The Landing: Boat Tours & Arriving by Boat
Whether you arrive by boat or by car, The Landing is just one of many ways to experience nature at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. 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 and simply enjoy a beautiful view of the Back River as well as a few local islands.
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 Allée. A shuttle can take you as far as the Pine Cone sculpture along the Shoreland Trail; from there, enjoy a leisurely stroll past our Fairy House Village on your way to the dock.
SHEEPSCOT RIVER CRUISES: A SEA ADVENTURE
Enjoy a peaceful respite from your busy summer on one of our intimate, scenic coastal excursions. Explore the tidal river waterways in comfort as our licensed captain explains the local coastline, from wildlife to iconic Maine images: lobstermen hauling their catch, hand-cranked bridges to small islands, nesting osprey and their young and more.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature on this hour-long voyage, a tranquil escape that will become one of the most memorable moments of your Maine experience.
Tours begin June 1, and run 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:45 a.m., 2 p.m., 3:15 p.m.
Please call (207) 633-8000 to book this tour.
SECRET GARDEN EXPLORATIONS: A MAGICAL TOUR
Travel by boat up the Sheepscot River to the property of Elsie Freeman, a long-time gardener who transformed a rugged Maine landscape into a poetic seaside nod to the classic English cottage garden. Once you land, enjoy a magical, docent-led tour through the many garden beds, theme gardens and sculpture walks—all with a view of the sea. Learn about the evolution of the property and how it’s maintained—information sure to inspire you on your own garden path. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Tours begin July 1, and run Thursdays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Please call (207) 633-8000 to book this tour.
Reservations are recommended for all of our boat tours. Admission to the Gardens is required and included in ticket price. All tours are weather dependent.
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. Aptly named the Island Explorer tour, this guided tour provides you with a registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide to assist you and provide local knowledge during your paddle through our region’s tidal waterways. 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 to choose from; 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 two- to three-hour paddle will take you out to Ram Island, maintained by the Maine Island Trail Association. Once you arrive, take a break and enjoy a snack or picnic lunch along with spectacular views of the Sheepscot River. Paddle solely or with a group—either way, adventure awaits.
ARRIVING BY BOAT
Arriving by boat? We can now welcome a limited number of guests to our moorings, free of charge with admission to the Gardens on a first-come, first-served basis (sorry, no reservations). Gardens 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 then 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 five feet – if your boat is larger, please reserve 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.