Ironbound Island with Mount Desert island in the background

Ironbound Island, Maine

Ironbound Island, in Winter Harbor, Maine, is a rugged looking island with a rugged name. Up close from a boat or kayak, you can see high granite cliffs and outcroppings. You may even see some nesting eagles. Kayakers, especially inexperienced ones, should know that the waters around Ironbound Island can be dangerous as it is exposed to open sea where the weather conditions can change quickly. Privately owned and protected by a conservation easement, it is located in Frenchman Bay between Mount Desert Island and the mainland portion of Winter Harbor.

Ironbound Island GPS: 44.391970, -68.133407

The famous American artist John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925) painted his well-known “On the Verandah” watercolor here. The painting showed Dwight Blaney, his wife, Edith and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, at their summer home on the island. Dwight Blaney (1865 - 1944) was a well-known draftsman and artist of his day from the Salem and Boston area of Massachusetts.

Ironbound Island can be viewed from a variety of places surrounding Frenchman Bay such as Mount Desert Island or the western shoreline of Winter Harbor or Gouldsboro, Maine. It covers approximately 831 acres and is a registered critical area for old growth pine.

Area History   Origin of Down East   Bar Harbor

Location map of Ironbound Island
Ironbound Island
Ironbound Island in Winter Harbor, Maine
Ironbound Island Cliffs


  • Bar Harbor Ferry: (207) 288-2984
    Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day
  • Schoodic Ferry: (207) 944-7379(207) 944-7379
    Late May through mid October
  • Town Office: (207) 963-2235
    20 School St., Winter Harbor, ME 04693
  • Public Library: (207) 963-7556
    18 Chapel Lane, Winter Harbor, ME 04693

This is a Rugged Island Befitting its Name

Greg A. Hartford, photographer, author, publisherFor obvious reasons, a kayak or other boat is the best way to view Ironbound Island and the cliffs on the eastern side. Other than this, I would suggest viewing with binoculars or a good telephoto lens from Winter Harbor or the section called Grindstone Neck. Not only is the view of the island rugged, having Champlain Mountain or Cadillac Mountain as a backdrop is difficult to beat. The best view is in the morning because later in the day the eastern side is in shadow. Do not let this stop you no matter what the time of day it is. The views are wonderful.