Mackworth Island: Where your snowshoes meet the sea!
The 1.25-mile loop trail around Mackworth Island is a sweet spot to take the family and/or the dog in warmer months. It’s also a stellar spot for an easy-going snowshoe, complemented by views of Casco Bay and a snow-covered fairy village.
It’s a beginner-friendly place to get into the swing of snowshoeing – the trail is flat, the scenery is outstanding, and there are benches along the way to sit and take it all in.
The island is decidedly quieter in the winter than it is in the summer months, when the parking lot is often overflowing with cars. In the winter, it’ll feel like you might be the only person on the island. And you might be. Then again, you might meet fellow snowshoers along the way (or at least see evidence of their visit left as snowshoe or boot prints in the snow).
It’s a fine little getaway close to home – only a few minutes from Portland but it feels separate from the busyness of nearby Route 1.
And it’s worth swinging through the fairy village on the island, where visitors use sticks, leaves, shells, and rocks to construct small houses for area fairies. Those magical creatures don’t travel south for the winter, so they need winter shelter…and maybe some help shoveling.
Access from Andrews Avenue, off Route 1 in Falmouth (follow signs for Governor Baxter School for the Deaf, which is on Mackworth Island, but closed to the public).
1.25-mile coastal loop around the island
There is a fee to use the trails ($3 Maine resident, $4 non-resident, $1 seniors). Pay at the booth when someone is there or at the “iron ranger” pay station near the start of the trail just off the parking lot.
Dogs on leash are welcome.