MMonhegan Island is situated 10 miles off the coast of mid coast Maine and is generally believed to be the first settled place in the state. Visited centuries ago by Basque and Portuguese fishermen, a plaque, adjacent to the island’s one room schoolhouse, commemorates a more recent visit in 1614, by John Smith, who was an English Naval Captain and Governor of Virginia.
In more recent times the island has become a center for fishing, a haven for artists, and a summer retreat for people attracted to its scenery, its flora and fauna, and its history. The island is now a home to a working lobster fishing village and an art community of international reputation. The Monhegan Historical and Cultural Museum, established in 1960, is housed in the old Lighthouse Keepers Cottage which, together with the adjacent Lighthouse, provides a record of its art, history, and the achievements of this remarkable island.
Monhegan, which is about 1.7 miles long and 0.7 miles wide, offers a an exceptionally beautiful environment, two thirds of which is protected as a nature preserve by the Monhegan Associates, an island trust which has accepted the responsibility of holding and maintaining the land in its natural form, for all future generations to enjoy. 17 miles of natural trails meander and climb throughout the island ‘wildlands’, through the forests and meadows, out to the headlands and along the coves and ledges. The cliffs on the east side of the island are some of the highest on the coast of New England and offer a magnificent panorama of the Atlantic. On the south end, Lobster Cove will show you the might of the ocean where the wreck of the D.T. Sheridan lies scattered across the rocks. Harbor seals can be seen on the Duck Rocks near Pebble Beach, migrating birds use the island as a resting place on their various journeys, and whales can be seen in their movements north and south. The sunsets and sunrises, both over the ocean, offer a magnificent display of nature's most unbelievable colors and, on a clear night, the display across the skies, of the heavens and their stars, glisten unpolluted by ground light and city air. The Northern Lights are also evident at certain times toward the end of the summer offering a ghostly shimmering of light across the northern sky.
Monhegan Island is a magnificent reminder of what nature has produced and we hope that you will be able to take the opportunity to visit and enjoy for yourself all that it has to offer.