Hurricane Island

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Photo: Courtesy Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership

West of Vinalhaven lies fabled Hurricane Island. Once the industrial site of the Hurricane Island Granite Company, where hundreds of stonecutters and their families engaged in the granite trade, Hurricane re-emerged in the 1960s as the Outward Bound School hub. Since 2009, Hurricane Island has been the seasonal home of the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, which runs week-long marine and island ecology courses as well as sustainability and leadership programs. They have built the first offshore field research station in Penobscot Bay and have also established a 3.2 acre experimental marine research site at the north end of the island through a lease from the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The researchers are exploring aquaculture with a focus on scallops, with kelp and oysters being grown and studied as well.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Courtesy Hurrican Island Center for Science & Leadership

The Hurricane Island floating dock and mooring field are located on the island’s east side. If approaching from the north, be careful to avoid the ledge encircling the island’s aquaculture research site on the north end of the island. Coming from the south and southeast, be careful to avoid an unmarked ledge running north to south between the mooring field and the rest of Hurricane Sound. The best approach is from the northeast.

An aerial view of the Hurricane Island facility and dock.

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Hurricane has several guest moorings on the island’s east side and a small dinghy that is available if you need to travel between your mooring and the float. Please notify us ahead of time if you wish to reserve a mooring as they are first come first served otherwise, and do fill up for events and weekends.

When making a reservation include the following in email to [email protected] :

  • Boat name
  • Type (power, sail, other)
  • Length
  • Owner name/someone who will be on board
  • Phone number
  • Intended length of stay (day use, overnight, multi-day) to the best of your knowledge

There is plenty of space on the main pier for visitors to tie up a dinghy, and they are welcome to come ashore! The friendly staff will greet you at the dock and direct you to the many trails to explore. They are happy to answer any questions about the educational programs, aquaculture research, and sustainability systems that power the island campus. Time alongside the floating dock is restricted due to the frequent island traffic, especially during the peak of summer visitors and summer programming. Moorings are available for a recommended donation: Overnight – $25  Day use – $15

Getting Ashore

Photo: Courtesy Hurrican Island Center for Science & Leadership

Visiting boats are welcome to land their group ashore at the floating dock if space allows and then take a mooring and row to the dock. Dinghies should be tied on the north side of the float. The trails pass by fascinating remnants of the industrial quarrying era and through pristine spruce and moss-covered woodlands to a high cliff lookout over the southeastern bay. Leashed pets are welcome, and all visitors are invited to explore the island. Trail maps are available at the dock house, where you will be asked to sign in.

People going up and down the ramp to a dock where a boat is tied up.


  • Hurricane Island maintains a Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) site on the island’s north end for members of MITA. Call ahead to make a reservation: 207-390-5253
  • Hurricane Island hosts a series of special ticketed events throughout the season, including farm-to-table dinners, afternoon picnics, and evening cocktail gatherings open to the public. Check the website to purchase tickets or register for special events.
  • Depending upon the program schedule, it may be possible to schedule a private tour of the sustainability systems (solar, compost, water, wastewater, gardens), a history hike, or a short science demonstration with the Hurricane Island aquaculture researchers. Please contact Jen Mathews, Director of Advancement, [email protected] for more information.
  • Reservations are not required; however, if you would like to reserve a mooring or check availability, please call the Island phone: 207-390-5253


Hurricane Island is a day stop, and while safe, it’s not a calm, protected anchorage.

Consider the White Islands or Long Cove for nearby overnight anchorages. Both are covered on this site. Nearby Carver’s Harbor is 99% lobstermen, landing what NOAA notes is the third-largest catch in the USA, measured in dollar value – lobster. While there is a well-stocked store, you might not find a mooring, and if you do, you will undoubtedly be aroused before sunrise by the many lobstermen heading out.


What CCA Members are saying:

Having spent my college summers of 1964 and 65 on the island constructing the Outward Bound buildings, it's a delightful walk down memory lane, and remember those 40 young men who were with me then. Hurricane Island is a fascinating and beautiful day stop in settled weather. Be sure to introduce yourself to staff.

Brad Willauer

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