Swan's Island, Maine   44˚8'3.49"N 68˚26' 50.44"W

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions


Can I rent the Keeper's house?
Yes. The Keeper's House at Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station has an upstairs apartment that is available for summer rental. Check it out at SwansIslandVacations.

The Keeper's House downstairs rooms are available for rental for private events. It is an outstanding venue for small weddings, wedding receptions, family reunions, birthday and anniversary celebrations, etc. For more details and rental policy, click here. To make a reservation, call 207-526-4025 or 207-526-4108.

Visiting the Lighthouse

Are light station buildings open to the public?
The Keeper's House has open hours in the summer months, with history and art exhibits. The light tower is open for climbing most days. Open days and hours are posted on this website and also on the FOSIL Facebook page. During the summer, the Keeper's House can be reached by phone at 207-526-4025.
Are the light station grounds open when the buildings are closed?
The light station grounds are open every day until sunset, as is the adjacent 20 acre Lighthouse Park. The Park has 1.8 miles of marked trails, and access to two beaches.


Where do I get the ferry?
The ferry leaves from the Bass Harbor Ferry Terminal, which is at 45 Granville Rd., Tremont, ME, phone 207-244-3254.
How often does the ferry run?
Most days, the ferry makes six round trips. The last ferry from the island back to Bass Harbor is at 4:30 pm. Be aware that ferry runs can sometimes (rarely) be canceled or delayed because of weather conditions, medical emergencies or equipment malfunctions. See Maine State Ferry Service website for timetable, fare information and phone numbers.
Can I bring my car to the island?
The ferry can take 17 cars. There are four reservations available for each ferry trip. You can make a reservation up to 30 days in advance. If you are bringing your car to the island, it is highly advisable to have a reservation both ways. If you miss getting your car onto the 4:30 ferry, which is the last ferry back to Bass Harbor, your car will be spending the night on the island.
I have a reservation to bring my car. What do I need to know?
Pull into the marked reservation area at the front of the ferry line, then go into the ferry terminal to confirm your reservation. You must check in fifteen minutes before the ferry's departure time. If you miss by even one minute, you will have to go to the back of the line. The clock in the ferry terminal is the one that counts. Play it safe, and be in line and check in at the service window at least twenty minutes before departure.
What do I need to know if I want to bring my car but have no reservation?
Pull in to the ferry line, then go buy a ticket. In the summer, the ferry line can be very long.
Is there parking at the ferry terminal?
There is parking near the ferry terminal at Bass Harbor and also on the island. During the summer months, there is a parking fee for the Bass Harbor parking lot. Pay inside the ferry terminal for your parking permit.
What do I need to know if I want to travel to the island without my car?
You do not need a reservation to be a walk-on passenger. You should be at the ferry terminal 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. If you plan to return to the mainland immediately (ie, a round trip without staying on the island) check out the Excursion Ticket fares, which are less expensive than a regular round trip ticket. See also Maine State Ferry Service Excursions. If you take the last morning boat to the island and the first afternoon boat back to the mainland, you will have about an hour and a half to walk around on the island.
What about bicycles?
There are about 20 miles of paved road on the island, and all island attractions are accessible by bicycle. However, roads are narrow and some are quite busy. Cyclists need to exercise care and observe the rules of the road.
Is transportation available on the island?
There is no bus or taxi service on the island.
Are dogs allowed on the island?
Yes. But dogs must be kept on the leash when on public property.


Swan's Island Lobster and Marine Museum
The Swan’s Island Lobster and Marine Museum, located about 100 yards from the ferry terminal on the island, has a unique collection of local artifacts that tell the story of the fishing industry on Swan's Island.  The museum is open June through September, Monday-Friday, 11am - 3pm.  For more information visit the website, find the Museum on Facebook, or call 207-526-4423


Are there places to stay on the island?
The Harbor Watch'Inn Motel, www.swansisland.com, 207-526-4563
Carter House B&B, 207-526-4198, or 207-266-0958
How about rentals?
The upstairs apartment at the keeper’s house is available for rental. Additional rental properties are available and there are listings on several websites. For local information, check out www.swansislandvacations.com, also on Facebook. Several properties are listed on the Town website, www.swansisland.org.


Are there boat charters or boat deliveries on the island?
Contact Capt. Jason Joyce, 207-479-6490. Haul a lobster trap, visit a seal colony, view eagles and porpoise around the outer ledges. 2 1/2 hour cruise, $500, up to 6 passengers. Take a trip to Marshall Island. Jason will drop you off and pick you up at an agreed time - $200. Also available -- very limited amount of June - Sept. all-day offshore whalewatch, cod/pollack/halibut fishing trips. Maximum 3 adults. $1200 per trip. All tackle provided, or bring your own. Boat deliveries by arrangement. Email: swansislandcharters@gmail.com or call Capt. Josh Joyce at 207-479-6490.


