In 2016, Down East Magazine published a story highlighting 12 spectacular Maine swimming holes.
They all sounded enticing, but one in particular really captured my attention: Green Island, with its swimmable quarry, not far off the coast of Stonington. I made a promise to kayak there, follow the trail to the quarry, and spend a summer afternoon frog-kicking in the water and jumping from the quarry’s edge.
It took four years, but I finally made it. And it was every bit as wonderful as I imagined.
Heather, PJ, and I were gifted ideal sea conditions for our paddle and a sunny and hot summer day that was well-suited for a swimming hole adventure.
Stonington Harbor was remarkably quiet that weekend. Let’s face it, all of 2020 was a bit off. Due to travel restrictions and passenger limits on their ferries, we also lucked out with easy parking on the Isle au Haut Boat Services wharf, right around the corner from the Colwell Boat Ramp.
Scoring two parking spots at Isle au Haut Boat Services, so close to the boat ramp, was particularly sweet since we were in Stonington the weekend after Old Quarry Campground officially closed. The campground was a popular public-access launch point into Stonington Harbor – the loss of it means paddlers will have a much harder time launching in the area.
Green Island is about 3/4 of a mile from the boat ramp. Both paddlers and boaters can access Green Island via a small cover on the eastern side of the island. The quarry is a short walk from there. We opted
Kayak to Green Island, swim in the quarry
Boat launch: Colwell Boat Ramp, Colwell Lane, behind Isle au Haut Boat Service. We reserved parking in advance at Isle au Haut Boat Services. To reserve, call: 207-367-5193
More info about Green Island and other preserves managed by Maine Coast Heritage Trust: www.mcht.org/preserve/merchant-row/