This was Alex and my fourth trip to the Squirrel Island, Owen’s third, and Kinsely’s first. Our first, adults only trip, was for the whole day. We ranged along the whole island, following the paths and boardwalks, filling the pockets of my cargo pants to overflowing with sea glass. It only took one trip for both of us to fall in love with this small, private island.

In following years, little ones in tow, we stayed close to the ferry harbor, leaping waves and hunting for treasures. I’m counting the time until little legs are long enough for a longer explore.

This year, with four kids and three adults, we braved the wind for our favorite adventure, sea glass hunting.

The first beach was blown clean by the wind and the few pieces we found were more hunt than collection.

From there our party headed inland and then across to a second beach, success! The beach felt like equal parts stone and glass. Ziplock bags came out, giggles and screeches filled the air, and treasures were scooped. After an initial burst of grab everything in reach, the kids, and adults, settled into a more discerning style. Everyone had priorities. Owen looked for larger pieces and tumbled bricks. Clara and Kinsley needed to find the prettiest, I looked for pottery and interesting colors or shapes.

Tired and sandy, ferry paranoia set in, and we headed back early enough to be absolutely sure of catching the last boat home.

Squirrel Island is home to private residences and some island resident community buildings. In exchange for having power run out to the island, visitors are allowed. You catch the Novelty ferry in Boothbay, allowing you to ride a roundtrip tour of the harbor or to disembark at Squirrel. I strongly recommend catching a morning ride out and packing a lunch. Bathrooms are available at the ferry dock. There are no motorized vehicles on the island which makes it a great place to let kids run. As long as they don’t take the ferry off island, you know they can’t be far.