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Owls Head Light

Owls Head Light

Owls Head Light

Owls Head Light

Owls Head Light Info

Owls Head Light video

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The Owls Head Light is located in Western Penobscot Bay, at the southern side of the entrance to Rockland Harbor in Owls Head Maine.

Owls Head Light
Location: W. Penobscot Bay
Nearest City: Owls Head
Manager: US Coast Guard
Current Use: Active

Route 73
Owls Head, ME 04854
Phone: 207-941-4014

Open Every Day
9am to Sunset - Year Round

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Owls Head Light Photos

Built in 1826, Owls Head Light is located in Western Penobscot Bay, at the southern side of the entrance to Rockland Harbor. The lighthouse is a surprisingly short 30-foot cylindrical tower constructed of granite and brick. It is a white tower with a black lantern.

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Find Owls Head Light

Click map image to open a Google Interactive Map for the Owls Head Lighthouse and State Park.

Owls Head Light Google Map location


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Owls Head State Park & Lighthouse - A short 30-foot cylindrical tower that projects a 16-mile beam of light and illusion of standing 100 feet tall

Owls Head LightWhen you are in Rockland, take twenty minutes out of your day and head to Owls Head State Park and Light. Owls Head State Park is located in Owls Head, Maine and offers panoramic views of Western Penobscot Bay and the entrance to Rockland Harbor. The Owls Head State Park itself consists of one main trail head that splits into two separate paths. People can decide to either travel down to the beach or visit Owls Head Light.

The beach path will bring people to a spectacular rocky beach with a stunning view of the lighthouse and the cliffs on which it stands. The view looks like a postcard. The rust color of the cliffs blends in with the lush green color of the pine tree-dotted cliffs, all against the deep blue water. While the walk to the beach is relaxing for the most part, people should use extra caution when encountering a steeper part of the trail.

At the southern side of the entrance to Rockland Harbor, you will find Owls Head Light (+44° 5' 33.00", -69° 2' 39.00") that is located in Western Penobscot Bay. Since the light shines brightly at 100 feet above sea level, you would never know this lighthouse is a surprisingly short 30-foot cylindrical tower constructed of granite and brick. Thanks to a well-placed hill, this white tower (with its black lantern) is an impressive sight to see.

The lighthouse trail takes people through a different viewpoint, walking the majority of the way through a thick and beautiful forest. Trees are the prominent scenery here, but visitors will certainly find spots along the way that have beautiful water views.

Owls Head Light - An historical structure that boasts several amazing nautical tales

Owls Head LightIn its beginning stages, Rockland (and Thomaston) was home to a booming lime industry, requiring the need for a light station at Owl's Head. In 1825, President John Quincy Adams approved this need and the squat tower was erected the following year. Green & Foster and Jeremiah Barry designed the lighthouse. In 1856, a keeper’s dwelling was added a short distance away from the tower. A generator house and oil building were added in 1895.

The “Frozen Couple of Owl’s Head” is a famous local story. A bad storm hit the area in December 1850. A small schooner from Massachusetts was anchored at Jameson’s Point with three people on board: Richard B. Ingraham (the mate), Roger Elliott (the seaman), and Lydia Dyer (Ingraham’s fiancée). Strong gales snapped the schooner’s cables and the vessel ran aground just south of the lighthouse. Elliott left the vessel and climbed to shore to find help. The keeper just happened to be passing by in his sleigh, and brought Elliott back to the house. Though Elliott could barely talk, he told the keeper of his two shipmates. The keeper rousted a rescue party and headed for the wreck. Legend has it that when they got there they found Ingraham and Dyer encased in a block of ice. The couple appeared to be dead, but the rescuers brought the block of ice back to the house. They chipped the ice away, keeping the couple in cold water, and then slowly raised the temperature of the water, while massaging and maneuvering the couple’s extremities. After two hours of this process, the couple woke up and asked where they were. Elliott never fully recovered, but the couple hailed him as a hero since he saved their lives. His heroism still lives on in maritime lore.

Spot, the English springer spaniel, was another maritime celebrity in the 1930’s. Spot was known to ring the fog’s bell (putting the rope in his teeth) each time a vessel approached. Soon, vessels began to answer Spot with a whistle’s salute. One night, during inclement weather, the Matinicus mail boat almost ran aground at Owl’s Head. The captain of the vessel heard Spot’s warning just in time and steered clear of the rocks. Spot now rests in peace near the former location of the fog bell.

Owls Head Light was automated in 1989. Today, it is an active navigation aid for the U.S. Coast Guard with a characteristic of a fixed white light with a range of sixteen nautical miles. The fog signal blasts twice every twenty seconds. The 1856 fourth-order Fresnel lens is still in use today. It is one of the last six Fresnel lenses still in operation..

Owls Head State Park - a sweeping panoramic view of Western Penobscot Bay

Owls Head LightThe Owls Head State Park’s main attraction is the Owls Head Light. Owls Head Light is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The lighthouse is now part of Owls Head Light State Park, and the grounds are open to the public excluding the 1854 keeper’s dwelling that presently serves as a residence for Coast Guard personnel. The bell tower is gone, but the 1895 oil house remains. The lighthouse can also be seen from the Vinalhaven ferry and from various cruise vessels operating out of Rockland, Rockport, and Camden.

Visitors can climb the wooden stairs to the lighthouse and oil house but most of the other areas are off limits, posted with restricted signs. People are warned that the fog whistle is operational and may sound off in fog conditions every 20 seconds. Visitors may still take good photographs of the lighthouse and its surroundings although the angles will be limited because of the imposing restrictions. You can enjoy the view of Rockland Harbor while standing on the long wooden steps leading up to the lighthouse.

Whether you are just passing through or visiting the Rockland area on vacation and looking for some interesting sightseeing excursions, the Owls Head State Park and Light is definitely a trip worth making.


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