Explore Appledore Island Walking Tour

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Thank you for joining us on our 2019 Appledore Tours!

Our summer cruise season has concluded with our final cruise on August 18, 2019. The 2020 cruise schedule and registration will be released sometime in February/March 2020. If you would like to receive notification, please join our email list. We hope to see you next summer!

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Spend the day on Appledore Island, one of the nine beautiful Isles of Shoals off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, and visit the Shoals Marine Laboratory. Travel out to Appledore on the University of New Hampshire's research vessel, the R/V Gulf Challenger, with UNH Marine Docent tour guides. Investigate the intriguing intertidal creatures and zooplankton collected from the ocean at informal science stations on the boat.

On Appledore, explore the natural history of the island with the Docents. Look down to magnificent rock formations of eons past and up to a sky filled with birds that live on the island today. Learn about the plants that withstood the salty sea air to provide colonial settlers with remedies and today supply nutrition for the long voyages of migrating birds.

Discover the important role the Shoals played in the fishing economy of the 17th century. Find out about the amazing resort hotels on the Shoals in the 19th century and the people who flocked to the Isles for the healthy sea air. Visit the recreated garden of famous poet and essayist Celia Thaxter, who once lived on Appledore, and learn of her family's life on the Shoals.

Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy while looking from the Isles to the coast or gazing at the long line of the horizon where the sea meets the sky. Taking an Appledore Island Walking Tour with the Docents is a voyage you'll never forget!


Details, Prices & Times:

Open to members of the public on a first come, first served basis

Who: Adults & children 10 years of age and older (must be accompanied by an adult)

Cost: $50 for adults (ages 18+), and $40 for children (ages 10-17)

Departure Location: UNH Pier next to the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Fort Point in New Castle, NH (Address: 29 Wentworth Rd, New Castle, NH)

Timing:
8:00-8:30 a.m. Mandatory check-in and orientation at the dock
9:00 a.m. Departure
2:00 p.m. Return to the dock

Parking: Parking at the UNH Pier is limited, so please attempt to carpool if you are cruising with a family or large group. Parking is located in front of the entrance to Fort Constitution, along the left side of the access road to the U.S. Coast Guard Station. 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS TO THE PIER AND PARKING

PLEASE NOTE:
 
  • Cruise guests must remain with Marine Docent tour guides at all times while on Appledore Island. Independent exploring is not permitted.
  • All cruise guests must be able to walk several miles. Terrain of the island requires moderate hiking exertion over uneven ground.
  • Dress for variable New England weather conditions! Please review the 'What To Bring' information below for more details and recommendations.
  • View of Appledore Island while cruising in
    Cruising in
  • Cruise participants disembarking the Gulf Challenger onto Appledore Island
    Disembarking
  • Participants hiking from the dock to Kingsbury Hall
    Leaving the dock
  • View of water and housing on Appledore Island
    What a view!
  • View of Devil's Dancefloor on Appledore Island
    Devil's Dancefloor
Yankee Magazine July 2016

Read the Yankee Magazine article, The Mysterious Siren Call of Appledore Island

Celia Thaxter's Garden Tour

You can also visit Appledore Island with Celia Thaxter's Garden Tours. These tours are managed by the Shoals Marine Laboratory and led by our UNH Marine Docents.

Directions to UNH Pier

29 Wentworth Road, New Castle, NH 03854


Important Information:

Attire: To ensure your comfort on the tour, plan to dress for variable weather and to be exposed to the elements. Shade is limited during the cruise and island tour. Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunblock, and warm outer layer (sweater, light jacket, etc.). All passengers should wear comfortable, sturdy shoes (close-toed footware is preferred) for walking/hiking and standing on the dock and boat deck.

Lunch: Bring a brown-bag lunch to enjoy at midday on Appledore Island. There is NOT a snack bar on the vessel or food available to purchase on the island. We recommend bringing additional light snacks and a refillable water bottle. Shoals Marine Laboratory has a water bottle filling station. It is important to stay hydrated while exploring the island!

Required Waivers: Each passenger is required to have a signed wavier in order to participate. Bring the signed waiver with you on the day of your Appledore Island Walking Tour. Click here to download the required waivers. 

Expectations & Attitude: Tours are best experienced with an attitude for adventure and learning, sure to ignite your curiosity and provide an unforgettable experience!

Important:
 
  • All cruise guests must be able to walk several miles. Terrain of the island requires moderate hiking exertion over uneven ground.
  • Cruise guests must remain with Marine Docent tour guides at all times while on Appledore Island. Independent exploring is not permitted.

Island Environment: Appledore Island is a rugged landscape with uneven, slightly steep and rocky paths. Access on/off the island is via a floating dock, a steep ramp, two sets stairs, and ledge. Participants must be in good physical condition and should be prepared to spend a majority of the day walking (approximately 1-2 miles). Toilet facilities are available on Appledore Island.

About the Vessel: This program is approximately six hours in duration with transportation out to Appledore Island taking place aboard UNH's research vessel Gulf Challenger. This is a working research vessel (NOT a standard passenger vessel), which provides insight on how marine research is conducted and therefore does not provide amenities one might find on a passenger vessel. Participants must be prepared to stand for 45-60 minutes each way (out to and returning from Appledore Island) and will have limited protection from sun, rain, or spray. There is limited seating available below deck and it is only accessible via a steep set of stairs. Toilet facilities on the vessel are accessed by using a steep set of stairs. Participants are encouraged to use the toilet facilities located at the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex before departure.

About the UNH Pier: The R/V Gulf Challenger departs from UNH's Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex. This is a working research pier. Access to the vessel is via a steep floating ramp. The slope of the ramp varies with the tide.

Restrooms: There are toilet facilities at the UNH Pier facility, aboard the R/V Gulf Challenger, and on Appledore Island at the Shoals Marine Laboratory.

Seasickness: Passengers will transit six miles into the Gulf of Maine en route to Appledore Island. Sea conditions vary depending on wind and tidal action in the Gulf of Maine. If you or a member of your group have concerns about seasickness, please consult a medical professional to learn more about seasickness preventatives (Dramamine, Bonine, wristbands/pressure cuffs, ginger snacks or beverages, etc.).

Special Accommodations: Participants requiring special accommodations, such as the use of an American Sign Language interpreter or assistive listening device, should contact Dari Christenson at dari.christenson@unh.edu at least two weeks prior to cruise date.

  • Each passenger is required to have a signed wavier in order to participate. 
  • Bring the signed waiver with you on the day of your Appledore Island Walking Tour.
  • Docents will have extra blank waivers to sign at the dock as well.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE REQUIRED WAIVERS

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD DIRECTIONS TO THE UNH PIER

Full payment is required to reserve a space. You will receive a full refund only if you log into the reservation system and cancel your reservation up to 3 business days before the cruise or if the cruise is canceled. Cruises go rain or shine and will only be canceled in cases of severe weather, dangerous marine/sea conditions, and/or inadequate reservations. In case of severe weather or dangerous sea conditions, registrants will be called early in the morning the day of the cruise.

Appledore Island Panorama

Appledore Island Panorama