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Rhon Bell

Rhon Bell, an outdoor enthusiast, spends his time exploring the Maine Woods and documenting his journeys. Growing up in Aroostook County, he embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Living today near Portland, he spends weekends and week-long adventures hiking New England summits, canoeing the historic Maine waterways, and ice fishing for lake trout. Follow the journey as Window to the Woods discovers new destinations, and check out his other blog, Backwoods Plaid.

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Window to the Woods with Rhon Bell
Posted: June 25, 2014

Maine’s world-famous bridge: Cribstone bridge in Harpswell

A small coastal town that we’re all familiar with for it’s beauty and unique coastlines also holds another big secret you may not have known so much about…


Harpswell, Maine. Most of us have been there and think of islands or lobster, not “bridges.” But Harpswell is home to the world’s only cribstone bridge. (Okay, so Scotland claims they once had a similar bridge, but no proof of it has ever been found.) Construction on Harpswell’s cribstone bridge began in 1927 with an aim to connect the two island communities of Bailey Island and Orr’s Island, but still allow for strong tides and currents to flow freely. Something like this had never been built before. Only gravity holds the stacked granite blocks atop one another. Storms have constantly beat upon the local granite that makes up the bridge, but she has held her strength – only pausing in 2010 for small repairs. It was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and it’s surely a unique place to photograph and visit.

See it for yourself: Get there!


We take an early morning drive around Orr’s and Bailey Islands, stopping to photograph a small shack littered with lobster buoys and the coastline, before our group unloaded  our kayaks and set off for a full afternoon of exploring the coastline from a fresh perspective – the ocean. We exit through the access way built into the cribstone bridge and set off to explore and paddle around the islands. The sun was warm, the wind was calm and the swells were minimal.

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Paddling past several lobster boats, we reach back to land just in time to kick back on the sandy beach and pop open a fresh beverage from the cooler. We sit and take in the sunset beside the world’s only bridge made from stacks of granite. Now that just makes your beer taste a little bit better.




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