About Great Duck Island
Great Duck Island Retreat House is located on Great Duck Island, in the Gulf of Maine archipelago, 10 miles offshore, due south of Northeast Harbor and Acadia National Park. The island is 1 1/2miles long and 1/2 mile wide and contains 250 acres. Our property consists of 5 acres on the northeast point. Our house is the only private home on the island. The rest of the island is a bird sanctuary owned by the Nature Conservancy, except for a small piece at the southern end that has a light house, maintained by the Coast Guard, and an old lightkeeper’s house, sometimes used by College of the Atlantic bird researchers. Although closed to the public, renters have permission to explore most of the island.
Great Duck Island is a blend of pointed fir forests, seaside meadows, wildflower and moss gardens, surrounded by popplestone beaches, granite cliffs and hedges of wild roses. It is the nesting habitat for a large number of birds, including bald eagles, guillemots, eider ducks, petrels and seagulls. There are also a large number of hares on the island which are often seen scurrying about.
The island is a perfect place for couples or families seeking solitude and an intimate experience of nature. Naturalists, hikers, meditators, writers, photographers, painters and those wanting to pause, breathe, and live deliberately without the distractions of modern life will love this place. The beauty of this magical place: the sparkling ocean, the crashing waves, the glorious sunrises & sunsets and the romantic mountain views will nourish and restore your soul.
Our house sits on the northeast point of the island, jutting into the ocean, and is surrounded by water on three sides. It is so close to the ocean that from inside the house you can see the waves crashing and seals swimming along the shore. Occasionally, you will see tall ships, porpoises and whales at a distance. There are extraordinary views from every window—open ocean glistening in the morning light to the east, neighboring islands to the west, and to the north there are beautiful views of the only mountains on the Atlantic coast of North America. Both sunsets and sunrises can be seen from inside the house, sunrises while still lying in bed. At night, you can see four lighthouses along the coast, lovely moonrises over the ocean, and occasionally the Northern Lights.
We built the house in 1986, helicoptering the materials to the site. The house is a two story, Victorian Gothic style cottage, with 1440 square feet of undivided interior space, steep roofs, 8 gables, and 2 small second-story decks. It comes completely furnished. There are no separate bedrooms. Beds are in alcove spaces on the first and second floors. There are a queen-size bed, a double bed, and a futon couch that folds open to a double bed. Additional mattresses & cots are also available. There is a white wicker furniture set that includes a couch, love seat, chaise, rocker, armchair and two coffee tables. Also, there is a dining table with chairs on each floor. The ample kitchen area has a gas stove and a large gas refrigerator. Pots, pans, plates, silverware, paper towels, paper plates, paper cups, napkins and a stock of staples for cooking are provided. The house has hot and cold running water in the kitchen and bathroom.
For any cool, foggy days you will have heat from two Jøtul woodstoves, one on each floor. The doors of both woodstoves are glass, allowing you to see the glowing fire. A gasoline powered generator provides electricity for lighting after dark as well as for other electrical needs. The generator can be used to run a toaster, ice-cream-maker, your laptop computer, etc. An iPod and CD player, DVD player, radio, cassette tape player, hammock, gas grill, children's games, puzzles, and a large library of fiction and non-fiction books on island living are available for your use. There is also an upright piano for you to play.
For communication you need to bring your cellular phone. There is excellent cellular reception on the island. There is also a VHF Marine Band radio available for communicating with boats and getting weather and marine forecast information.
Because of our limited water supply on the island, the house and facilities will accommodate no more than four. We require that there be a minimum of two adults.
Things to do:
Hiking & picnicking. Bird watching – seagulls, gillemots, eagles, song birds, humming birds. Fishing on the ocean (bring your own gear). Swimming (bring wetsuits - the water is cold). Exploring the woods and shores of Great Duck Island. Discover tide pools with a variety of marine plants and animals. Star gazing. Watch sunrises and moonrises over the open Atlantic Ocean; Watch sunsets over neighboring islands to the west. Photography – beautiful views everywhere. Put up a child’s tent on one of our two wooden tent platforms. Linger over breakfast on the East deck overlooking the sparkling open ocean. Breathe in the sunset light while having dinner on the West deck. Curl up with the love of your life in front of a fire at night.
Fly into either Bangor International Airport or the smaller airport in Trenton, Maine, which is the closest airport, a 45-minute drive away. Vehicles can be rented at either airport or taxis are available. Portland Airport is another option and is 3 hours away.
We will arrange boat transportation to the island through the Mount Desert Water Taxi, leaving from Southwest Harbor. The round trip includes a helper to assist with the landing, show you the house and help you carry your baggage. The trip to the island takes about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the wind, weather and tides. On the way to Great Duck Island you can make a short side trip around Little Duck Island, which is an Audubon bird sanctuary, to see the large colony of Harbor and Great Grey seals living there.
We will be glad to answer any questions you may have by phone & email. If you decide that you would like to rent the house we will send detailed information to help you prepare for your stay on our remote island paradise.
Find out more at: www.GreatDuckIslandHouse.com
||Great Duck Island, Gulf of Maine
Villa rent price