Frenchboro, often identified on charts as Outer Long Island, is one of only 15 islands off the coast of Maine that continue to support a year-round community, and it is one of the smallest and most remote. The year-round residents (currently about 65), make their living primarily through lobstering, with families sending their young children to the island’s one-room schoolhouse. The village is clustered around Lunt Harbor, while approximately 1,000 acres (two-thirds of the land) is held in conservation under the stewardship of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. The miles of hiking trails pass rocky shorelines and beaches, sheltering coves, spruce forests and meadows, with the grandeur of the Atlantic close at hand. Visitors often view bald eagles, osprey and white-tailed deer, in addition to the seagulls and cormorants that are so ubiquitous along the Maine coast.
For thousands of years, Native Americans visited the island on a seasonal basis. Permanent residents began to settle the island in the second decade of the 19th century, fishing, timbering and trading. The population reached its peak in the first decade of the 20th century with close to 200 permanent residents, and began to decrease after the two World Wars. In recent decades, the island has been a popular destination for boaters who enjoy the sheltered harbor, breathtaking scenery, seasonal eateries and the serenity possible in acres of protected land and relatively few visitors.
Frenchboro is accessed by car ferry from Bass Harbor, and by private boat.