Hermit Island is a no-frills campground off the coast of Maine, less than a 3 hour drive from Boston. I first went to Hermit Island when I was about a year old, and my family visited almost yearly up until the end of my time in middle school, and then once when I was in high school. I hadn’t been in almost 10 years until I visited this past August. My friend Hanna and I were both excited to bring our boyfriends to a place where many of our most cherished memories occurred.
Leading up to the trip, I was overwhelming excited, with a tinge of fear that it just wouldn’t be the same. Was it the nostalgia taking over, or were my yearly visits to the Island as awe-inspiring as I believed? The trip was planned only a few weeks in advance, so we were only able to stay two nights, and our campsites were on a part of the Island that I wasn’t as familiar with. But, that didn’t stop us from having an amazing long weekend visit.
It’s funny how when you visit somewhere that you mostly experienced when you were young, everything seems less vast, and even less grand. The main road once felt as if it went on for miles, and I remember thinking that the building that housed the showers was a monstrosity; in reality, it’s a perfectly modest building that hosts a few showers. Though my perspective was certainly different, it was comforting to see that not much had changed. I even recognized some of the staff!
We spent our time hanging by the fire, strolling on the beach in search of sea glass, watching the sunset atop rocks (with a bottle of prosecco!), reminiscing about all of our adventures from our past visits, and showing Dan and Bill our favorite spots, including Sand Dollar Beach and the Kelp Shed.
Two magical moments involved seeing a doe and her two fawns while on our way to the beach, and then seeing another lone deer grazing in the grass at sunset.
One particularly funny moment was the fact that we had to blow up our air mattress at the campground entrance, and then tie it to our car roof with clothesline. Dan and I both had to hold onto it as we drove along the bumpy dirt road to our campsite on the other end of the Island. We definitely got some side-eye from the true campers who don’t believe in air mattresses, ha!
I recently found out that one of my friends from college also went to Hermit Island often when he was a child, so we decided that we want to bring a large group next summer. I can’t wait!
I love lists, so I actually put together two fairly comprehensive camping lists – one for shopping and the other for packing, but I will save that for a follow-up post!