More than once, as you’re booking your campsite or simply perusing the campground info online, you’ll be reminded: “This park is an island.”

It’s an appreciated heads-up for folks who might not realize that they’ll need their own boat (paddle-powered or motorized, your choice) to get to Warren Island State Park. I wonder how many would-be visitors were left scratching their heads at the Isleboro Ferry Terminal wondering how in the dickens they were going to get over to the state park, easily in view but impossible for any car to travel.

But that’s one of the amazing things about Warren Island State Park. It’s a getaway you can only get to by boat.

Walking the perimeter of the Warren Island State Park. Shannon Bryan photos


The ferry passing by Warren Island on its way to Islesboro.
Our moonlit campsite on Warren Island.

I had the pleasure of crashing a friend’s annual Warren Island weekend, and I’m kind of hoping I get invited back every year henceforth.

Kayakers have a couple of options: depart from the mainland and paddle to Warren Island or take the ferry to Islesboro and kayak the short distance to Warren from there. Option No. 2 is helpful if the sea state isn’t expected to be great or if you’ve brought a whole lot of stuff you need to bring to the island, requiring multiple trips. We met a couple of campers on Warren who did just that, intending to camp for more than a week.

The Lincolnville Ferry Terminal. Get there early to get in line if you plan to bring your car to Islesboro.
In line for the car ferry.
Second car on, best view.
The ferry pulling into the terminal on Islesboro.
Packing up to paddle over to Warren Island, which is on the right. You can also paddle over from the mainland, but we opted to bring our cars and kayaks to Islesboro and paddle over from there.
Welcome to Warren Island! There are a handful of boat moorings available first come, first served. Kayaks can be hauled up on land, of course.


Heather has grabbed an island wheelbarrow for easier carrying of things. Like food.
View from Warren Island to Islesboro and the incoming ferry.

The 70-acre island is approximately three miles off the coast of Lincolnville and visitors get all the splendor of island camping: private campsites with beautiful coastal views, with some campground perks like outhouses and chopped wood at the ready. No showers here, but just jump into the ocean if you’re dirty. There’s a trail that loops around the island and plenty of exploring to do via water.

During our Fourth of July weekend trip, we had a spectacular first night with the brightest moon. Saturday brought overcast skies and damp, which lingered for a couple of days, but the water was calm for a night paddle, sparklers, and the chance to watch a some fireworks shot off from Isleboro.

Walking the island trail.
Kayaking around Warren Island.

It’s so helpful when the wildlife stands still long enough for you to look them up in your field guide.

There are 12 campsites and three Adirondack shelters on the island.

The island trail cuts through forest and field and guides you by most of the campsites and along the shoreline.



Our campsite had excellent moon views at night and felt away from the world, which is pretty much what you’re looking for when you’re camping on an island.

Warren Island has that “you’re the only one here” feel.

Night paddle on July 4, hoping for fireworks. Town fireworks displays were cancelled in 2020, but we did see a few small fireworks shot off by islanders who weren’t deterred by the drizzle.
Overcast July day at Warren Island State Park.

Warren Island State Park

Warren Island is located in Penobscot Bay, approximately 3.3 miles from the mainland in Lincolnville or 0.5 miles from the Islesboro Ferry Landing. There is no public transportation to Warren Island; all campers must get there by boat. There are nine moorings available on a first-come, first-served basis. The island has 12 campsites and three Adirondack shelters, outhouses, and campfire wood available to purchase.

$15 for a Maine resident, $25 for a non-resident
Contact 207-446-7090 Memorial Day to September 15 or 207-941-4014 during the off season

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