POINTS OF INTEREST ON SWAN'S ISLAND
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|SWAN'S ISLAND LIBRARY
The island library was housed in the old Atlantic schoolhouse, which was bequeathed to the Swan's Island Educational Society in 1990 by Minna Geddes. Starting in 1990, major renovations to the old building took place, creating a beautiful, functional space to house the island's library. In July 2008, the library building was completely destroyed by a fire which started during an electrical storm on the island. It is believed that lightning struck the library's fire escape causing the fire.
From the ferry go 0.5 miles to T intersection, turn left, continue 0.4 miles. The library site is on the right. Total one way from ferry: 0.9 miles.
SWAN'S ISLAND LOBSTER & MARINE MUSEUM
The museum features antique fishing equipment and old-time fishing techniques for cod, haddock, mackerel, halibut, swordfish, herring and lobster. A century-long collection of lobster gear, historic navigation equipment, boat models and photographs are all on display. There is a Natural History Museum adjacent to the Lobster & Marine Museum.
The museum is located about 100 yards from the ferry dock in the Captain Henry Lee House.
The Indians used to carry their canoes across this narrow strip of land which connects the two parts of Swan's Island. Looking southwest, the view is of Toothacher Cove with Marshall Island and Isle au Haut in the distance. The view to the northeast is of Back Cove with the mountains of Mt. Desert Island beyond. A pebbly beach on the Toothacher side provides a nice wading spot. Masses of the seaweed, Irish moss, grow on the rocks just below the low tide mark.
From the ferry go 0.5 miles, turn right at T intersection, go 2.3 miles, turn right after Oddfellows Hall (large cedar shingle building on right). Go 0.5 miles, park in parking area on left, adjacent to the beach. Total one way from ferry: 3.3 miles.
FINE SAND BEACH
Fine Sand Beach is the jewel of Swan's Island. It offers unspoiled beauty for all to enjoy. The path to the beach proceeds through a forest of spruce and fir. The beach is best visited at low tide when the full expanse of the pure white sand is exposed. The sandy bottom is ideal for swimming and wading - the water is invigorating. At low tide many kinds of snails (whelks and periwinkles) are exposed on the rocks on either side of the beach and growths of Irish moss and kelp grow just below low tide. Harbor seals often bask on the outer ledges visible from the beach.
Follow directions to the Carrying Place. Continue north on the paved road and take the second gravel road on the left (up the hill and 0.4 miles from the Carrying Place). Continue down the gravel road for 0.7 miles and park in the parking area at the bottom of the hill. Take the path leading from the left (south) side of the parking area and go 0.5 miles to the beach. Total one way from ferry: 4.5 miles.
HOCKAMOCK HEAD LIGHTHOUSE AND BURNT COAT HARBOR
Hockamock Head Lighthouse was built in the 1800's and was operated manually until 1974 when the light was automated. The sweeping view from Hockamock Head (an old Indian name) encompasses Harbor Island (directly across the channel) along with Gooseberry and Marshall Islands off to the West. The lighthouse marks the entrance to Burnt Coat Harbor, one of the best protected harbors on the Maine coast. Its shelter provides anchorage for hundreds of fishing and pleasure boats. The harbor is the hub of the fishing and lobstering industry on Swan's Island.
From the ferry go 0.5 miles to T intersection, turn right, continue straight along the main road through the village of Swan's Island (3 miles). Burnt Coat Harbor can be seen on the left. Continue straight for .8 miles to the parking area at the lighthouse. The road is rather hilly for bicycles, but worth the extra effort for the views. Total one way: 4.5 miles.
The quarry was last operated in 1925 when granite was taken out on ships and used for cobblestones in major eastern cities.
From the ferry go 0.5 miles to T intersection, turn right, continue 1.8 miles ( a rather hilly stretch for bicycles). Turn left at the crossroads and go straight on the paved road through the village of Minturn for 1.5 miles. Bear right at the Y and continue on for 0.7 miles, bearing right again on the one-way loop road. Just as the road turns back away from the water, there is a road turning right, down to the Quarry Wharf, which offers beautiful views of Burnt Coat Harbor, Harbor Island, and the lighthouse. To get to the quarry, go back onto the main road and continue for a short distance. The quarry is visible high on the right and set back from the road. Turn right and go back to the parking area. (To leave the quarry, turn right from the quarry driveway and continue around the one-way Minturn loop road until it intersects the main road back to the ferry in 0.5 miles). Total one way from ferry: 4.5 miles.