Cottage sleeps up to 6, full kitchen, dining room, and living room w/ wood stove
The MacDuffie Family
About The MacDuffie Family
The two MacDuffie brothers bought the property in the 1950s and used an existing house away from the water until the mid-1960s, where the current oceanside cottage was built. The property is now managed by the MacDuffie Family LLC (a family trust), primarily by the next generation of MacDuffies. Most of us have spent time at Swans during the summer for our entire lives. It is a very special place to us and we're always happy when we can find renters who appreciate those special qualities as much as we do!
The MacDuffie Family purchased this Cottage in 1966
Why The MacDuffie Family chose Swans Island
Our families have deep roots in New England, with most of us born in Maine. The two brothers who purchased the property spent summers on Mount Desert Island as boys and explored all of Blue Hill Bay via boat. Having a summer house on Swans Island appealed to them as a way to keep family connections strong to this special part of the state.
What makes this Cottage unique
The house overlooks a lovely small cove (we call it MacDuffie Cove) that is part of the larger Seal Cove. (Yes, if you row out far enough, you're very likely to see seals popping up around you.) The view from the front porch is unbeatable, with the rise and fall of the tides; the wonderful combination of pine trees, pink granite shoreline, and water in the cove that is always changing color; lobster boats and sailboats on the horizon; the painterly sunsets. No other properties are visible from the house; the nearest sign of civilization is the barely-visible flashing light on Castle Rock, near Blue Hill. With no phone, no WiFi, no TV, conditions are just right for a peaceful retreat from one's everyday over-connected life. (There is a cell signal at the house and 24/7 Internet at the Town Office and Swans Island Library for when you absolutely need to be connected.) Walking, biking, running, hiking, rowing, kayaking, visiting the beach, exploring island sights, reading on the porch, playing games, snuggling up to the wood stove are just some of the activities you can enjoy.
100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date. 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
Best setting for our favorite family trip ever
We could not have been more pleased with the McDuffie home. I have a history of choosing online rentals with wonderful photos that don't quite live up to reality, but this one does! We had spent a few days camping in Acadia, and with beautiful weather and holiday week it was packed! Coming to Swans Island and experiencing the quiet and peace was wonderful. We simply loved the simple pace, kayaking the cove, eating lobster from the market, endless games of yahtzee, and hunting for sand dollars each evening at Fine Sand Beach. Swimming at the quarry was a treat and dinner at the table watching the sky turn pink every night was amazing.
I will say the mosquitos were pretty relentless but a good dose of bug spray and the citronella candles at night did the trick. Everything we could possibly want in the house was included, we only regret it was too warm for a fire!
Our kids (10 and 12) have decided they want us to return every year for a week, and at their ages we're thrilled they like our favorite kind of place. Thanks for sharing your home with us!
We had the pleasure of staying at the Cabin in June 2019. I was looking for a quiet, "away-from-it-all" type of property. We couldn't have been happier with the cabin and its remote location. It is quiet! With the exception of an occasional distant lobster boat, the sounds of nature are the only things heard. The cabin had everything we needed. Pots, dishes, coffee maker and blankets. Even in late June several blankets were needed at night. We had one rainy day during our stay and we used the Franklin stove to warm the cabin while we played games. We hope to return to this lovely cabin in the future.
Rustic Home Away from It All and Surrounded by Natural Beauty
My wife and I had only been to Maine a few times before. While I'd never heard of Swan's Island, there was definitely something about the description of the home and the views in some of their images that said: "Yeah, this is the one."
Based on our research and great info from the MacDuffies it was very clear what we should expect. There are no restaurants, coffee shops, or boutiques. There's one general store -- Tims -- that sells basics plus fresh vegetables, meats, and lobster. Don't look for action on Swan's Island. You visit the island for natural beauty, hikes to hidden treasures, great paddling and the peace that you would expect in a place where half the roads are dirt and where wifi is found only at the public library.
