How does my “Keeper’s Experience” happen?

Your visit to Goose Rocks will most likely start from the ferry terminal in Rockland, Maine where you take the ferry to North Haven (not Vinalhaven!), ideally on foot with a backpack (or even with your bike, which costs a few dollars more but gives you island transportation once you arrive). Go to for ferry schedules and passenger details.

Keep your luggage to an absolute minimum: spare clothing and supplies (including toiletries) are always on hand at Goose Rocks, linens are provided, and with the difficult job of hoisting baggage with a rope up to the deck of the lighthouse from a pitching boat, less is more! Remember, at Goose Rocks: be a keeper, not a tourist.

The ferry does carry vehicles to North Haven, but spaces fill up quickly in the summer and priority is given to those with reservations, so it is very unlikely that you will get your car onboard during the busy summer months unless you arrive to the ferry line many hours in advance or purchase a reservation 30 days in advance.

There is really no good reason to bring a car to the island; it is easily seen by bicycle (we sometimes have extras to rent) or we can give you a quick driving tour of the island or take you to the grocery store (about a mile and a half from the North Haven's ferry port) if needed. There is no street parking on North Haven, and the very few parking spaces near the North Haven ferry lot are rarely available and do not allow overnight parking during the summer months.. Without a place to leave your car on North Haven during your visit to Goose Rocks, it is best left at the ferry terminal or Knight's Marina (about $10 per day for parking) in Rockland. If you do need to bring your car to North Haven, let us know in advance and we'll work with you to arrange private parking during your stay.

When you arrive in North Haven by foot or car, we'll meet you at the ferry port—so be sure to confirm with us in advance which ferry you will be on. If for any reason you can't find us or come on a different ferry, call us at 207-867-4747 (if your cell phone doesn't work, there's a payphone right next to the ticket office) and we'll be right there, as our headquarters is just down Main Street. Feel free to stop in at Waterman's Community Center right next to the ticket office to enjoy a cup of coffee, check out their schedule of events, or pick up literature about the island .

If you arrive on foot and want a brief tour of the island or trip to the grocery story, we'll be happy to drive you. If you have your own car, we'll point you in the right direction or have you follow us. For those who want to skip the island orientation and head straight to the lighthouse, we will depart by boat from the Town Dock (right next to the ferry docking station at the terminal) at a pre-set time, or determine the best time for departure based upon the guests' itinerary and weather conditions. Depending on which boat we take and weather, tide, or current conditions, the trip to Goose Rocks takes about 5-15 minutes from Town Dock. High tide is always best, so we try to plan accordingly.

Once at Goose Rocks, you will stay there for your entire visit unless you have your own boat transportation, arrange in advance for someone to bring you back and forth to the island, or call us for an emergency pick-up.

On the day of your departure, we will coordinate with you on a specific pick-up time, determined by high-tide and ferry schedule. It is important that guests have finished packing and cleaning up by that departure time, with luggage and bagged garbage already waiting on the catwalk and everyone prepared for loading. Because weather can change without notice and tides drop rapidly, guests might need to work quickly and efficiently with staff to load the boat while tidal conditions are ideal. A positive Keeper attitude (particularly in the face of heavy rain, strong winds, or choppy seas) is a must at all times!

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