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Photo: Jane Babbitt

High season in Camden or Rockport? Too late in the day for Pulpit Harbor? Need a slower tempo? A short hop to Islesboro might be the ideal plan. Isleboro offers scenic splendor and several good anchorages plus great views back to the Camden & Lincolnville Hills depending on the spot you pick.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Aerial of Islesboro's Gilkey Harbor(center) and Cradle Cove (right) by Dale Bruce with Frank & Libby Simon, pilots

From the south, leave green bell #1 off Ensign Island to port and proceed approximately NNE leaving Nun 2 off Minot Ledge to Starboard. At the north end of Seven Hundred Acre Island, continue on for about a quarter-mile before turning left into Cradle Cove to avoid shoals. If proceeding on to Warren Island, leave the red nuns 4 and 6 to starboard and finally turn left into Warren Island at Can 7.

From the North, find red bell 2 northwest of Warren Island, proceed approximately east about one-half mile, and turn right between Spruce Island and Warren Island. Be advised that while approaching Warren Island from red bell 2, you may very well encounter the ferry coming up from astern, or backing out of its crib and coming at you head-on, so be alert! If proceeding to Cradle Cove, leave Can 7 to starboard, give Spruce Island a bit of berth and nuns 6 and 4 to port before turning right into Cradle Cove.

Chart of Islesboro

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Dark Harbor Boat Yard in Cradle Cove: 207-734-2246 VHF Ch 9 and 16. Open 7 days a week in July and August. Gas, diesel, water are available at their dock, which can accommodate 8 feet draft at low tide. Be sure to come straight in from the mooring area following the private marks to avoid ledges on either side. Showers, Ships Store, and rental moorings available but not reserved. Plenty of room for anchoring with excellent holding. Walking on the town road on Seven Hundred Acre Island is permitted, but the rest of the island is private.

Warren Island has nine moorings ($20 per night; pay ashore) and a dock for landing dinghies. It is a State of Maine park accessible only by water and has a delightful trail network and numerous campsites. Day passes are $4 per person, but free for Maine residents over 65. Park manager Sandy and ranger Brian are very helpful.

Other attractive anchoring options will become obvious once you’ve surveyed the scene and determined what the weather has in store. A favorite of some CCA members is at the NW side of Cradle Cove near Birch Point. Be careful of the shoal areas near the point and along the shoreline.

Getting Ashore

Photo: Laura Babbitt

Warren Island State Park has a wonderful trail network and numerous camp sites. Campsite reservations open in early February.

Path on Warren Island


What CCA Members are saying:

A true jewel of a remote island in Penobscot Bay, we’ve never had a family outing there that wasn’t memorable. Remember to take money ashore for the state park's coffers (mooring and day pass)--well worth it! The sunsets from either Warren or Cradle Cove are magnificent.

Tom Babbitt

Tom Babbitt

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