Goat Island Lighthouse is an iconic landmark in Cape Porpoise Harbor and the only lighthouse local to the Kennebunks. While you can always view the Goat Island Light from Cape Porpoise Pier, summer high tides allow for visits and tours!
The Maine Coast is speckled with handsome lighthouse towers. In fact, there are seven lighthouses within easy reach of Kennebunkport, alone! The Goat Island Light Station is the closest to the Kennebunks, though, and our only “local” lighthouse.
Goat Island Light History
Goat Island Lighthouse has been guarding the entrance to Cape Porpoise Harbor since 1833. Numerous reefs and islets make the entrance to Cape Porpoise a dangerous undertaking. Between 1865 and 1920, forty-six vessels were wrecked, twenty-eight of which were total losses. Despite this carnage to property, there was no loss of life thanks, in part, to the Goat Island Lighthouse keepers.
The first tower built on the island was conical in shape and only 20 feet tall. The tower was upgraded in 1859 to the 25 foot tall, brick structure that you see on the island today. The light was also fitted with a fifth order Fresnel lens at this time. Keeper’s quarters were added in 1860, the boathouse in 1905.
When the Coast Guard made public their plans to automate the station in 1976, locals successfully petitioned for a delay. Goat Island remained staffed until 1990, making it the last station in Maine – and one of the last in the country – to have a keeper. The historic Fresnel lens was replaced at this time with a modern optic and remains an active beacon.
Goat Island is currently leased to and managed by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust.
Tour Goat Island Lighthouse
Viewing the Goat Island Light Station is something you can always do from the landing at the end of Pier Road in Cape Porpoise. For a more up-close and personal experience, however, you’ll have to wait for summer’s high tides.
Official tours of the Goat Island Light are available through New England Eco Adventures.
The two-hour, Goat Island Lighthouse Tour takes you out past Walker’s Point to view Cape Porpoise Harbor’s working waterfront. From here you’ll cruise to the dock at Goat Island.
Your guided tour will explore the historic island and fill you in on the fascinating details of its history. Climbing to the top of the lighthouse tower, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of Cape Porpoise Harbor and the Maine coast.
Though the Goat Island Light is automated, keepers still live on the island in the keepers quarters. While they enjoy sharing the island and light with guests, please be mindful that this is also their private residence.
The tour continues with a trip to to Bumpkin Island and its playful seals. Then it’s a cruise past Kennebunk Beach and back home to Kennebunkport!
Learn more and book your summer tour of Maine’s Goat Island Light today at newenglandecoadventures.com
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