Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge to be held June 25th and 26th

Grindle Point Light

Grindle Point Lighthouse, Islesboro, is one of the "stars" of the lighthouse challenge (Photo by Ron Foster)

The arrival of summer brings with it a chance to spend some great time with family and friends along the Maine coast by participating in the fifth annual Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge.

The Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge is a fun-filled event being held on June 25th and 26th that “challenges” participants to visit seven lighthouses (Pemaquid Point, Marshall Point, Owls Head, Rockland Breakwater, Grindle Point, Fort Point and Dice Head) and the Maine Lighthouse Museum over the course of two days on a self-guided tour of these alluring sites.

This event offers local residents and lighthouse enthusiasts alike the unique opportunity to climb each lighthouse and enjoy a birds-eye view of the Midcoast from atop the towers.

Lighthouse challenge participants will receive a commemorative booklet that contains information about the lighthouses and directions to each site. Registering for the event is free and can be done at any of the lighthouse locations on the challenge. Those who complete the challenge will be entered into a drawing to win a two-night luxurious stay for two at one of the four Historic Inns of Rockland. The prize is being donated by the Historic Inns of Rockland.

The light at Marshall Point continues to shine bright thanks to the watchful eye of the United States Coast Guard (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Some special features and new bonus challenges are included in this year’s event.

The U.S. Coast Guard will showcase an array of modern optics that serve in today’s lighthouses and will share an exhibit showing how the Coast Guard keeps the lights at many of Maine’s offshore stations. The display will be available for viewing on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. inside the keeper’s dwelling of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.  The M/V Rendezvous will offer optional water transportation throughout the day, from the Middle Pier in Rockland.

In addition, Maine’s first maritime museum, the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, is participating as a bonus challenge site. Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2011, the museum is featuring two special exhibits entitled “75 for 75” and “The Art of the Boat”. The museum will be open Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Finally, the M/V Betselma will be offering one-hour tours leaving Camden Harbor throughout the Challenge weekend that will include water views of two additional bonus challenge sites, Curtis Island and Indian Island lighthouses.

Dyce Head Light staircase

Climb to the top of lighthouses like Dyce Head in Castine during the 2011 Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

The Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge is organized by the Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse with partial funding provided by Platinum sponsor, J. B. Leslie Company, Inc. and Gold sponsors, Breakwater Vineyards and The First. 

The Friends of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to direct and support the restoration, preservation, and long-term maintenance of the Rockland Breakwater and Owls Head lighthouses and to provide public access to both structures for education and enjoyment. More information about the Friends and the Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge can be found online at www.rocklandlighthouse.com or by emailing to challenge@rocklandlighthouse.com