Port Clyde is a picturesque fishing village on the tip of St. George Peninsula in central Maine. In the early years, it was a busy port with granite quarries, tide mills for sawing timber, shipbuilding, and fish canning businesses. By the 20th century, it was also attracting artists and writers like Sarah Orne Jewett.
These days, Port Clyde is best known as a gateway to Monhegan Island, with the Monhegan Boat Line sailing from the center of town. The town is also well known for Marshall Point Light, a beautiful lighthouse that sits on the southernmost extremity of the St. George Peninsula.
MARSHALL POINT LIGHT
Marshall Point Light sits on a rocky point of land near Port Clyde. The lighthouse includes a long wooden runway that is connected to the restored Keeper’s House. The Keeper’s House itself includes a nice museum containing exhibits about the lighthouse and general area, as well as a gift shop.
The station was established in 1831, with the present lighthouse constructed in 1857. The lighthouse earned Hollywood fame when it was featured in the popular movie, “Forest Gump”, where actor Tom Hanks concluded his long run on the lighthouse runway.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH
Marshall Point Light is photogenic at any time, although I prefer it as a sunset destination. If you intend to include the setting sun in your image, you should plan to be here between October and March.
May through August are the better months to include the rising sun in your photo, but a backlit sunrise from here can be more challenging because it involves standing on potentially-slippery rocks at low tide.
In recent years, Marshall Point Light has also become a popular destination for night photography. While the Milky Way is visible over the lighthouse from March through September, June through August tend to be the better months for aligning our galaxy with the lighthouse tower.
From US-1 North, turn onto route ME-131 (Port Clyde Road) toward Port Clyde. Once you reach Port Clyde, turn left on Drift Inn Road and then right onto Marshall Point Light Road. The lighthouse is at the end of the road.
There is free parking near the lighthouse. The grounds are open to the public, but the lighthouse itself is not open to the public. The museum and gift shop are only open between Memorial Day and Columbus Day.
Be aware that there are tenants residing on the 2nd floor of the Keeper’s House. Be sure to respect their privacy and to keep noise to a minimum. This is especially important if you come here for night photography.
I can attest to the fact that the rocks surrounding the lighthouse can be extremely slippery even when not wet. I once came here for sunrise and took a bad fall on a moss-covered rock, resulting in a nasty gash on my head. So, if you choose to step on the rocks, you do so at your own risk.
I consider Marshall Point Light to be on the list of Maine’s most beautiful lighthouses, not only because of its well-maintained structures but also because of its highly-photogenic location on the point. Enjoy and be safe!