Tag Archives: canoeing

The Anchorage You Might Have Missed: Burnt Island, North Haven

Off of North Haven Island, on its southeastern side, Burnt Island is waiting for you. It’s sitting there quietly with its long trails and its sizeable pebble and shell beaches. There’s even a dinghy dock, well-maintained and welcoming.


You can’t buy ice here. You can’t gas up your engine or fill your water tanks. I’m convinced, though, that this is a rare uninhabited island among the hundreds Maine has to offer. Why? It would take a couple days of your time if you wanted to adventure it completely.

The boys walking the trails of Burnt Island

Burnt Island, off North Haven

Burnt Island, off North Haven

Burnt Island, off North Haven

You’re not greeted by a laundry list of rules like the ones you’d find on Butter Island (complete with a couple of paid caretakers to be sure you’re adhering to them) or even the very polite rules you’d find on any Maine Island Trail Association island holdings. No rules. The respect for the place seems to be upheld by the beauty of the place.


I’m very sure you’ve already got some kind of list going if you’re traveling through Penobscot Bay, and that most of them involve the 5-star Maine Cruising Guide spots and the towns where you can get dinner. This stop is a little less obvious as a must-do, as it’s a town park for the town of North Haven, and people probably blow right past it to more obvious destinations. I’d encourage you to go here, though. This is what Maine’s coastline is all about, and I’m not sure about you, but it’s why I cruise in the first place. Imagine, you’ll be adventuring on an island that probably only a couple hundred pairs of feet touch during the summer season. Magic.



When you do stop by there, you could bring a little decorative something to add to the simply-built cabin there. A guest book will be wanting your thoughts and some evidence of your visit, even if you did forget to bring a trinket.

Burnt Island, off North Haven

Moss hangs from trees, trails bring you up and down and alongside hills, and there are plenty of picnic spots. We even harvested a few apples that we enjoyed in our oatmeal the next day. Enough said. Just get there already.

Burnt Island, off North Haven

Colin, Maye and I at Burnt Island