Properties | Island
Some 25,000 years ago, Maine was covered with ice
thousands of feet thick. Since the big melt of that Ice Age, which formed the
many peninsulas, great bays and islands of the coast of Maine, since the
Pilgrims' very first landing in the New World on this "rockbound coast" (not at
Plymouth), since the mid-1800's when coastal steamers and trains began bringing
summer visitors - the coastline of Maine has remained one of the most
spectacular regions in the entire world, its natural beauty largely unspoiled by
man or time.
The coast of Maine, measured directly from one end to the other, is only 228
miles. So, many people are surprised to learn that Maine's shoreline (3,478
miles) is longer than California's (3,427 miles) and is only exceeded in length
by 2 continental states, Florida (8,426 miles) and Louisiana (7,721 miles of
mostly bayou country).
Additionally, Maine's coast has close to 3000 offshore islands - from small
granite ledges to Mount Desert Island which encompasses Acadia National Park.
Many of these islands represent the tops of mountains formed before the Ice
Ages. Most are uninhabited by humans, but all are natural habitats for small sea
life, seals, sea birds, plants and animals. Some have thriving villages serviced
by daily ferry service from the mainland. A few have only lighthouses. About
1,200 islands comprise an acre or more; roughly 600 of these, representing 95%
of Maine's total island acreage, are owned by individuals.
There are 3 distinct regions to Maine's coastal landscape. Three-fourths of all
visitors to Maine stay along the coastline and more than half of these go to the
SOUTH COAST, with its long, white sandy beaches interspersed with rocky cliffs
and resort villages. This region stretches from the Piscatagua River to
Portland's Casco Bay and includes the Yorks, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport and Old
Orchard Beach. The MIDCOAST region, the area from Portland to the head of
Penobscot Bay, is made up of a series narrow, rocky peninsulas jutting out into
the Gulf of Maine, each with its own feel and character. The DOWN EAST COAST,
from the Penobscot River to the Canadian border, is similar in geography to the
midcoast area with many outstretched fingers of rocky land and offshore islands,
but with a much more remote feel and unhurried tempo.
For people wishing to explore this dramatic coastline and learn more about its
history, we recommend the Maine Maritime Heritage Trail and/or the Maine Island
Trail. The Maine Maritime Heritage Trail has points of interest all along the
length of the Maine coast. The Maine Island Trail is a boating trail along 325
miles of public and private islands.
Maine's Islands List
Of Maine's 3000 coastal islands, this is a list of the 41 inhabited islands, in
alphabetical order. Just click on the islands name for more detailed
information. (courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)