Monhegan Island is located in Muscongus Bay, 10 miles off the nearest mainland point with about a square mile of land. It has 12 miles of walking trails through its forests and cliffs. In the summer, professional and amateur artists flock here to join Monhegan residents, producing art in a variety of mediums. Monhegan’s first lighthouse was constructed in 1824. Manana Island is just over 200 yards to the east of Monhegan. Nestled between the two islands is Monhegan Harbor.
- Island Farm Project
- Monhegan Associates trail system
- Lobster Cove and Whitehead
- Monhegan Lighthouse
- Monhegan Island Sustainable Community Association
- Monhegan Memorial Library
- Monhegan Museum of Art & History
- Monhegan Volunteer Fire Department
- Trap Day
- Swim Beach
- Winter Works craft cooperative
With almost 60% self-employment on Monhegan, there are many small businesses which are supported by both year-round residents and tourists in the summer season. Also, unlike most of Maine, Monhegan’s lobster season is closed from June to October to regulate the resource. For this reason, many islanders work jobs in multiple economic sectors, switching with the seasons.
Monhegan Island School serves pre-K through 8th graders in their one-room school house. Students are given a lot of individual attention and are encouraged to seek out subjects they are passionate about from a young age. The school is an active participant in the Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative. After the 8th grade, students attend school on the mainland.
Without a grid tie to the mainland, the quasi-municipal Monhegan Plantation Power District historically generated all of the community’s electricity with diesel fuel. In 2016, a power station upgrade that includes a solar array and cleaner burning microturbines significantly reduced emissions. Islanders have also significantly reduced their electricity and heating use though community-wide initiatives for weatherization and lighting upgrades. *Through participation in the Home Energy Savings Program.
Community surveying concluded that having high- quality connection to reliable, high-speed internet is essential to business and visitor activity, as well as ensuring access to 21st century educational and health resources. A community committee has been working toward a solution to connect the entire island to broadband. In 2019 they obtained an infrastructure design and submitted a grant application to the USDA for network construction funding.
Sea Level Rise
A breakwater protects the only year-round, all-weather wharf for Monhegan. With increased storm damage and sea level rise, the breakwater is at risk of failing, with the most recent significant damage occurring in 2015. Monhegan is working on a Sea Level Rise resiliency plan for the breakwater and the other infrastructure that is at risk.
How to get there
In the summer, Monhegan can be reached from three ports: Port Clyde (60 min ride), New Harbor (50 min ride), and Boothbay Harbor (90 min ride). In the winter, the only year-round access is with Monhegan Boat Line three times a week out of Port Clyde. These are passenger ferries only. Monhegan has approximately two miles of dirt road, on which visitors primarily travel on foot, however, there is some motorized traffic to be aware of while walking on the island roads.