Part I of LandVest’s multi-part series highlights some of our favorite islands, harbors, conserved locales, anchorages, and watering holes.
The Pemaquid Peninsula is one of the many ‘fingers’ of land extending from the major arterial U.S. Route 1. Located in the southern Midcoast region of Maine, the Pemaquid Penisula includes the towns of Bristol and South Bristol, as well as the small fishing villages of New Harbor, Round Pond and Pemaquid. Residents of this region enjoy the unique and perfect balance of being a short drive from the bustling city of Portland yet enough removed to retain the peace of a classic Maine coastal village. Both visitors and residents can enjoy the numerous activities available on the peninsula; here are some of our favorites:
Christmas Cove was named by the great English Explorer Captain John Smith who anchored off its shore for the month of December, 1614. Situated on the protected waters of the Damariscotta River, Christmas Cove requires a little extra effort to reach, but the beautiful scenery and quiet atmosphere make it well worthwhile. If traveling by boat, take advantage of the plentiful moorings available through Coveside Marina [come early for limited dock space] and enjoy the dining and nightlight at the popular Coveside Restaurant [accessible by car too], featuring live reggae music on certain summer evenings.
Pemaquid Beach is a favorite among locals. The beautiful uncrowded stretch of sandy beach offers clean, clear water perfect for swimming and wading. Looking for something extra? Visit the Pemaquid Watershed Association’s Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center which hosts a touch tank and workshops during the summer. Then traverse the historic site of Fort William Henry, originally built in 1692 and destroyed during a battle in 1696.
Don’t miss the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park, commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1827. Located on the first floor of the lighthouse is the excellent Fisherman’s Museum. When you are done there take a stroll around the grounds and enjoy the expansive views of Muscongus Bay and John’s Bay. Follow that up with the hiking trails maintained by the Pemaquid Watershed Association, an extensive network that includes over nine miles of trails through preserved land with over two and a half miles of protected shorefront.
Located six miles east of the village of New Harbor, Eastern Egg Rock is home to over 150 pairs of nesting puffins. During the spring and summer, birdwatchers, both avid and amateur, travel to the small protected island to observe these birds as they feed their young and dive and swim in the surrounding waters. Need a ride? Hardy Boat Cruises operates daily seasonal tours departing from New Harbor.
If you are looking for something off the beaten path, tourists and locals have long been attracted to the lore of Witch Island, a reference to the island’s first and only resident (who also died there) the female financier known as the Witch of Wall Street. This 18-acre wildlife sanctuary is reachable by kayak or canoe and is rumored to be haunted.
Interested in living here? Please view a selection of our available properties: