Have you ever been somewhere so beautiful that you can actually feel your heart and soul bursting with true joy? I have been lucky enough to have seen many spectacular places in this world, but my most recent adventure simply rises above them all.
Ten miles off the rocky coast of Maine, lies a teeny-tiny island that is unknown to most. There are no roads, no cars, and no distractions. Here you can truly escape from it all, and enjoy nature in it’s purest form. This gem is called Monhegan Island, and it was so hard to leave. But with 400 beautiful moments captured with my camera, I have brought home many amazing photos to enjoy and share. To start, here are my top favorite memories from the island:
The Ferry Ride:
As we boarded the small ferry in New Harbor, ME to head out into the Atlantic Ocean, we were greeted with genuine warm smiles and helping hands with our luggage. I quickly thanked them, and loved their reply of “No worries . . . You are on vacation now.” I sat back, relaxed and watched the real world drift out of sight.
Almost an hour later as we were preparing to dock, just across the way lies Manana Island. This very small lush, green island is the only piece of land we can see from Monhegan Island, and is so picturesque. With just a few uninhabited old cottages adding charm to the landscape, it is a lovely sight.
The Island Inn:
As we carefully stepped off our ferry onto Monhegan Island, a short walk up a dirt path takes you to The Island Inn. This stunning destination is the largest building on the island, and is filled with charisma. However, since electricity is extremely expensive on the island, there is no heat, no a/c, and no televisions. Time for being one with nature to begin.
With limited amenities, those that choose to visit Monhegan Island are here for its unmatched beauty. This island is for true nature lovers. It is also a natural playground for artists, authors and photographers that love to capture it and write about it. You can feel the creative energy all around the island.
For those with children, you may be familiar with the book “Miss Rumphius,” written by Barbara Cooney. It is a delightful tale about a woman desiring to make the world a more beautiful place, so she would throw lupine seeds wherever she went. As a result, full fields of pink and purple lupines grew for all to enjoy. I felt like I was in that story. Never before have I seen so many gorgeous lupines as we walked along the winding dirt paths. Heaven.
Situated on the highest hill on the island, lies the Monhegan Island Lighthouse. Established in 1824, this lighthouse is operated by the Coast Guard and is on the National Register of Historical Places. And if the lighthouse wasn’t scenic enough, there are wooden benches scattered around the perimeter of the property to enjoy expansive views of the island . . . so peaceful.
Best. Hiking. Ever. The perfect combination of wooded trails, open fields of wildflowers, and rocky inclines all while enjoying the most incredible scenic vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. There are seventeen miles in all, and I loved every single step. Simply too beautiful for words.
The Enchanted Forest:
One of my favorite trails was the Enchanted Forest. This wooded trail was truly magical. Towering fir trees offered a perfect canopy to moss covered rocks and patches of bright green ferns. Along the path were carefully created fairy houses, made with natural objects found in the forest. They all seemed to illuminate with the filtered sunlight . . . truly enchanting!
Another favorite memory hiking were the nautical surprises you would find along the way. Buoys, driftwood, and even shipwreck ruins are scattered here and there and offer subtle pops of color and charm. They are also reminders of how powerful the strong Atlantic Ocean waves are that surround this tiny island.
While the island is enjoyed by visitors during the summer months, only 60 people live here year round. Thus, the “town” is quite small and very delightful. It consists of a handful of cottages and businesses including: a local market, a library, art galleries, a church and a one-room schoolhouse. There are also a few places to lodge and dine. Less is more.
Color at its finest. Free of pollution and haze, the colors at sunset are vibrant and intense. Everywhere you look is a photograph, as natural silhouettes offer gorgeous texture and shape. I snapped pictures until it grew dark, but the magic didn’t end. I looked up and above me were more bright, twinkling stars than you could ever imagine. The most wonderful way to end a most extraordinary day.
More to come . . . 🙂