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Mackworth Island

Falmouth, ME
+1 207-688-4712
Review Highlights
Beautiful Walk for Families & Dogs

Our favorite go-to-place with our Golden Retriever. Beautiful beaches, a great place to walk, run... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Celia M
Easy scenic flat trail!

I have been to Macworth more than I can count. This lovely island, just outside of Portland is such... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Jayme P
Portland, Maine, USA
Read all 86 reviews
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  • Excellent66%
  • Very good25%
  • Average3%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible2%
Travellers talk about
“fairy houses” (21 reviews)
“an easy walk” (8 reviews)
“parking lot” (9 reviews)
Falmouth, ME
+1 207-688-4712
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Reviews (86)
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1 - 10 of 86 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

Our favorite go-to-place with our Golden Retriever. Beautiful beaches, a great place to walk, run, or jog, all along a peaceful nature trail that hugs the water. On a hot day, there is shade, on a cool day there are the ocean breezes. We taught...More

Thank Celia M
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I have been to Macworth more than I can count. This lovely island, just outside of Portland is such a treat to go to. Peaceful woods, no bikes are allowed. Scenic views looking back at Portland and so fun to hike on a trail with...More

Thank Jayme P
Reviewed 17 March 2017

My family has always loved our walks around Mackworth Island -- both with children, friends, & as a couple

Thank Chlowe51
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 14 March 2017 via mobile

Great easy walk. Great any time of year except when trail is iced. Especially nice in fall and spring. Parking is a nightmare however.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 29 January 2017

Mackworth Island isn't a place to come to on a whim--mostly because access is limited--to cars. The island is a bird sanctuary operated by the State of Maine. (It also houses the Baxter School for the Deaf, which is not open to the public.) The...More

Thank Mainetrippin
Reviewed 16 November 2016

This is listed under Falmouth, Maine, but it's really just on the edge of Portland. If you're visiting Portland Maine, this is a great place to take a 45 minute easy walk on the water, and see Portland from across Back Bay. It's literally a...More

1  Thank Mark and Susan S
Reviewed 9 November 2016

The might be the best place to go for a walk in Greater Portland. Pocket beaches, forest, old trees.......lovely. Casco Bay accompanies your walk the whole way. Parking can be a problem as it has become so popular. Go early, or ride your bike across...More

Thank stephen m
Reviewed 18 October 2016

There are lots of great places to walk and hike in Maine, but none is lovelier or more pleasant than Mackworth Island. The paths are gentle, but interesting, with spots along the way to stop and rest. The views of Casco Bay are beautiful, and...More

Thank Nancy W
Reviewed 18 October 2016 via mobile

I go to Macworth Island as often as I can to enjoy the trail and view. Is is good for a brisk walk or a leisurely stroll. I hight recommend.

Thank michaelrM7116KL
Reviewed 13 October 2016 via mobile

Macworth island is a great place to explore and have small adventure. There are trails in the woods with some leading up on the beach.

Thank Linda D
Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Ironically, Macworth has a ghoulish gay past, and is on Portland's (unmarked) Gay Freedom Trail, modeled on Boston's. Originally owned by Percival Proctor Baxter (of park fame), it served as his closest summer home (Baxter was born in Portland). The island became attached to what became Governor Baxter's School for the Deaf. Unfortunately, it came under Baxter's personal direction, and utilized the services of two guys, named Youngs and Kelly. Rick Wormwood did a very good expose of the pederastic scandal on the island. The farmhouse was burnt in the 1980s, its ruins still visible. A NAMBLA official told me, short after gay rights passed in Maine, that Governor Baxter was the kind of place that gave pederasty a bad name." It made me laugh -- but he did not. To mackworth, as a verb, has come to expose many of these "Konzentrationslager" for boys set up in the 19th century -- work schools, reformatories, mental hospitals, whatever, where boys were often forgotten by the public, and abused by pederasts who took advantage of the fact that the public didn't want to know. In Florida, one of these institutions had an untold number of deaths -- burial sites of whom are still being unearthed. Should Baxter, Youngs, and Kelly be blamed for what happened at the school? No. Everybody should be blamed. It's lilke "segregation". We forget that what was going on in the South before integration was integration was effected was fully a black-and-white issue. Blacks couldn't sit on the front of the bus -- but, guess what? Whites couldn't sit on the back of the bus. It was a dance maccabre. Did Gov. Baxter know what was going on? I'm really surprised that Mr King hasn't written up this story (I'm sure he'd do a good job); but to say (and you may make up your own mind) that Proctor Baxter was a life-long bachelor. That he was one of Maine's greatest benefactors -- fully ranking with the Rockefellers -- is a mitigating circumstance which neither you nor I are allowed to consider in putting this notable story back together. I will say that I have written up my own experience of Mackworth Island -- which consisted of a single day and no night, as my grandmother insisted that I stay elsewhere. She'd been in vaudeville; she was a very wise old lady; she even had a gay step-son (a WWII veteran). So, as to the island: it's smallish, a favorite place of a man who had the whole of Maine to pick from, and today a charming outpost for the city, well worth a jaunt if you're staying near Portland. And its gay ghouls? They are now gay ghosts. It just gives the island an added dimension. It is also said that Capt John Smith, also gay, sailed by the island in 1614. I don't think this is true, but it adds to the myth and gives it yet another reason for a thoughtful, pleasant mile-walk.
1 August 2015|
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