Are there places to camp on the island?
There are no public campsites on the island. There are Maine Island Trail Association campsites close to Swan's Island. These are pack-in, pack-out campsites (no facilities) that will accommodate one or two small tents. Contact Maine Island Trail Association for more information.
Are campfires allowed?
Campfires are allowed only with permission from the fire chief. In the summertime, campfires usually are not permitted.


Are moorings available?
Moorings are available in Burnt Coat Harbor (near the lighthouse) and Mackerel Cove (adjacent to the ferry terminal). Contact Josh Joyce (harbor master, 207-266-1937). Refer to standard cruising guides for more information on moorings and other secure anchorages around Swan's Island.


Are there places to eat on the island?
The island’s general store, The Island Market & Supply (TIMS) is open year round. TIMS offers takeout, and outside tables are available in warm weather. The address is 40 North Road. It is on the left, just past the Methodist church. Proprietors, Brian and Kathy Krafjack, 207-526-4043
The Island Bake Shop (207-526-4153) does not have regular open hours, but caters special events and will do baked goods to order year round (no eat in facility).

Distance from the Ferry

What is there to do that is close to the ferry landing?
Adjacent to the ferry terminal: Swan's Island Lobster and Marine Museum, see above.
Within 1 mile: The library, the school, the firehouse, and Saturn Press.
About 3 miles: Iver's Antiques, Oddfellows Hall, The Island Market & Supply (TIMS), Town Office and Post Office, Carrying Place Beach.
Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station is about 3.5 miles from the ferry landing. Refer to the interactive map for more details.


Are there shops on the island?
There is a small general store and takeout, TIMS (The Island Market and Supply) that is open year round. There are some small shops that open seasonally (Eye of Creation, Iver's Antiques, Blue Buoy thrift shop). See map for locations. The shops are not grouped in a single "downtown" area. Island florist and event planner, Island Dreamweaver, is available to plan special events (including catering), also for flowers, welcome or gift baskets, and floral arrangements. Call Tammy Tripler at 207-664-4898.
How about buying lobster and clams?
You can buy fresh, live local lobsters and clams and a variety of fresh fish at The Island Market & Supply (TIMS), 40 North Road. Fresh, live lobsters are also available at the docks. To buy clams directly from a clammer, check the bulletin board at the Town Office, or ask at the Fisherman's Co-op.
Where can I buy beer or wine?
Not on Swan's Island. This is a dry island. No alcoholic beverages are sold on the island, and no public consumption of alcoholic beverages is allowed.
Where can I buy gas?
You can buy gas at the Fisherman's Co-op or at Kent's Wharf.

Beaches and Hiking

Are there hiking trails on the island?
There are 1.8 miles of marked trails in the lighthouse park area. There is a trail maintained by Maine Coast Heritage Trust at High Head Beach. There is a right of way from Jericho Bay Road to Fine Sand Beach. There is a cross-island trail (Goose Pond Road) from Stanley Point Road to Goose Pond, and on to the Atlantic Road.
Are there beaches with public access?
There are four beaches with public access. Two are in the lighthouse park: Long Point Beach and Burying Point Beach. The other two, marked on the map, are Carrying Place Beach and Fine Sand Beach. Carrying Place Beach is the only beach that is easily accessible by car.
Are there any parks?
Millpond Park, on the Minturn Road, looks out across Burnt Coat Harbor. The Lighthouse Park on Hockamock Head has about 1.8 miles of hiking trails, and access to two beaches, Long Point Beach and Burying Point Beach.

Real Estate

Are there any real estate agents on the island?
Burnt Coat Harbor Real Estate, 207-526-4430.
Swan's Island Real Estate, PO Box 385, Swan's Island, 207-526-4249

Handicapped Access

Are there any handicapped-accessible places to visit on the island?
There is a short handicapped-accessible trail on Hockamock Head. About 150' long, it goes to the summit of Hockamock Head, where there is a natural stone bench and panoramic views. The keeper's house is handicapped-accessible from the light station parking area. There is a handicapped-accessible vault toilet adjacent to the Hockamock Head summit parking area. Picnic tables at Mill Pond Park are accessible. See map.

American Lighthouse Foundation Passport Stamp

Can I get a stamp for Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station in my American Lighthouse Foundation Passport?
Yes. You can get your passport stamped at the keeper's house when it is open. When the keeper's house is closed, stickers are available in the brochure box on the oceanside porch. Between mid September and mid June, the stamp is kept at the Town office.

Geocache Player?

Are there any geocaches on the Island?
Yes. There are several geocaches on Swan's Island, including at least one on Hockamock Head.