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Petit Manan Lighthouse

Petit Manan lighthouse

Corea, Maine
Built in 1817


The lighthouse is on Petit Manan Island, about 14 miles from Bar Harbor, and is part of the Petit Manan National Wildlife Sanctuary, which serves over 300 species of nesting birds. Public is not allowed on the island as the birds and marine life are protected there. The lighthouse can be viewed from a distance from Petit Manan Point in Milbridge, reached by a two-mile hike along Shore Trail.

Latitude: 44° 22' 03" N
Longitude: 67° 51' 52" W


Historic Stories:

Petit Manan Llighthouse was built to help guide mariners around the island, a treacherous bar between the island itself and Petit Manan Point on the shore. early image of Petit Manan lighthouse
Early Petit Manan Light
With Original Lantern, Buildings, and Fog Tower
Courtesy US Coast Guard

The beacon was needed to guide traffic in the bay and harbors nearby in this extremely foggy area outside the Mount Desert (acadia) region.

The current tower is the second tallest, next to Boon Island, in Maine.

The first Keeper, Robert Leighton, was fired due to the uncleanliness of the structure found from a surprise inspection when he left his wife to look after the lighthouse while he went ashore to gather supplies.

The lighthouse tower has been rebuilt numerous times from frequent storms in the 1800’s, and many Keeper’s logs have recorded groups of dead birds that would accumulate in the lantern room or around the tower itself.


Rescue of Local Lobsterman

During a severe storm in 1934, Keeper Edward Pettegrow caught a distress signal from a lobsterman in trouble. The storm got worse and a rescue was impossible.

early image of Petit Manan light
Early Petit Manan Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

A day and a half later, the lobsterman was feared lost but the keepers caught sight of his boat from the lantern room and sent out a signal for help.

Local seamen nearby quickly rescued him, half frozen in ice, but somehow managed to stay barely alive, where he later recovered. 



The light was automated in 1972. It then became part of the Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge, now part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Restoration efforts on the lighthouse and structures have been made since the early 1990’s.



Places to Visit:

Corea is a small fishing village that is about 7 miles from the entrance to Schoodic Peninsula, the only area of Acadia National Park that is located on Maine’s mainland.

The rocky peninsula gives visitors a real sense of the ocean's fury watching waves crashing against these formations.
relaxing at Schoodic Point

Northern or "Down East" Maine is usually englufed in fog around 30% of the days in the year.

Cruises that offer puffin-watching may pass by the lighthouse, as it has become one of the sanctuaries of these and other nesting birds. Managed by the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge the island has limited access for visitors, although fairly close views of the lighthouse are easily viewed from a boat.

demonstration in hauling lobster traps onto the boat Robertson Sea tours will take you out there and also provide a demonstration in hauling lobster traps, as a daily occupation of all local fishermen in the region.

Milbridge offers seventy-five miles of coastline with spectacular views of the Narraguagus River and the Gulf of Maine. Milbridge was once a shipbuilding town and has a historical museum of local history. Take a picnic down to McClellan Park and enjoy the ocean views, or stroll along the river through Riverside Park, or go fishing.

The Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge with its special trails spans more than 250 miles of the Maine coast, with Petit Manan Island Lighthouse about a half-hour by boat from Milbridge. The refuge nesting areas comprise of over 300 species of birds.


Contact Info:
Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 279
Milbridge, ME 04658
Phone: (207) 546-2124



Local Boat Tours

Boat cruises mentioned below offer many types of cruises in addition to specific cruises to Petit Manan Lighthouse.

Robertson Sea Tours
Lighthouse cruises and nature trips along the shores of downeast Maine and Schoodic Peninsula area aboard a classic downeast lobster boat. Special 4-hour lighthouse cruise covers Narraguagus (Pond Island) Light, Nash Island Light, and Petit Manan Light, along with natural wonders and hauling up a lobster trap. They also offer a Puffin and Seabird Cruise, a Lobster Bake Cruise, and they have a Whale Watching cruise as well.
Contact: Captain Jamie Robertson
Phone: (207) 461-7439


Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
In addiition to whale watching, nature, and fishing excusions, they provide three cruises that involve lighthouses. A Puffin and Lighthouse cruise, a park ranger tour that includes exploring Baker Island lighthouse, and a Somes Sound and Lighthouse Tour.
1 West Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
Phone: (207) 288-2386 or 1-888-WHALES-4


Acadian Boat Tours
Acadian Boat Tours, out of Bar Harbor, offers various nature and fishing cruises, along with 3 special lighthouse tours each week, and National Park trips. They cruise by Petit Manan Lighthouse as part of their Puffins, Lighthouses, and Seabirds cruise.
119 Eden St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Phone (207) 801-2300



My 300-page book (with over 360 images), Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, provides human interest stories from each of the 76 lighthouses, along with plenty of coastal attractions and tours near each beacon, and contact info to plan your special excursions.

Look inside!

book northern New England lighthouses and local coastal attractions






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