On a frosty fall morning, we set off to explore an accessible island just outside of Portland, Maine. Located at the mouth of the Presumpscot River, the 100 acre Mackworth Island was once used by the Wabanaki people for both its abundant natural resources and its prime location along a major trade route. After the arrival of Europeans, the island eventually became the property of the Baxter family of Maine governors. Today it is public land and the home of the Baxter School for the Deaf.
It took a while for the sun to warm things up, so we stayed bundled up as we started the level, 1.5 mile trail around the island. We were excited to find many swinging benches thoughtfully placed at scenic vistas, and we took advantage of the first one we found for a picnic lunch.
With the sun fully out and our stomachs full, we took the next long staircase we found down to the water. We explored the tide pools left at low tide and identified some familiar places across the water, including Peaks Island. Wandering along we soon came to a massive pier, which was used during the Civil War when the island hosted Camp Berry.
The best surprise of all came farther down the trial where we noticed countless, small structures in an open part of the forest. We had entered the Mackworth Island Community Village, a place for visitors to build fairy homes. Being no strangers to fairy homes ourselves, we were eager to do our part to help the village grow.
From there the path looped back to the parking lot, and it was time for us to go. Driving home, we could still feel a little bit of the fairy dust remain from our outing on Mackworth Island.