from Rockland Harbor
|Paddle Trip(A Level 3 Trip)|
|Western Penobscot Bay, off Rockland,
The Road Trip:
From the South: Take Route 1 north through Daramiscotta and Thomaston, and continue for apx. 3.5 miles north to Rockland. At the "T" intersection and stoplight in Rockland, turn right onto Route 73. Continue a few blocks, then turn left onto "Ocean Street." Follow Ocean Street a few hundred yards down to the parking area which overlooks the harbor. The parking area has signs advising visitors to "Keep this area clean."
From the North: Take Route 1 south through Lincolnville Beach and Camden. Continue for apx. 8 miles south to Rockland. Follow the one-way streets Continue a few blocks, then turn left onto "Ocean Street." Follow Ocean Street a few hundred yards down to the parking area which overlooks the harbor. The parking area has signs advising visitors to "Keep this area clean."
|The Paddle Trip:
Trip Summary: Combines a busy working harbor, ledges with seals, a historic lighthouse, and the rugged shoreline of an undeveloped island.
Distance: About 10 nautical miles (whole trip).
Paddling time: 3 - 4 hours .
The Launch: Carry your boat down the narrow footpath that leads to the packed sand beach. It will be a bit more of a walk down to the water at low tide.
The Route: Follow the shoreline south and then east, past Seal Ledges and Lowell Ledges. Continue east past the mansions and summer homes of Post Hill. Continue further east along the undeveloped "cobblestone" beaches of the northern side of Owls Head. As you round the high cliffs of Owls Head, turn south and southwest into Owls Head Bay. Continue past the fishing boats moored there before heading south / southeast to Sheep Island. Swing north along the shore of Sheep Island, head through the channel that separates it from Monroe Island, and then head northeast (counterclockwise) around the exposed cliffs of Monroe. As you reach the northern tip of Monroe, you will again see (and hear) Owls Head Light. Cut across the bay to Owls Head and then return by the route you came.
Watch Out for: While your route along the shoreline should help you avoid most of the boating traffic, you will still need to be on the lookout for boats, especially in Rockland Harbor, and as you cross to and from Monroe Island.
Tips: Expect fog here during the summer. On a rough day, you might want to remain in Owls Head Bay -- and avoid the eastern shore of Monroe Island. On the other hand, on a windy day you may have to avoid Owls Head altogether. Please listen to marine forecasts before departing on this trip, as conditions off Owls Head are likely to be very different from those in Rockland Harbor.
Natural Features: Seals on the ledges in southern Rockland Harbor; the rocky beaches of Owls Head; the high granite cliffs of Owls Head, and the rugged undeveloped shoreline of Monroe Island.
Other Landmarks: The Rockland Breakwater Light (rebuilt 1902) will be on your left as you leave Rockland Harbor. The high granite cliffs (to 100 feet) and Owls Head Light (built in 1826), which stands another 87 feet above them will tend to get your attention. Sheep Island has a large "CABLE AREA" sign on its western shore. A tall cement silo will serve as a useful transit to bring you back to your parked vehicle once you have entered Rockland Harbor.
Stretch Your Legs: The stone beaches near Owls Head Light are open for public day use. Monroe Island is part of the Maine Island Trail. Please contact the Maine Island Trail Association for information about day use and overnight camping on this island.
One Paddler's Story: April 20, 1999. Trip contributed by Ray Wirth.
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