A rough cut gem

Day Trip: Monhegan

If Rockland/Camden area is the ‘Jewel of the Maine Coast’ then Monhegan is a rough cut gem of blue/green tourmaline.

Monhegan view

Monhegan view

Along with 100 plus other passengers, we awaited the call to board the Elizabeth Ann out of Port Clyde. It was a picture perfect day, 80 degrees and calm winds. Our mission, to hike the trails and see the cliffs on Monhegan

The Elizabeth Ann, Monhegan Boat Lines

The Elizabeth Ann, Monhegan Boat Lines

We enjoyed glorious scenery from the top deck. So many photo ops, so little time!

Port Clyde Harbor

Port Clyde Harbor

Amazing the great shots you can get from an iphone

Amazingly great shots from an iphone

Long view

Long view

After an hour and 15 minutes we were approaching the landing.

Approaching Monhegan

Approaching Monhegan

Not quite finished

Not quite finished

We arrived anxious to get on with our journey to the opposite side of the island and the cliffs. Not wanting to weigh ourselves with lunch, we began our trek up the hill on the wide path away from town.

First part of the trek, Burnt Head trail, #4

First part of the trek, Burnt Head trail, #4

My compadres and I were already feeling a bit of a burn from the long winter of inactivity. The path narrows quickly and we realize that this is going to be a challenging hike (for me anyway).

Path narrows

Path narrows

“This is the million dollar view right here,” exclaims Matthew. We are at the top of Burnt Head trail. I am so sorry but the camera does not do it justice, I guess you will just have to see it for yourself!

Contemplating natural beauty

Contemplating natural beauty

View from above

View from above

Along the far side of the island on trail #’s 1 and 1a, we encounter a high pool, wildflowers that stop us in our tracts, and a graveyard of bleached trees.

High pool

High pool

Wild roses

Wild roses

Graveyard of bleached trees

Graveyard of bleached trees

I have to hike up to where??!

High point, tip of Whitehead trail

High point, tip of Whitehead trail

Whitehead, Monhegan

Whitehead, Monhegan

Satisfied with our Mohegan cliff experience we head back to the landing by way of Whitehead trail, #7. Total hike, 2-2 1/2 hours.

Heading back, weigela

Heading back, weigela

Taking a few minutes to have a bite to eat before the Elizabeth Ann takes us back to the mainland, we discuss our impressions of the island. Open, exposed, the atmosphere reflecting light from the sun onto the mirror that is the sea, overexposed as in photography were some of the thoughts that came to mind…. but I was still searching for the words that expressed my feelings. “The salt air has had a preserving effect on the island, it feels like a snapshot of the past,” Matthew stated as we took in our last views of the port. I think he said it best.

Coveside Monhegan

View from landing, Monhegan

Notes for your next Monhegan trip: hiking the Burnt Head/Whitehead loop

Eat a late breakfast at the Port Clyde General Store, take the 10:30 boat. (Make sure to reserve ahead.) Bring a substantial snack and at least 2 bottles of water per person. Wear hiking shoes, hat, plenty of sunscreen, and bring a warm jacket for the boat. Everything on the island is more intense, sun, wind, heat, cold. Stop for a light meal and refreshing lemonade before heading back to the 4:30 boat. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Karen Olson

About Karen Olson

Karen Olson is an artist working in metal. Her blogs offer a global perspective, a celebration of art and culture. She 'lives like a tourist' in Midcoast Maine where she makes her home and finds inspiration for art and life in her travels. Follow her creative passion with Renuko Style at renukostyle.com and Coastal Collage, a Bangor Daily News Blog at coastalcollage.bangordailynews.com Karen's photography portfolio can be found at seeingartineverydaylife.com