Jun 22, 2015

Public access in West Penobscot Bay for kayaking, pleasure boating & recreational fishing

A detailed list of public access ramps and docks of west Penobscot Bay. The list starts at the southwestern tip Saint George's Port Clyde and Tenants Harbor, then travels up to the mouth of the bay in Stockton Springs then upriver as far as Brewer and back down through Bucksport to East Penobscot Bay down to Stonington 
ST. GEORGE (PORT CLYDE / TENANTS HARBOR) 
Where Route 131 ends on the St. George peninsula, lies the Port Clyde Boat Ramp. This site is often crowded, especially when the ferry is in from Monhegan Island. Due to this congestion, parking is limited with no spaces reserved for boat trailers. A single cement boat ramp services the site and outhouses can be found at the ferry dock. Mackerel fishing from the town dock is a popular activity. 
Traveling north on Route 131 brings you to the village of Tenants Harbor. Along the shore on Commercial Street lies the Tenants Harbor Town Landing. This facility has a single cement boat ramp serviced by a float. Parking in the small lot is limited to 4 hours with no spaces for boat trailers.

SOUTH THOMASTON 
Access to the Weskeag River and its locally known striped bass fishery can be had via the South Thomaston Town Landing. This site, located off Route 73, Has a single blacktop boat ramp and adequate parking. Shore fishing here can be excellent, especially below the Route 73 bridge. 

ROCKLAND
Snow Marine Park, on Mechanic Street (off Route 73) in Rockland's southend, is the busiest boat ramp in the area. Two cement ramps, a float, an outhouse and large parking lot can be found here. Be prepared to pay a fee if you plan to use the ramp. 
One of the most visited attractions in this region is the Rockland Breakwater Light. This mile long breakwater, which is constructed of large granite blocks, is used by both sightseers (the light house at the end of the breakwater is the chief draw) and fishermen. The catch of shore anglers fishing off the breakwater consists mostly of mackerel and pollock, with the occasional striped bass, cunner and black sea bass mixed in. To get to this site, take Waldo Avenue off Route I at the north end of town and follow shore access signs until you arrive at the breakwater. Parking here is limited at best.
ROCKPORT
Rockport Marine Park lies at the foot of Rockport Harbor. The park has one black-top boat ramp, picnic tables, benches, out-houses and several floats. Parking for this facility is adequate with a few places set aside for boat trailers. A fee is charged to use the ramp. Fishing off the Harbor Master's dock is permitted, but fishing off several other docks in the park is not allowed.
LINCOLNVILLE In the town of Lincolnville, next to the Maine State Ferry Landing and along Route 1, is the Lincolnville Beach Boat Ramp. This is a town maintained boat ramp. A launching fee is charged for use of the blacktop ramp, there is limited free parking in the town lot and an outhouse is nearby. When the town lot is full, paying to park in the state owned lot is an option.

NORTHPORT (BAYSIDE) 
The Northport Public Landing (no boat ramp here) is a popular shore fishing location, especially when mackerel are running. To get here, take the Shore Road off Route 1 at Northport and follow signs to the landing. Parking here is adequate.
Another good shore fishing site is off the Bayside Town Dock in the village of Bayside. Follow the Shore Road north to Bayside Road to arrive at this location. Parking here is limited at best. 

BELFAST
The Belfast Town Landing is located in Belfast's waterfront district. An excellent extra-wide blacktop boat ramp, a large pier with floats, picnic tables, restroorns and large parking lot make this site user-friendly. A launching fee is charged to use the ramp and, due to boat traffic, shore fishing is not permitted off the dock. If you need assistance or information about the harbor, check in at the Harbor Master's office next to the ramp.
SEARSPORT
The Searsport Town Landing offers both shore fishing and a boat ramp. The town pier, float, a blacktop ramp, large parking lot, picnic tables and an outhouse can be found here. To locate the landing, look for a shore access sign on the right as you enter Searsport on Route 1 from the south. 
The Searsport Causeway connects Sears Island with the mainland. At this site parking is along a side road and shore fishing for stripers is possible off both sides of the causeway. To get to site, take a right onto Kidder Road when traveling north on Route 1 from Searsport.
STOCKTON SPRINGS 
Providing access to Stockton Springs Harbor is the Cape Docks Boat Ramp. To get to this site, follow Route 1 north into the town of Stockton Springs; proceed to the center of town and turn right onto Cape Road; follow Cape Road until making a right onto West Cape Road; then turn onto Dock Road and continue to the site. This town maintained facility has a single cement boat ramp that is in good condition. Parking is adequate. This site is mostly used by commercial fishermen and pleasure boat owners whose vessels are moored in the harbor. 
The Penobscot River has a history as one of Maine's most noted Atlantic salmon rivers and still supports several Atlantic salmon fishing clubs near its head-of-tide. Please note that fishing for Atlantic salmon in Maine requires an Atlantic salmon fishing stamp.  In addition, this is a hook and release fishery and only fly fishing gear can legally be used.  This paragraph has been superceded by Atlantic Salmon Commission Regulation which currently prohibits fishing for or taking Atlantic Salmon by any means from all Maine waters.
The Penobscot River is also experiencing growth in its striped bass fishery.  Several boat ramps on the lower reaches of the river provide good access to anglers with this species in mind.
HAMPDEN / FRANKFORT 
Two boat ramps provide access from the west side of the Penobscot River. The northern-most is Turtle Head Marina Boat Ramp off Route 1A in the town of Hampden. This ramp is in good condition and is serviced by a float. Parking is not a problem and restrooms are available. The second boat ramp is at Grist Mill Park, down river along Route 1A in the town of Frankfort. Available here are a paved boat ramp (not usable at low tide) and a large parking lot. 
EDDINGTON / BREWER / ORRINGTON / VERONA 
Anglers targeting Atlantic salmon may try their luck shore fishing at the Penobscot River's head-of-tide In Eddington. This paragraph has been superceded by Atlantic Salmon Commission Regulation which currently prohibits fishing for or taking Atlantic Salmon by any means from all Maine waters. From Brewer, follow Routes 9 and 178 east; turn left with Route 178 where Route 9 separates; immediately take Monument Drive; follow to the dirt and cobble access road on the left, just before Monument Drive reconnects with Route 178; walk or carefully drive to the shore. 
Located farther down river along the east bank are two more boat ramps. just off Routes 9 and 178 in Brewer is the North Main Street Boat Ramp with a large cement ramp (not usable at low tide) and large parking lot. 
Still farther down river is the South Orrington Boat Ramp (unusable at low tide) which has adequate parking. In the village of South Orrington, turn onto Blake Road from Route 15, cross Settlers Way Road and continue to the site. 
Verona Park boat ramp is at the lower reaches of the Penobscot River on Verona Island. This ramp is in good condition, there is plenty of parking and this site has the added benefit of being a fine shore fishing spot for stripers. To get to the park, take a left off Route I north prior to going over the bridge connecting Verona Island and Bucksport. 
PENOBSCOT
The South Penobscot Boat Ramp provides access to the Bagaduce River. To get to this site, follow Route I north out of Bucksport and connect with Route 175 south; just before entering the village of South Penobscot, look for the boat launch on the right. This town maintained cement ramp is in poor condition, is not usable around low tide and has limited parking. 
BLUE HILL 
Next to the Fire Station in the center of downtown Blue Hill lies the near Blue Hill Town Landing. This boat ramp provides access to Blue Hill Harbor and Blue Hill Bay. To get to the site, take Route 15 south off Route 1, just north of Bucksport. This site has a single cement boat ramp (unusable at low tide) serviced by a float. Parking for the site is adequate.  

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