the right trails, with a sharp eye, will see various little fairy abodes in the woods in this magical area.

What to Discover and Enjoy on Monhegan Island, Maine

Monhegan Museum and Lighthouse: All about the history of Monhegan Island with artifacts on display. Also within is an art gallery with ever changing displays. Attached, is the lighthouse, built out of granite, which, if one climbs to the top, has an excellent view of the island. A Monhegan Island yacht charter maritime navigational aid.

Hiking: 17 miles of hiking trails are the highlight of this island. There are many trails throughout the island forests that open onto breathtaking ocean vistas. Be sure to look for the fairy houses along the trails, that have magically been part of these woods for decades. There are trails for all endurance levels, but do be sure to have good hiking shoes as in some spots the trails are little more than foot paths. Stopping on a yacht charter in Monhegan Island for an afternoon, a great hike can be had not far from the harbor.


Monhegan Island Forest Trails-Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Anchor off the island or in the main harbor for a visit to Monhegan Island on a yacht charter along the coast of Maine. Stop in one of the little cafes for a “cup a chowda”, or tea at the Island Inn. Visit the little shops, and hike some of the trails through the beautiful forests with stunning seascapes and with perhaps a sighting of a small little fairy house on a crewed yacht charter itinerary in Maine.


Monhegan Island Fairy House-Photo Credit Missy Johnston


Monhegan Island Fairy House-Photo Credit Missy Johnston