The Landing: Boat Tours & Arriving by Boat
The Landing is one of many things to do at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens whether you come by boat or by car. Enjoy a peaceful boat tour or go on a kayaking adventure, right from our very own dock. Small boat moorings are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and we have a deep water mooring available by reservation. You can also stop by The Landing just to enjoy a beautiful view of the Back River as well as a few local islands. Stop by the Shoreland Gazebo on your walk to pick up a refreshment or small snack.
Getting to The Landing
Enjoy the wild coast of Maine on your walk along the Shoreland Trail, which is accessible from the Haney Hillside Garden or paths off of Birch Allee. A shuttle can take you as far as the Pine Cone Sculpture along the Shoreland trail, from where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll past our Fairy House Village on your way to the dock.
Enjoy a peaceful escape from your busy summer vacation in our quiet electric boat, The Beagle. Explore the coastal river waterways from the comfort of the first fully electric Coast Guard certified vessel in Maine. Our licensed captain will explain the local coastline, from wildlife to iconic Maine images: lobstermen hauling their catch, hand-cranked bridges to small islands, osprey and their young in nests, and more.
Have a highly personal experience in our intimate seven passenger vessel while seated beside our local captain in the shade of the boat’s canopy. On the hour long cruise you’ll get to interact with your fellow passengers while taking in the sights. This special boat tour will one of your most memorable experiences of your Maine vacation.
Kayaking with Tidal Transit
Exploring the rocky coast, rugged islands, and wildlife of the Maine coastline from the cockpit of a kayak is an experience like no other. Join a tour guided by a Registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide or rent kayaks and all the necessary gear from the knowledgeable Tidal Transit Staff. The guided tour is aptly named the Island Explorer tour. With a registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide to assist you and provide local knowledge during your paddle, you can explore and experience the tidal waterways running through this region. From seals to sea birds the Island Explorer Tour is a great way to experience the wildlife in the calm of the morning. After an island stop and refreshing snack, return refreshed and ready to explore the gardens. If you choose to embark on your own ocean adventure, there are tandem as well as single kayaks available for rent by the hour and stand-up paddle boards for rent by the half hour.
There are several different routes and all of them offer a wealth of different natural sights. Take an hour and circumnavigate Hodgdon Island, exploring the working waterfront at Trevett and the tidal ecosystem of the entrance to the Back River. A longer 2-3 hour paddle will take you out to Ram Island, an island maintained by the Maine Island Trail Association. Take break on this island to enjoy a snack or picnic lunch and spectacular views of the Sheepscot River. Come by yourself or bring your family; adventure awaits.
Arriving by boat
We can now welcome a limited number of guests arriving by boat. Moorings are free of charge with admission to the Gardens on a first-come, first-served basis (sorry, no reservations). Garden admission may be paid to dock personnel at the Gazebo on shore if they are available, otherwise please check in at the admissions desk in our Visitor Center. Please note that all children under 12 must be supervised and wearing personal flotation devices while on floats and ramp.
Our dock (The Landing) is located on our shorefront just south of the Knickercane Bridge and just east of Hodgdon Island on the Back River in Boothbay. The GPS coordinates are 43°52’42.77″N 69°39’44.88″W. At average cruising speed, travel time is about 25 minutes from the Southport Island Bridge and 45 minutes from Boothbay Harbor. The best route from the south is to come through Ebenecook Harbor, around the northern end of Hodgdon Island and then under the Trevett and Knickercane bridges. From the north one can enter the Back River from the Sheepscot via the Cross River at the northern end of Barters Island and proceed south to the Knickercane Bridge.
Small Boat Moorings
Our four small boat guest moorings (CMBG 1-4) are available for boats on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a maximum length of 32 feet and a maximum keel depth of 5 feet for boats using these moorings – if your boat is larger, please check our larger boat mooring. Boats cannot be tied to the dock, but the yellow zone can be used for loading and unloading. You are welcome to use our courtesy dingy as long as it is returned and secured to the dock once you are finished. Each boat has a three hour tie up limit per day and all boats must be gone by 5pm. If you wish to paddle over, kayaks can be tied on the south side of the floats.
Large Boat Mooring
We do have one deep water mooring located on the western side of Hodgdon Island for boats up to 50 feet in length with a maximum keel depth of 16 feet. This mooring can be reserved for up to a 24 hour stay with admission to the Gardens at no extra charge by calling our main number during business hours: (207) 633-8000. Guests will need to provide their own tender/dinghy for travel from the mooring to the Gardens.