Monhegan is a small, rocky island ten miles from the nearest mainland and scarcely a square mile in area. It is accessible only by boat and there are no cars or paved roads on the Island. Since long before the explorer John Smith visited it in 1614, it was known to Native Americans as a prime fishing area, though today its economy is more invested in tourism than it is in lobstering or fishing. The year-round population has seldom exceeded 65 in recent times.
For more than 100 years, Monhegan has been a summer haven for artists and other visitors who appreciate its isolation, the beauty of its wilderness areas, its quiet relaxed atmosphere, and its unhurried pace.
Monhegan Associates, founded in 1954 by summer resident Ted Edison to preserve and protect the wild lands of the island and its “simple, friendly way of life,” is responsible for the protection of the undeveloped parts of the island outside the village and harbor. About 12 miles of trails, often steep and strenuous, lead through wooded areas and over rocky ledges up to the highest ocean cliffs on the Maine coastline.
Residents and vistors alike work to see that the wildlands will remain wild and that the fragile ecology will not be endangered. Please join us in this endeavor and exercise care, in the Village as on the trails and cliffs, to assure that future generations may find and enjoy the same attractions that are so important to those who appreciate the Island today. Don’t litter anywhere on the Island: “pack it in, pack it out!” Smoking is not permitted outside the village, and camping is not allowed on Associates Lands.