If you love the ocean, and you love camping with a healthy dose of island life thrown in, then Warren Island State Park should be on your list.
Accessible only by boat, Warren Island lies just south of Grindle Point, home of the Islesboro ferry terminal. Islesboro “gave” the island (for $1) to the state in 1958 and it became a state park June 30, 1967.
Put your kayak or canoe on the roof of your vehicle and take the ferry from Lincolnville to Islesboro. Trying to paddle from Lincolnville is risky. You can outfit your boat at the beach adjacent to the ferry terminal and park just up the road. The half-mile paddle across the thoroughfare to the dock at Warren is short, maybe 10 to 15 minutes at a relaxed pace. Watch for motor boats and stay far away from the ferry.
Camping on Warren is practically luxurious, with fresh water and 5-gallon water cans available, large-wheeled garden carts to carry your gear, and a selection of a dozen, well-spaced campsites that include three lean-tos and three large group areas in the center of the 70-acre island. Last time I was there the firewood was free. Check out the back of the registration kiosk for items you may borrow during your stay — say a beach chair, a cook pot, matches etc.
Bird-watch, drink in the glorious sunsets over Lincolnville from the western shore, hike the perimeter trail, swim off the southern beach area (if you dare to brave the chilly waters) and paddle to your heart’s content around nearby Spruce or Seven Hundred Acre islands or a dozen more to the south (including Bermuda).
What’s really nice is being able to resupply at the Islesboro grocery store when you decide that one or two nights on the island are not enough.
Boat rentals are available by reservation. Boat rentals are $10 a day, weather permitting. Life jackets are provided. Reservations are required, call: 446-7079.
For information, visit http://www.state.me.us/doc/parks/parksinfo/warrenisland/index.html.