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Rockland Breakwater and Rockland Breakwater Light

Walkway to Rockland Breakwater

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

Sailing near Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

Rockland Breakwater

Rockland Breakwater Video

Rockland Breakwater video

Click the image to play the video.

A man-made granite pier that juts out nearly a mile from the Rockland Harbor shoreline. The breakwater was built in the lste 1800s to protect Rockland Harbor.

Rockland Breakwater Photos

A man-made granite pier that juts out nearly a mile from the Rockland Harbor shoreline. The breakwater was built in the lste 1800s to protect Rockland Harbor.

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Find the Rockland Breakwater

Click map image to open a Google Interactive Map for the Rockland Breakwater in Rockland Harbor.

Rockland Breakwater Google Map location


Trade Winds On The Bay
Maine Eastern Railroad
Glen Cove Inn & Suites & In
Maritime Energy
Samoset Resort
white hall inn

Rockland Breakwater & Breakwater Light - the beauty and strength of over 700,000 tons of granite blocks

Rockland Breakwater LighthouseYou cannot visit Rockland, Maine without making a trip to The Rockland Breakwater and Lighthouse. In fact, this structure has been and remains critically important to Rockland Harbor since it was built. The breakwater is just under a mile long and has a stunning panoramic view of Rockland as well as a glimpse of Owls Head Light at the entrance of Rockland Harbor on the western side of Penobscot Bay at the end of its pier. On a sunny day, the breakwater provides a stunning backdrop for a walk. However, on stormy days, the waves regularly crash over the granite blocks and can make this path slippery so people should be take a little extra caution in their walk.

In the 1850’s, several large storms in the Northeast caused an extreme amount of damage to the inner parts of Rockland Harbor. This introduced the need for the breakwater. After two decades of work and construction (between 1881 to 1899), The Rockland Breakwater was completed with over 700,000 tons of granite and at a final price of $750,000. The breakwater is absolutely instrumental to the town of Rockland. In fact, without it, Rockland Harbor could not be the commercial port and working harbor it is today.

The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse was added at the end of the breakwater pier in 1902 and is still operational today. At one point, the Coast Guard had planned to destroy the lighthouse but the nearby Samoset Resort agreed to take responsibility for upkeep of the building after the public outcry was so great. In 1998, the Rockland City Council took over the property under the Maine Lights Program. To truly illustrate the importance of the Rockland Breakwater Light, it is visible on the emblem and letterhead of the City of Rockland.

Rockland Breakwater - a scenic hike out into the bay and Rockland Harbor

Granite blocks from Rockland BreakwaterThere are few other walking trails that give you the access and views of Rockland Harbor than The Rockland Breakwater. Open every day to the public, visitors can walk across the mammoth granite blocks that make up the breakwater and travel up to the lighthouse. These granite blocks were cut precisely to fit and were placed end-to-end in water up to 70 feet deep and traversing 7/8th of a mile to the end of the granite pier. In the summer months during weekends, the Rockland Breakwater Light hosts an open house. During the rest of the week, visitors have an opportunity to visit the lighthouse and explore the comprehensive museum featuring memorabilia from the U.S. Coast Guard. If you are an avid fisherman, this is also the place to be. The Rockland Breakwater is ideal for saltwater ground fishing since it provides shelter and the perfect habitat for many saltwater groundfish like rock bass and sand sharks.

If you want the best view or the best photograph, Rockland locals will point you to the direction of the water. You can access the daily ferries from Rockland to Vinalhaven and to North Haven. The ferries run hourly during the day from the Maine State Ferry Terminal located in Rockland Harbor. If you don’t want to take a ferry, there are also options to travel by boats and schooners that frequent the harbor.

Walking the Rockland Breakwater - a few things you should know

Walking out to the Rockland BreakwaterWhen planning any kind of trip or even a day hike, you need to think about and plan logistics. This is also true for The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. First and foremost, there is no running water at the lighthouse. This means that guests must bring their own water supply (for their pets, too) and realize that there are no bathrooms. While there is access to a port-a-potty in the summer months, it is still a consideration you need to keep in mind.

Another big piece of the planning process is proper attire. The walk to the lighthouse, including the return trip, is close to two miles, so it is important to wear comfortable and suitable shoes. As mentioned earlier, the granite blocks can get very slick when it becomes wet (through waves or rain) so you want to find shoes that have a solid sole, and perhaps avoid the flip flops for this walk. There are also some gaps in between the granite blocks, so wear shoes that will protect your ankles. Finally, you need to bring layers. Because the lighthouse is nearly a mile out into the bay, the cool breezes can be very chilly for most people. Even if it feels warm at the harbor, realize it will be cooler on the water and bring warmer items you may need.


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