There are three quarries on Vinalhaven that are worth visiting! The water is warm, clear, and there are many different levels of ledges off of which to jump. The first is Lawson's Quarry, which is .5 mile up the North Haven road from Vinalhaven (the road that leads from the village to the Bluff).
The second is Booth's Quarry, with its distinctive rock in the middle. This quarry is located on the South side of the Pequot Road, 2.7 miles from the Post Office. The third Quarry is for those brave souls who disdain bathing suits, and is so called the "Nude Quarry." It is also located on the North Haven road, and is back from the road on the left side. Parking is opposite Lawson’s Quarry and then walking back.
The approximately 1 mile-long driveway is a great place for berrying. There are raspberries, wild blueberries, and tons of blackberries in the later months.
While there are many trails to hike on the island, we highly recommend tackling (used loosely here) the Perry Creek Preserve. To find the Perry Creek Preserve, turn right at the end of the driveway and go .7 miles until you see a small parking area on your left. The trailhead (with maps) is across the road.
There are several restaurants on Vinalhaven.For breakfast go to Surfside in the small strip mall just outside of town center or the Pizza Pit in the center of Main Street. For lunch do not miss the crab rolls or haddock and havarti sandwich at the Harbor Gawker in the middle of Main Street or a limited sandwich menu but terrific ice cream at the Starlight restaurant. For pub food there is the Sand Bar in town and What’s Left restaurant located one mile plus on the North Haven road. For dinner go to the Haven or 64 Main. Or North Haven try Cooper’s Landing for lunch and a great milkshake.For dinner the Coal Wharf Restaurant (867-4739) is a winner.
Along Main Street in Vinalhaven you will find many small gift shops and art galleries.Elaine Crossman’s art gallery on Main Street (www.neweragalleryvh.com) has paintings, photographs, sculptures and other art forms from local artists.Go Fish is a funky store that has a variety of toys and souvenirsThe Paper Store has newspapers, magazines and a wide range of souvenirs.Carver’s Harbor Market is newly renovated for all your groceries and has the only ATM in town.
There are numerous mussel beds.We recommend waiting until dead low tide and then harvesting mussels that are still under water.The end of the entrance reef to Perry Cove is a favorite spot or just wade in from the point near the float.
The transformation of Rockland over the past decade is remarkable.The arts have blossomed with the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center (207-596-6457) serving as a hub. Art galleries abound and restaurants (The Landings, Primo, Waterworks and Café Miranda to name a few) abound.Camden is the next town up the coast and is worth a visit but it is crowded and tony but interesting.The Samoset in Rockport has an 18 hole golf course.
Exploring North Haven
Vinalhaven's close neighbor is North Haven, which also has a small village to visit. North Haven village is an easy 5-minute boat ride from the Bluff. You can dock the boat temporarily at the Town Dock. For visitors, taking the North Haven ferry from Rockland is another good option since it is easy to get picked up there.For native crafts and souvenirs try the North Haven Gift Shop, Calderwood Hall Gallery or Eric Hopkins Gallery.Don’t miss the JO Brown boatyard where you can purchase gas, lobsters and everything in between.
At high tide go up Perry Cove to its end.All the property on the left belongs to our family and all but 75 acres of it is under a conservation easement and so will remain forever wild.You will see bald eagles, osprey, king fishers, terns and more. Go across Seal Cove to Mill River and explore (carefully as there are many rocks) the entire river.Go under the bridge and into Winter Harbor then out and around Vinalhaven coming home via Goose Rock lighthouse.
Golfing on North Haven
For those people who would like to golf, there is a 9-hole golf course on North Haven that is open to the public. It is a 3040 yard, par 35 course. They do not take reservations for tee times, so if you feel up to an adventure, they suggest you just show up and "take your chances." The fees are $65 for all day. They also rent golf carts for $10 per nine holes. They have "about three bags" of clubs for rent. To get there, walk up from the dock in North Haven and take a right down Main Street. Take your third left at the yellow house on the corner. The road will become dirt and the golf course is about 1/4 mile down. Their number is 867-2054. Have fun!
Town Parks Vinalhaven is home to several lovely parks and conservation areas, some are close to town, others are farther afield. Follow Atlantic Avenue to its end, crossing the bridge over Indian Creek, to reach the Lane's Island Preserve entrance on the left. Owned by the Nature Conservancy and under the stewardship of the town, the preserve has wonderful views of the bay, field, bluffs and moors. There are several picnic tables near the field. The Basin Preserve Trial leads around Long Pond to the shore of the Basin, a uniquely beautiful inland salt-waterway. On the left, just before Lawson's Quarry, the Isle au Haut Mt. Road leads to 17 acres of granite outcrop and scrub Pine and views of the southern bay. When visiting these parks, please:
No soap or pets in the quarries.
Keep your dog on leash or under voice control at all times. Clean up after him.