One of those things that are right in our backyard that we just haven’t gotten around to doing, Peaks Island is one of the many things on our adventure list. We finally got around to it a few weeks ago.
Just a short fifteen-minute ferry ride from the Old Port, Peaks Island exploded in popularity in the early 19th century and became known as Maine’s Coney Island. It even featured an amusement park similar to its namesake in Brooklyn. Nowadays it holds about 800 year-round residents, but that swells to close to 3,000 on any given summer day. So being the crowd-haters we are, Colleen and I went over during the very first week of the season when the crowds were still quite small.
We hopped on the 9:30 ferry across Casco Bay, tickets for both of us cost under $20, where we were treated to gorgeous views of the Bug Light, Fort Gorges, Portland itself, and the other islands in the bay.
We landed on Peaks and immediately began looking for bike rentals. Peaks has plenty of golf cart rental services if you’re into that, but Coll and I opted for the bikes.
We found one about three blocks from the ferry port, where we picked out two winners and dropped our rental fee in a wooden box. The honor system reigns supreme on islands.
From there, we took a couple hours to meander around the whole outside of the island. The rocky coastline and smooth biking was just amazing and really made the day that much better. I doubt you get the same experience rolling around the island in a golf cart.
One of the coolest things we did was visit the Battery Steetle, an old structure on the back half of the island. An old military fortification, its built right into a hillside. Climbing to the top to catch the view of the coast from way up was nice, while the spooky three hundred foot pitch black hallways below were not. The graffiti wasn’t bad either.
We got back around to the ferry port, ate a delicious lunch at Peaks Café, then did a little backtracking to Sandy Beach. One of the nicest beaches on the island, we were able to find a ton of sea glass and take a few spins on the rope swing hanging from a tree on the beach.
We finally returned the bikes and hopped back on the ferry home at around 3pm.
Overall, you can’t beat a trip to Peaks on a beautiful, sunny day. I’m sure in the summer it gets overall congested as any tourist spot does. But on this day, it was pretty close to perfect.