Isle Au Haut Post Office

Isle Au Haut, Maine | C.1871

Photo Credit: Matt Cosby

Getting to this 8,000-acre island off the coast of Maine is a little tricky. Only after a three-hour drive from Portland and a six-mile boat ride on a 16-passenger mail boat will a visitor step foot on Isle Au Haut’s shores. But this island, and its unique remote qualities, is a worthy respite to a road-and-sea-weary traveler. 

First explored by Frenchman Samuel Champlain in 1604, the island was named Isle Au Haut, or “High Island” for those of us with grade-school French. Thankfully for Samuel, the island is indeed the tallest landform in Pebiscot Bay. Once inhabited by Native Americans who left massive oyster shell mounds around the isle, this high location’s largest population these days is of the winged variety—songbirds, terns, and warblers. 

With a human population under 100, the island booms with migratory flocks that inhabit its remote nooks and corners on the journey to their eventual homes. It’s a quiet island most of the year, having only received electricity in 1970 and phones in 1988, it will come as little surprise that cell service here is less than ideal. Those seeking lodging on the island have few choices, though lighthouse lovers could be happily surprised to know the Keeper’s House Inn gives one a perfect view of the island’s lighthouse, along with plenty of opportunity to spot some feathered friends too.  

With hundreds of nature trails, lipid-filled lobster dishes, and quiet ocean scenery, there’s a lot to write home about and send through the Isle Au Haut Post Office. If you’re lucky, your postcard might just travel with you on the next mail boat off of the island.

Written By: Seamus McMahon

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