The Islands of Casco Bay are sometimes called The Calendar Islands as it is said you could explore a different island each day of the year. While there are fewer than 365, the islands offer visitors a chance to enjoy a slower pace of life, where the salty air whisks away your cares and the only thing to keep in mind is the ferry schedule.
For a one-of-a-kind adventure, the Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) has mapped a route from the New Hampshire border to Machias Bay and their handy guide offers details on places to explore and wildlife to watch for along the islands of Casco Bay.
The Casco Bay Lines, offers year-round ferry service to the larger islands and allows islanders to live year-round off the mainland. Its schedule allows for easy planning of your island adventure.
Hop aboard for the short 20-minute ride to nearby Peaks Island where there’s a thriving artist community, restaurants, and sandy beaches. Rent a bike to explore the island or circle the shore in a kayak.
Continue on to Great Diamond Island for a walk around the former parade grounds of Fort McKinley and see how former military buildings have been transformed into stately homes and a fine restaurant.
Spend the day traversing the nature trails along Long Island’s large conservation area or relaxing on its sandy beaches. There’s no hurry to catch the last ferry as the island offers overnight accommodations.
Chebeague Island is easily accessible by ferry from Portland or the
Chebeague Transportation Company (CTC) out of Cousins Island in Yarmouth. Once on the island, challenge yourself to a golf match and find out how the breeze of Casco Bay affects long drives. Stay the night and wake to coffee on a veranda and sweeping views of the island as the salty breezes whisper promises of another beautiful day.
Cliff Island is the smallest year-round island in Casco Bay and the last stop for Casco Bay Lines ferries. Visitors enjoy bicycling on the island's dirt roads. There is a general store with fuel for boaters, and a year-round market with a café serving breakfast and sandwiches Memorial Day weekend through September.
Time spent on the islands of Casco Bay is as relaxing or as adventurous as you wish.