Seguin Island Light Station, 2 ½ miles off the Maine coast, marks the approach to the Kennebec River. The establishment of the light was approved by George Washington in 1793 or 1795 depending on the source you read. It’s distinguished as the highest light (focal plane of 180 feet) off the water in Maine.
There is no dock on the island and a small protected cove has six available moorings. Anchoring in the cove is not permitted because of underwater cables. When you disembark your vessel, you step into a dingy which will be paddled to shore where you will step into ankle deep water. Also notice the composting outhouse above. It’s the only facility on the island so keep it in mind.
We took the Seguin Island Ferry (Leeward) from Popham Beach which worked well for us. There is a complete list of ferry providers on the Friends of Seguin site. The trip was easy but a combination of wind and tide will determine how long it takes to get out to the island.
Several trails are available for you to explore the 64-acre island but the main trail leading to the light station parallels an old rickety tram that was built to haul coal and other supplies up to the lighthouse. The tram is still functional but is not safe for personal transport and plenty of signage warns you to stay off.
The light station is home to the summer keepers and overnight visitors who are members of the Friends of Seguin. A small museum and store with appropriate souvenirs are also onsite but there is no food or beverages sold so if you want a picnic bring it and be prepared to carry out your own trash.
When the keepers are around you are permitted into the tower. The light has the only active first order Fresnel Lens remaining in Maine. The lens is a beautiful device well into its second century of service. You can step out of the tower onto a catwalk that affords spectacular views… when the weather is clear.
Depending on where you start you should plan most of the day for the trip and be prepared for fog. We lucked out on our trip but the area is known for fog so don’t be disappointed if it sets in. It’s a great lighthouse to visit regardless of the weather.
Friends of Seguin – These folks manage the station today and have keepers on the island each year from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. They make visits possible and enjoyable and assure the preservation of the station.