The home is on a part of the island that is sparsely populated. The cabin overlooks the aptly named Seal Cove. We planned our time around the ebb and flow of the 10-foot tide. The MacDuffies own the land on either side of the cove with hiking trails, and each side is very different in terms of the trees and the forest floor. The west side of the cove has a narrow winding moss-covered trail that looks like it was built by Hobbits. Follow it to the end and you'll discover a wooden lean-to for those who'd prefer a sleeping bag at night on the water’s edge
The home's heating sources are wood-burning stoves. There was a chill when we arrived so we stoked the stoves and kept at least one burning. (If it’s cool and you aren't comfortable with maintaining a fire, this isn't the place for you). There is one bathroom with a tub and also an outdoor shower. While there were only two, the home sleeps up to 8. I could imagine it being a bit crowded downstairs with 8. The kitchen had everything we needed. My ATT phone got a signal strong enough to stream some music but too weak to do anything else, thankfully.
The outdoor area on the deck is spacious. Three kayaks and a small dingy are available for guests. Definitely paddle out to the far rocks and you'll discover why it's called Seal Cove. You'll also likely see bald eagles, loons and the ever-present, chattering kingfisher. At low tide, dig for clams and you'll find more than you can eat.
At sunset our routine was to walk out about 100 yards on the right side of the cove for a clear view west to watch the sun dip behind the trees and the sky above pink up before revealing an amazingly dark sky with an all-u-can-consume buffet of stars. Definitely will be returning.
We really enjoyed the few days we spent on Swans Island. It was very special to have a cabin on our own cove, and we enjoyed spending time walking along the shore line and exploring. It's also a great location because it's a short walk to the fine sand beach. The cabin was comfortable, with a full kitchen, and the hosts provided us an abundance of information that was very helpful, especially with navigating the ferry system to get on the island. We really hope to stay here again!
The Perfect Island Getaway!
We booked the MacDuffie Family's peaceful cottage for a long weekend getaway as a surprise family trip for my fathers 60th birthday. Their cottage had everything you could possibly need to enjoy your stay. The first night, we bought lobsters from Kent's Wharf (nearby) and had a lobster bake - the large pots provided came in handy. The island also had a convenience store which is a short drive from the cottage. We brought the majority of our food with us.
The cottage is situated on its own private cove and with access to kayaks you could not ask for anything more. During the day we enjoyed exploring the cove and walking to the nearby white sand beach. At night, by the warmth of the indoor fireplace we enjoyed playing games as a family.
Checking in/out was very convenient and the MacDuffie family made sure that we were comfortable and enjoyed our trip. I cannot thank them enough for opening up their lovely home to us.
Swan's Island is located off the coast of Maine near Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island. It is a remote island, with ferry service originating in Bass Harbor. The six mile crossing from Bass Harbor takes about 30 minutes. The ferry, "Captain Henry Lee", holds 17 automobiles as well as walk-on passengers.
The year-round population is about 350 people, with over 1000 people in the summertime.
Swan's Island has some 7,000 acres with a highly irregular shoreline that provides secure and interesting anchorages for visiting boaters. It is hilly, but not particularly high. There is a quarry for swimming as well as places to visit on foot or bicycle. The island has three little villages, Atlantic in Mackerel Cove on the north coast, Swan's Island, on the shores of Burnt Coat Harbor in the south and Minturn.
Favorite spots include: Fine Sand Beach (powdery white sand) only 20 minutes from the house; Swans Island Lighthouse (now a museum, take a guided tour of the lighthouse tower and see exhibits in the keeper's restored house); the Quarry pond for fresh-water swimming; the Swans Island Library, a gathering place for the entire island community with 24/7 WiFi on the "Internet Porch", art exhibits, frequent speakers, and movie nights; Mill Pond park, with picnic tables and a lovely view of Burnt Coat Harbor; TIMS (The Island Market Store) where Brian (the owner) and the staff will help you with special orders of local veggies, fish, lobsters, "away" newspapers, and home-baked treats.