Sunday, October 28, 2012

Peaks Island Day Trip

double lighthouses viewed from 20 min ferry ride to peaks
Double lighthouses viewed from 20 min ferry ride to Peaks island.

I lived in Southern Maine for 5 years before I ever took the trip out to Peaks Island.  I missed out.  It is the perfect outing for those looking for a change of scenery, casual seaside stroll, or bike ride.  This is a great idea for a fall outing since the crowds have cleared and you can expect a quiet, quaint island.
Ferry comes into Peaks Terminal
Ferry comes into Peaks Terminal

Follow this recipe for a perfect afternoon on Peaks....

10:10 am - Arrive in Portland.  Park and walk to the Ferry terminal.
10:25 am - Purchase ferry ticket.
10:40 am - Board Ferry to Peaks.
10:45 am - Ferry departs Portland.
11:05 am - Arrive at Peaks. De-board.
11:15 am - Walk up road and turn right on Island Ave.  Go to  The Peaks Island House for and early lunch and drink on the deck overlooking Casco Bay. 
12:15 pm - Exit the restaurant walk the island... This is a 4 mile stroll.
  • Continue walking down Island Ave, 
  • Turn left on New Island Ave
  • Right on Whitehead St. - You'll pass the 5th Maine Regiment Museum on your right.
  • Right on Seashore Ave which will take you down to the shore.  
  • Continue walking on Seashore Ave. You'll pass views of beach, quaint island homes, and rocky shore.
  • You will continue on Seashore Ave as it winds back into the inland island.  Continue past Pleasant Ave and wind down to Island Ave.
  • Stay on Island Ave until you return to the main part of town.  
  • Return to Ferry terminal.  
    hiker strolls along Seashore Ave
    Stroll along Seashore Ave
2:30 pm - Finish walk and grab a coffee at Peaks Cafe near the ferry terminal.
2:40 pm - Board ferry back to Portland.
2:45 pm - Depart back to Portland.

Bike Option:

- Rent a bike at Brad's Island Bicycles.  Bring cash.  This is an honor system in the off season and comes with a island map.  Once off the ferry, you can get to Brad's by walking up the road and taking a left on Island Ave.  Brad's will be about a 10 min walk on the right.  Address: 115 Island Ave., Peaks Island, ME.  Phone: (207) 766-5631

More advice for Peaks...

map around peaks
Map by google maps
- Check out the ferry schedule at  It usually departs Portland once an hour with some exceptions.

- The ferry is very affordable.  It is currently $7.70 round trip ($4.10 off season) with $6.50 extra if you are bringing a bicycle on.   Show up to ferry a 20 minutes prior to departure to get your ticket and get to your gate.

- There is a parking garage at the ferry terminal, but passengers shouldn't expect this to have open spots during the high season of summer.  Other options are street parking or other City of Portland garages which can be found on the Casco Bay Lines website under parking (here).  

- The ferry ride to Peaks takes 20 minutes one way and you will likely see lighthouses, islands, and lobster/fisherman hauling their catch. 

- Once on the island, you'll discover that the businesses are almost all near the ferry terminal.
biking peaks island
Biking is another option