Big Tancook Island

6 Hours and a Bicycle

What a glorious way to enjoy a weekend afternoon. Pack a lunch and a wind breaker (if you suffer from optimism add a bathing suit and towel) in a backpack, grab your bike and be in Chester for the 1:00pm Saturday Ferry to Big Tancook Island. Or leave your bike at home as this island is a great hike too.

Sailing aboard the Wm. G. Ernst, a passenger only ferry, we stay topside to watch for whales, sailboats and seals. We are rewarded with a sailboat, loon, eagle and the company of 3 other cyclists. $5.00 and 50-55 minutes later after a very brief stop on Little Tancook we land on Big Tancook Island.

The Island is 3 miles long, and can easily be biked in an afternoon, the roads are graded and hard packed, not a piece of pavement to be found. We are the leisure seeking, stop to look for sea glass crowd, so we keep a very moderate pace. We always stop at Popplerocks Arts, for cookies, popplerocks, and to look over the treasures. We combine that with a penchant for finding as many perfect picnic spots as possible, but always leaving room for an ice cream at the end of the trip. This time we packed snacks only, and ate at Carolyn’s, my cheese burger was a homemade delight.

The island people have a brisk, no nonsense, tell you how it is attitude. Living on an island 8 km out in the Atlantic creates a rustic spirit and hardy independence. The truck, used to gravel the school road, is circa 1950 and once served as a fire truck.

So for an afternoon of outdoor adventure, biking or hiking, combined with sailing and picnicking, Big Tancook offers the perfect spot.