Picturesque Peaks Island

Take a Great Hike Peaks Island Maine

Not only a great place to bike and ride a golf cart, hiking Peaks Island is a fantastic way to spend the day. This hike on Peaks Island takes you to the fun, off-the-beaten paths of the tourist destinations of Peaks Island. A map of this hike on Peaks Island is at the bottom of this post.

There’s a fantastic hike on Peaks Island.

Most people arrive to Peaks Island via the Casco Bay Ferry. Catch any early ferry (here is the schedule) and make your way 20 minutes from downtown Portland to Peaks Island. Disembark the ferry and head off the dock. At the ice cream shop, take a left, and you’ll walk past the quirky Umbrella Cover Museum. If you don’t want to hike Peaks Island, here are 9 other fun things to do on Peaks Island.

Start Your Peaks Island Hike

Hiking Peaks Island is a picturesque way to spend the day on Peaks.

Stop in Hannigan’s if you need provisions, and then take a right on Lower A Street.

Ye Olde Trott Burial Ground is the oldest cemetery on Peaks Island.

Take a right on Herman Street and then an immediate right. On your left, you’ll see Ye Old Cemetery, also known as Ye Olde Trott Burial Ground. The cemetery dates back to 1700 when Peaks Island was founded. You’ll find about 10 readable headstones and PVC marking other headstones. This is the oldest cemetery (of at least 4) on Peaks Island.

Fresh Vegetables on Peaks Island

Continue around the cemetery, taking a left on Upper A Street. Follow that to the Peaks Island Community Garden. Started in 2008 and now a city-run garden, this vegetable producer pushes out about 20 plots of produce for the community and donates to Harvest for Hunger.

Towering Over Peaks Island

Walk to the back of the garden across the grass. There are picnic tables where you can enjoy a snack or a break. Continue down the back side of the garden on trail, making your way through the woods to the Fire Control Tower, once used in conjunction with Battery Steele. Built in 1944, it towered 60 feet. Now parts of the top are missing and it’s not accessible, but some of the graffiti on its sides make for interesting discussion.

The fire tower of Peaks Island
The fire tower of Peaks Island

Charge your Battery on Peaks Island

You’ll continue through the woods on trail toward Battery Steele. Keep your eyes open for markers denoting the Peaks Island Military Reserve Historic Trail. You’ll stay on the trail until you reach Battery Steele. Built in 1942, but now abandoned, Battery Steele was named after Spanish-American War and World War I veteran Major General Henry Lee Steele. He served in the 5th Artillery Regiment (Museum is later on this hike.)

As you approach the Battery, you’ll see that it has two ends to discover. The western end has a rope swing to enjoy while interpreting the graffiti decorating the walls. If you’re brave enough, you can walk through the tunnel to the other end of the Battery. Along the way, use your cell phone light to peek into the windows and rooms inside the installation.

When you’re ready, climb to the top of the Battery and see if you can view any of the three lighthouses from Peaks; Spring Point Ledge Light, the Portland Headlight, or the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (Bug Light.) Be careful of poison ivy on your climb up. See the image below to help you locate the trail that has a step ladder and somewhat safely takes you to the top of the Battery. If you can’t find it, you can find other more steep goat trails that also go to the top of the Battery.

A Weather Rock on Peaks Island

Once you’ve finished enjoying the Battery, take the trail toward the water and you’ll end up on the road that takes you back toward the ferry. But the hike isn’t over. There are several more things to see. First, you’ll come across the famous, yet kitschy, Peaks Island Weather Rock. See if you can predict how the rock will feel in the winter versus the summer.

Can you find the Peaks Island Weather Rock?

Continue along Seashore, and perhaps you’ll find the lovely home with the heart rocks. Watch for a big home on the island side with a wide set of stairs going to the door. Decorating the middle of the stairs are red flowers and on each side of the flowers sit heart-shaped rocks. There must be 20 of them. Whoever is collecting these heart-shaped stones has been working at it for quite some time.

A Library for Dogs on Peaks Island

Grab a stick, leave a stick. Balls encouraged.

Your hike on Peaks Island continues on Seashore, passing the other kitschy fun of the backshore, the dog library. Bring a stick, leave a stick. Balls are invited as well. Your dog can pick her favorite and enjoy it on her dog hike, which, of course, all hikes on Peaks are dog friendly.

As you walk along the shore, drop onto the rocks and search for Peaks Island sea glass. Along the way, you’ll also find several benches and lookouts to the lighthouses. If you haven’t enjoyed your sandwiches from Hannigan’s, now would be a good time to eat lunch on Peaks Island. Once satiated, continue along Seashore to the museum.

At the 5th Maine Museum which tells the story of Peaks Island and its military influence, you can follow through on the history of veteran Steele. Inside, you’ll find more about the 5th Artillery Regiment and the role Peaks and Maine played in the Civil War. Relics and documents are on display, and the museum has rotating exhibits each season. Inside is a bathroom for visitors, and outside you can take a photo of yourself in period dress.

Best Place on Peaks Island for a Sunset

If you’ve timed your hike right, it might be time for sunset. The best place to watch sunset on Peaks Island is on Picnic Point. Once you finish at the museum, continue on Seashore. Take a left on Long Point. At the end of the road, continue on the trail through the bushes out toward the water. You’ll make your way toward Picnic Point. Pull up a rock and enjoy the sunset. Or if your timing is off, Picnic Point is a super place to watch the comings and goings on Casco Bay.

Make your way to Picnic Point to catch a Peaks Island sunset

To finish your hike, walk back up the trail whence you came to Long Point. Take a left on Seashore and follow that back to the ferry. If you’ve followed the hike route in the map below, you will have hiked about 3.5 miles.

Map of Peaks Island Hike

Take a good hike on Peaks Island. Click the map for an interactive map to follow.

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