The Cribstone Bridge between Bailey and Orr’s Islands is the only one around. Yup, the only one.
What’s a ‘cribstone’ bridge?
This is such an unusual bridge that pretty much every spellchecker out there tells you the word is spelled incorrectly. Get up close to the bridge, take a really good look. What’s holding it together? Gravity and inertia and the sheer weight of the granite slabs. The stacked granite blocks are just sitting there, no mortar, no cement, no rebar.
The weaved pattern of stacking the granite allows the tide to flow through the bridge, rather than battering it with every turn. If you time your trip just right, you may see sailboats gliding under the cars traveling overhead. Another highly interesting ‘photo op’ is catching the rising full moon under the bridge.
What else is out here?
Besides seeing the Cribstone Bridge, you could spend an entire day wandering around in Harpswell. Go birding on the Giant’s Stairs, get some yummy fudge at Land’s End, visit the fishermen’s memorial, take a side trip to Cundy’s Harbor and South Harpswell, meander through the Bowdoin College reserve and the Devil’s Back Trail.
How do I get there?
From White Cedar Inn take Rt 1 north. Exit at Cook’s Corner and go straight through the traffic light (Rt 24). Take Rt 24 to the end. You cross the Cribstone Bridge just after Orr’s Island. The photos here were taken from Cook’s Lobster and Ale. There are several other places you can pull over to take pix and then walk across the bridge.
The Giant’s Stairs are just past the bridge, on the left, down Washington St. Just before Washington is Mackerel Cove on the right.
The fishermen’s memorial is behind Land’s End Gifts (home of excellent fudge!)
To get to Cundy’s Harbor, head back toward Rt 1. You will see the turn off to the right on Great Island.
Devil’s Back Trail is on Orr’s Island.
South Harpswell is on the other side of the Mountain Rd. Cross over to Rt 123 and go left. Bowdoin College’s reserve trails are off Rt 123.
Where we like to eat
You know us, we look for lobster everywhere! Some great options (check hours, not all places are open in winter or all day):
Cook’s Lobster and Ale
Morse’s Cribstone Grill
Giant’s Stairs Grill
Estes Lobster House
Did I mention the fudge?
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