The Town of Cranberry Isles in Maine consists of Great Cranberry, Little Cranberry, Sutton, Bear, and Baker Islands. It got its name from the wild low-bush cranberries that grow throughout the islands during the autumn season. Smaller than the commercially grown and harvested variety, they are still found throughout the islands in patches on the ground, not is bogs.
Great Cranberry Island is the largest of the Cranberry Isles off the southern end of Mount Desert Island. Access is by private boat or ferry service. Views of Mount Desert Island and the mountains of Acadia National Park from this vantage point are spectacular.
The most well-known village, Islesford, is on Little Cranberry Island. Acadia National Park has a maritime museum near the public dock there.
Islesford Public Dock GPS: 44.260545; -68.240048
When was the last time you got to walk to a shop or restaurant, or walked to a friend’s house and not seen any traffic at all? When was the last time you took a breath of some really fresh and invigorating air? When was the last time that you could walk around outside and hear the bird’s chirping, the squirrels and chipmunks chattering and rustling the leaves? It does not happen very often now-a-days. However, there are places that we can go to experience this. Visiting Acadia National Park certainly was a good choice. How about kicking it up a notch? Become a “rusticator” in a Maine sense. People have been making the trip here for well over 150 years to experience it first hand, and to “recharge” their creative batteries. The islands have a blend of craftsmen, boat-builders, artisans, artists, lobster-men, and seasonal visitors who likely are here for the same reason as us. In a sense, this is a larger community of kindred souls.
How to Get There & Other Stats
- Baker Island: Ranger-Narrated Boat Cruises
- NPS Schedule of Events
- Beal & Bunker Mail Boat and Ferry Service
18 Harbor Drive, Northeast Harbor, Maine
- The Cranberry Cove Boating Co.
(from Southwest Harbor & Manset)
(207) 244-5882 or (207) 460-3977
- The Delight Water Taxi and Custom Cruises
Seasonal service (early June to late September)
- Town of Cranberry Isles
P.O. Box 56
Islesford, ME 04646
- Great Cranberry Zip Code: Cranberry Isles 04625
- Little Cranberry Zip Code: Islesford 04646
- US Census Data:
Total area: 45.57 square miles (118.03 square km)
3.17 sq. miles (8.21 sq. km) is land.
42.40 sq. miles (109.82 sq. km) is water.
Challenges with Rewards
Anyone who lives on a small island off the coast of Maine quickly learns that it has its own unique challenges yet also provides its own special rewards. You certainly must plan well. But those things are usually basic and known. The enrichment that one receives when they suddenly discover that life is more peaceful, less hurried, and more appreciative of people and the surroundings, is a wealth that money cannot buy. This is the lifestyle of a seasoned artist and the aspiration of many people who seek out places like this along coastal Maine. How about saving some for yourself?