Although most people associate lighthouses with the State of Maine, Maine is ranked number three for the states with the most lighthouses. Michigan and New York are ranked higher with the all of their lighthouses being built on the Great Lakes and fresh water river ways. Maine has the most number of lighthouses that are on the ocean waters in the US with a total of sixty-eight. Twelve of Maine’s lighthouses are in Midcoast Maine. Today the Coast Guard is only responsible for the lights themselves at the vast majority of Maine’s lighthouses. The structures themselves and the light keepers’ houses have been sold, given or leased to non-profits, municipalities or private citizens for upkeep.
We have self-guided lighthouse maps for the area’s local lighthouses that surround our Rockland, Maine bed and breakfast. Most of the area lighthouses are also open to the public for the Midcoast Lighthouse Challenge in June and Maine Lighthouse Day in September. Additionally, there are Lighthouse cruises and Lighthouse tours by air available in the area for lighthouse aficionados that want to see the many lighthouses not visible by land in the area.
At the turn of the century Rockland harbor was the 4th busiest harbor on the east coast because of the lime industry. The 25 foot lighthouse tower and 1902 structure sit at the end of a 7/8ths of a mile long granite pier that was built to protect the lime kilns and the majority of Rockland’s waterfront from storm surges. Today the structure is managed by the Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights. One can walk the granite pier year round but avoid 1 hour before and 1 hour after high tide. With global warming and depending on the height of the tide, there will be 20-1,500 feet that will go under water with each high tide cycle. The Friends open the inside of the house and tower to tours weekends and special event days late May through mid-October (weather permitting).
Owls Head Lighthouse and State Park: +44 05’ 30, – 69 02’ 36
Built in 1825 and situated at the mouth of the harbor atop a rocky headland 100 feet up, this little lighthouse is supposedly haunted by both a lightkeeper and his dog Spot. The Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights maintain the structure and open it to tours Wednesdays and weekends (weather permitting) late May through mid-October. At the base of the lighthouse in the old Coast Guard house is the American Lighthouse Foundations Interpretive Center.
Marshall Point Lighthouse +43 55’ 00, -69 15’ 42
Rising 30 feet from the edge of the water in the small fishing village of Port Clyde, this granite towered lighthouse with elevated footbridge was featured in the movie “Forrest Gump”. The lighthouse may be visited year round while the former lightkeeper’s house is now a museum and gift shop and is open from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
Curtis Island Light +42 12’ 06, -69 02’ 54
Guarding the entrance to the picturesque Camden Harbor, Curtis Island Light sits proudly near the keeper’s house. The lighthouse was re-built in 1896 and is best seen by boat or via a path off of Bayview Street near the intersection of Beacon Street. It’s light is now solar powered.
Indian Island Light +44° 9′ 57.00″, -69° 3′ 38.00″
This lighthouse was taken out of service in 1934 and is now privately owned. It is located on the east side of Rockport Harbor. The best viewing for this lighthouse is from Rockport Marine Park or by boat. The light was originally built in 1850 and stands 37 feet tall.
Pemaquid Point Light +43 50’ 12, -69 30’ 21
Built in 1827, Pemaquid Point Light is the lighthouse featured on the Maine State Quarter. Set on 270 degrees of striated rock formations the 38 foot tower is almost 80 feet above sea level. The keepers’ house is now a fabulous Fisherman’s Museum. The tower is open daily from 1-5pm Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
Grindle Point Light +44 16’ 54, -68 56’ 36
The current 39 foot tower was originally built in 1874 and decommissioned in 1934. The lighthouse was reactivated in 1987. The light house stands adjacent to the ferry slip on the island of Islesboro. The ferry runs year round (schedule varies with season) and is a 20 minute ride from Lincolnville Beach. The Sailor’s Museum in the old keepers’ house is open only during the summer season.
Fort Point Light +44 28’ 00, -68 48’ 42
Built in 1836 this 31 foot tower stands about 88 feet above sea leel and points the way to the Penobscot River and beyond. The light served as a critical beacon at the turn of the century when Bangor served as the busiest lumber port in the world. The keeper’s house is actively used as a Coast Guard station but you can enjoy walking the grounds and see sweeping views of the Penobscot River. The light is located in Stockton Springs.