Favorite Places in Maine: Rockland Breakwater

Lighthouse lovers walked the mile-long Rockland Breakwater on Sept. 12 to tour the famous lighthouse and keeper's quarters during the inaugural Maine Open Lighthouse Day sponsored by the U.S. Cost Gaurd. maine Office of Tourism and American Lighthouse Foundation. Twenty-nine lighthouses from one end of the coast to the other were open to the public during the event.



CAPTION

Light house lovers walked the mile-long Rockland Breakwater Saturday, September 12, 2009 to tour the famous lighthouse and keeper's quarters during the inaugural Maine Open Lighthouse Day sponsored by the US Coast Guard, Maine Office of Tourism and American Lighthouse Foundation. Twenty nine lighthouses from one end of the coast to the other were open to the public during the event. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS /WALTER GRIFFIN).   (WEB EDITION PHOTO)
BDN
Lighthouse lovers walked the mile-long Rockland Breakwater on Sept. 12 to tour the famous lighthouse and keeper's quarters during the inaugural Maine Open Lighthouse Day sponsored by the U.S. Cost Gaurd. maine Office of Tourism and American Lighthouse Foundation. Twenty-nine lighthouses from one end of the coast to the other were open to the public during the event. CAPTION Light house lovers walked the mile-long Rockland Breakwater Saturday, September 12, 2009 to tour the famous lighthouse and keeper's quarters during the inaugural Maine Open Lighthouse Day sponsored by the US Coast Guard, Maine Office of Tourism and American Lighthouse Foundation. Twenty nine lighthouses from one end of the coast to the other were open to the public during the event. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS /WALTER GRIFFIN). (WEB EDITION PHOTO)
Posted July 28, 2010, at 6:11 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:21 p.m.
Map of Maine, painted in watercolor on rough paper. I have tried to represent the topography accurately, but keep in mind that this is a hand-painted image, with variations in texture and tone. Sharp, high-res scan. Useful for tourism ? add your own cities and areas of interest. I am the artist and copyright holder of this image.
Map of Maine, painted in watercolor on rough paper. I have tried to represent the topography accurately, but keep in mind that this is a hand-painted image, with variations in texture and tone. Sharp, high-res scan. Useful for tourism ? add your own cities and areas of interest. I am the artist and copyright holder of this image.

Don’t own a boat but want to get out on Penobscot Bay? If so, it’s hard to beat a walk on the Rockland Breakwater.

The breakwater, a rock jetty with a relatively flat, 20-foot-wide surface, juts seven-eighths of a mile across the broad mouth of Rockland Harbor, making the large anchorage safe from easterly and northeasterly seas.

Work on the breakwater began in 1890 and concluded in 1899. A temporary beacon was moved as the work progressed. In all, 768,774 tons of stone were used and the project cost $880,093.

The lighthouse, a local icon, was built in 1901. A local group is working to restore it.

During exceptionally high tides that coincide with high seas, waves often break over the rocks, particularly near the end, so consulting a tide chart is in order on such days to avoid getting wet feet.

The walk is not recommended during very cold spells when the rocks may be icy, or when the wind is howling, making it difficult to walk without leaning. In fact, though you may be tempted to scan the bay and harbor, attention must be paid to your footing; every year or so, someone breaks a leg by stepping between the large granite rocks.

Still, on a fine summer day, it’s a beautiful stroll. In the spring, seal pups have been seen, lying on the outcropping rocks, while mother is off fishing. People, too, fish from the breakwater, and you’ll witness lobster boats working their traps and the Vinalhaven or North Haven ferry chugging past the tip.

From the parking area to the lighthouse and back is a pleasant, level 2-mile walk that is bracing and beautiful.

— Tom Groening, BDN Staff

Getting there

From the north, turn left off Route 1 after passing the Glen Cove vista in Rockport onto Warrenton Street. Follow the road as it winds east then south past the entrance to the Samoset Resort, and turn left onto Samoset Road. Parking is available along the fence that marks the resort boundary. A trail crosses a small beach then leads to the breakwater.

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