Pulpit Harbor

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Photo: Jane Babbitt

Pulpit is one of Maine's classic "must-see" harbors. It's a safe anchorage in nearly all conditions, has beautiful surroundings, and offers mesmerizing views of the Camden Hills at sunset. And it's centrally located on the coastal route up and down Penobscot Bay.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: William Trevaskis - Flickr

Entering the harbor, be sure to keep Pulpit Rock (where there is usually an osprey nest) to starboard. Also, note the somewhat shallow water to port, off the fields and modest houses on that shoreline. The harbor opens up as you proceed.

aerial view of Pulpit Harbor at dusk

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

You might find room to anchor in the first cove to the right, called Cabot Cove, but you won’t see the sunset and the cell reception is weak. In the main harbor, anchor outside the moored boats in 16-20 feet of water where the holding in mud is excellent. Thayer’s Y-Knot Boatyard has installed a rental mooring, about three or four boats in from the outer edge of the mooring field–it says “Thayers” in big letters. Their phone is 207-867-4701. All other moorings in Pulpit Harbor are private; do not pick one up unless you have permission from the owner. If you see people on a local boat, you might ask them if they know the owners of open moorings.

Getting Ashore

Photo: Public dock by Maggie Salter

The Public Landing is the last dock on the left before the road bridge. Leave your dinghy on the eastern side of the float or the smaller float. DO NOT leave your boat on the face dock; that’s for lobster boats. The water here is not potable. There is no place to leave trash here.

For lobsters, call or text April Brown at 207-542-3894. For an extra fee, she will even cook them for you.

Adam Campbell has built an oyster and lobster float/cabin to sell oysters, lobsters and clams in Pulpit Harbor. It will be open Fridays and Saturdays from noon to sunset. Call on low power VHF 09 to order. His plan is to have a skiff at the float to deliver to boats. Eventually he will have a propane stove on the float to cook lobsters with prior arrangement.

Pulpit is a calm harbor — great for dinghy rowing, paddleboarding and kayaking. And socializing boat-to-boat.

The island has its own webpage, where you’ll find additional information, some of which may actually be useful to a visiting boater.

North Haven Conservation Partners maintains a lovely trail from Pulpit Harbor along the Mill Stream (the extension of water beyond the bridge in the harbor). You can start on the mowed path in the field next to the parking lot, or turn right out of the parking lot and walk to the intersection. Walk across the bridge and look for a blue circle with a yellow stripe painted on the road. Go up the stone stairs and you will be on the trail.

This is the only “official” hike within a close distance, but walking the nearby roads is pleasant. The road heading NNE from the public landing (North Shore Road) leads past lovely pastoral views, many of which open up to see Penobscot Bay and across to the Camden and Lincolnville shorelines.

It’s a two-mile walk to North Haven Village. It is more easily accessed by water from the Fox Island Thoroughfare. If you ask around, chances are good you’ll find someone willing to drive to town or back to the landing in Pulpit, but in COVID times, that may be less desirable.

Dock with dinghies on one side and a lobster boat on the other; boats are moored in the background.

Schooner anchored next to rocks, people rowing a dory in the foreground.

Schooner entering Pulpit Harbor, photo by Scott Marx

If you need medical help, North Haven has a medical clinic staffed by nurses from Maine Health/PenBay Medical Center in Rockport. The EMTs and an ambulance form a mobile medical unit. Everyone we know who’s needed it has reported excellent service. Phone: 207-867-2021

If you walk across the inlet bridge and turn left up Middle Road, you’ll come to North Haven Oysters on the left. Someone is usually around to give you a sample — if you plan to buy a few.

North Haven Inn & Market (207-867-2233) is a half-mile walk from the Public Landing. Turn right from the dock and walk to your first intersection; turn right and walk up the hill to the store. Under new ownership, this is a well-stocked grocery with beer, wine, ice, and all regular grocery foods. Open every day from 6 am to 7 pm, they serve pizza in the afternoon and coffee and goodies in the morning. You can email them your order at [email protected] or call them at 207-867-2233, and they hope to have enough staff to deliver to the dock. They will even fill large provisioning lists, but call to arrange for that as it will require deliveries from the mainland. Place your order for fish on Tuesday and they’ll have it by Thursday after 4:00. The Market has some indoor tables with excellent WiFi.

If you are up for a long walk, go past the Market and out Crabtree Point Road to Foggy Meadows Farm (207-867-4625). Doreen Cabot sells homemade jam, pickles, fabulous salsa, frozen lamb, dilly beans, and incredible ice cream (ginger is my favorite). Self-serve and be prepared to pay in cash. Doreen will often come out to chat. Fanny, her Corgi, is the official greeter.

All island dining options are in North Haven Village and listed separately on that page.

In June, the approach to Pulpit Harbor (on the NE side) is adorned with THE most magnificent display of lupines — a beautiful but controversial plant, which you can read about at nps.gov/articles/000/lupine.htm. For many reasons, lupines find Pulpit Harbor to be their “Happy Place” — hopefully you will too!


Photo by Maggie Salter on June 14, 2022

Other Nearby Harbors/Anchorages:

Namely North Haven, Southern Harbor, Perry Creek, Calderwood Island


What CCA Members are saying:

It's a safe anchorage in all conditions, has beautiful surroundings, and offers mesmerizing views of the Camden Hills at sunset.

Maggie Salter, CCA Member and North Haven Summer Resident

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