Buckle Harbor

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Photo: Shari Galiardi

Nestled on the eastern side of Jericho Bay just off York Narrows on the western wing of Swan’s Island, this unobtrusive but delightful small anchorage is easy to miss. The island is privately owned and part of the Maine Island Trail. Cruisers are welcome to land and hike the island (though not the adjoining Spruce Island), with the understanding that nothing is left behind and no camping is allowed.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Google Earth

Well-protected from prevailing summer southerlies, access to the anchorage is quite unobstructed from the north.

Buckle Island Google Earth

Buckle Island chart

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Proceed south into the small harbor until your depth sounder reads 15-20 feet, then anchor securely on a mud bottom. The harbor is fairly narrow, and it starts to feel crowded with more than 3-4 boats.

This aerial view of Buckle by Libby Simon gives a good perspective of the area.

aerial view of Buckle Island

Getting Ashore

Photo: John Butler

You can dinghy ashore to land on the small beach. There are a series of trails on the island. One trail basically goes around the shore and one is a one-way trail up to the north point. Trails can be accessed near the sign post and mailbox where visitors are encouraged to sign in. The western shore will reward you with a wonderful view of the expanse of Jericho Bay. Pets on leashes are allowed, but please pack out all solid pet waste.
Fires below the high tide line are allowed only with a state permit (207-827-1800).
If Buckle Harbor is full, a nearby alternative is located between Orono and Asa Islands. If that is not practical, we would proceed through York Narrows, and anchor anywhere suitable along the southern shore of Mackerel Cove.
The doorway on Buckle has been amusing visitors for decades. From the University of Maine’s Undiscovered Maine site: “This unique island is known for its various natural pieces of art and mementos left by visitors. The most famous is a green door between two trees that leads from a dark, shadowy path to a bright field.”

doorway on Buckle Island

seaweed covered shore
If there are no warnings about Red Tide, at low tide abundant mussels can be found under the seaweed.

Photo by Shari Galiardi


What CCA Members are saying:

Having spent one night of our honeymoon at Buckle so many years ago, we have a deep sentimental attachment to the harbor. It remains a real favorite at the shoulders of the season, when it is almost always otherwise unoccupied.

man with white beard wearing safety harness with icebergs behind him

Daniel Coit

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