South Freeport – Harraseeket River

43° 49′ 37″N , 70° 5′ 42″W

Freeport

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Photo: Courtesy of Eric & Valy – Flying Point Oysters

South Freeport in the Harraseeket River, first settled in 1700, is one of the most sheltered and welcoming harbors on the coast of Maine. Offering easy access to shopping and all your boating needs, South Freeport is Freeport’s water access. Located in the innermost reaches of Casco Bay at the head of Broad Sound, and about 18 miles east of Portland, the harbor offers easy well-marked access in any weather, including thick fog. 

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Courtesy of Eric & Valy – Flying Point Oysters

Tidal currents run strong through the small “gut” entrance. The preferred and most clearly marked way in is just to the west of the small island–appropriately labeled Pound of Tea–lying just inside a red flashing buoy marked R “4”. Leave it to starboard and follow the narrow channel leaving three green cans to port guiding you through clear water directly into the harbor. Once past the last green can, head straight down the center of the mooring field, and you’ll find both marinas dead ahead.

Aerial view of Harraseeket River with many boats moored and fog creeping in.

There is a “locals only” entrance leaving Pound of Tea to port but don’t try it unless you’re following a returning lobster boat and don’t care if you might nick a wayward ledge.

Click the chart to open Navionics

Not to be used for Navigation .


Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

As you approach the village, you’ll pass the Harraseeket Yacht Club to port. You cannot reach the yacht club on VHF, though both marinas, Strout’s Point Wharf Company and Brewer, sit on Channel 9. At both marinas, guest moorings are available for hire. Occasionally dock slips may also be available. Before COVID, Brewer ran a launch service that may be up and running again by the time you arrive.

Harraseeket Yacht Club encourages visitors from other yacht clubs to drop by and say hello. Look for their gray shingled clubhouse and dock system closest to the west side entrance, below the castle tower. HYC has one guest mooring with a capacity for a vessel of not more than 30 feet. Anchoring is not permitted in the harbor.

VHF

Ch 9 for Strouts Point and Brewer Yacht club does not monitor VHF

FUEL

Both marinas have marine diesel & ethanol-free gasoline

WATER

Both marinas and HYC

ELECTRICITY

Both marinas

SHOWERS

Both marinas

LAUNDRY

Both marinas

WIFI

Brewer with a password for guests

PUMP OUT

Both marinas

SERVICES

Both marinas are full-service yards and able to obtain ship’s stores

TRASH

Both marinas take transient trash

MEDICAL

ConvenientMD Urgent Care, Brunswick, ME · (207) 424-2272 See Portland description for more options

MORE BOAT AMENITIES

Getting Ashore

Photo: Strouts Point Wharf Company

You can dinghy into both marinas or the yacht club and walk to South Freeport village.

Walking through the village, which was once home to four well-run shipyards, you will pass numerous lovely New England homes where ship captains and their families lived in local splendor. The town has always supported a healthy lobster, clam, crab, and groundfish industry and was once the site of a successful ice farm. You can still see the pilings that mark the outside wall of the tidal ice pond to the left of the Yacht Club, where many boats have fled to escape the ravages of bad storms like 1953’s Hurricane Carol.

Downtown Freeport, home to LL Bean and numerous other shoppers’ delights, is a pleasant 3-mile hike. Dan, who drives AB Cab (207-865-2222), is available for a lift to Freeport, Yarmouth, Portland, or anywhere else you might want to journey. Brewer offers a courtesy shuttle to Freeport and the Portland Jetport.

Bow Street Market, a barn-style building with open doors and cars parked in front

Photo: Courtesy Bow Street Market

Provisioning

Provisioning – there are three good markets for shopping in Freeport:

  • Bow Street Market is a great small locally-owned shop with friendly, helpful service where you can find almost anything you need, including the best wine and liquor selection outside of Portland
  • Shaw’s – your typical large chain store. located south of downtown Freeport on Rt. 1
  • Royal River Natural Foods is a wonderful small health food market with good veggies and many specialty items you can’t find elsewhere. Located farther south of Freeport on Rt. 1

red picnic tables in front of red restaurant building with white trim

Photo: Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster

Dine Out

Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Co. offers good fresh seafood right on the wharf between the two marinas. The South Freeport Village Market, located just a short walk down Main Street from the marinas, is in the process of reopening under new ownership and should be offering breakfast, lunch, and sundry goods again by the 2022 season.

There are quite a few good restaurants and local brewpubs in Freeport — all worth a visit. Take your choice from Buck’s Naked BBQ ribs and the Maine Beer Company on one end of town to the Harraseeket Inn’s lovely Broad Arrow Pub at the other. In between, you’ll find almost any kind of fare you fancy.

You can buy fresh oysters from Flying Point Oysters direct from Eric & Valy’s house…an easy walk from the marinas up Main Street them straight through onto Pine Street. Their place is just past the graveyard on the left…sign says “Fresh Oysters”…$1/Best deal in town!

aerial view of Wolfe's Neck Center.

Photo: Courtesy of Wolf’s Neck Center

Hikes

Across the river, on Wolfe’s Neck, you can visit a working farm at the Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment. The farm was given to the University of Maine by the Smith family in 1985. It was later turned over to the Wolfe’s Neck Farm Foundation, a nonprofit educational resource and home to the Future Women in Agriculture program where 14- to 16-year-old girls come to study sustainable farming. Nearby is Wolfe’s Neck State Park, with many walking trails leading to the sea.

Entrance to LL Bean store with giant Bean Boot in front.

Photo: Courtesy of LL Bean

Other Things To Do

You can visit the Freeport Historical Society “uptown” and read all about the town’s colorful history. This includes sawmills, brickyards, a granite quarry, and several well-known shoe factories, including Eastland Shoes plus the world-famous LL Bean — still open 24 hours/365 days a year. Another landmark is the 40-acre Desert of Maine recently under new ownership, where you can take a tour of the remarkable naturally-formed desert created 11,000 years ago when a glacier slid through town.

Of course, no visit to Freeport would be complete without a saunter through LL Bean’s flagship store, where you can see trout swimming in a pond under a waterfall and giant moose decorating the walls. Bean regularly offers outdoor summer concerts with some A-list musical guests.

 

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