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Spruce Island - A Private island for large or small gatherings

Colie O'Donnell

Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Bedrooms 7
Half Baths1
Property type lodge
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights

Colie O'Donnell

Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 13, 2015
Book with confidence
Book with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Add vacation protection services to your booking
Three services to protect your trip:
Protect your payments in case you need to cancel.
Guarantee the rental meets your expectations
Ensure you're prepared in case of accidental damage.

Spruce Island - A Private island for large or small gatherings

Bedrooms 7
Half Baths1
Property type lodge
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights


Deer Isle - Stonington Lodge Rental Photos and Description

Sleeps 18 (larger groups possible; ask for details)

Spruce Island is a small, 80 acre private island off Deer Isle/Stonington, Maine. An aerial video of Spruce Island and a video of a traditional lobster bake on Spruce Island can be found at the bottom of this page.

The Stone House is the only house on Spruce Island. It can be rented by the week in the summer. In the off-season it can be rented for shorter periods. More than 18 people can be accommodated with prior arrangement.

There are many places to explore and things to do on and around Spruce Island. Kayaks and row boats are provided. Dress up as pirates and entertain your children (pirate dress provided); enjoy campfires on the shore; drive golf balls into the ocean and collect them at low tide; swim in a fresh water quarry on near-by Green Island owned by Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Play horseshoes, capture the flag, badminton, and pingpong. Charter our amphibious Sealegs to take you island hopping. Gaze into the heavens and see a universe of stars you can't see elsewhere because of light pollution. See bald eagles, ospreys, and many other seabirds. Experience the wonder that Robert McCloskey wrote about in the children's book, 'Time of Wonder'.

The house is comprised of two separate buildings. The Main House is a large open room with cathedral ceilings, a huge fireplace, and large well equipped kitchen. There is one bedroom in the Maine House. A swing hangs from the timbers in the Main House, and a “crows nest” on the roof affords spectacular views of the surrounding islands. On rainy days and at night, you can watch movies on the big screen and listen to surround sound music in the Main House.

The Guest House contains six bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. Electricity is supplied by wind and solar, supported by backup generators. Water is supplied from wells and a large rain water cistern.

This property is completely 'off the grid', but WiFi is available through HughesNet satellite connection and cell phone service is available.

Four Kayaks and 1 row boat are provided free except for a nominal fee charged for paddling/rowing and safety instructions, depending on experience. A small 10hp outboard motor boat can be rented for $400/week.

Spruce Island falls within the town of Stonington, Maine, famous for fresh Maine lobster and for the pink Maine granite that has been cut from its quarries for more than a hundred years. Spruce was quarried in the late 1800's and in harmony with this history, the owners decided to build these houses entirely of large granite blocks.

Tranportation to the Island: Transportation to and from the island is provided free on the first and last days, up to three round trips each of those days. For mid week transportation, there are a number of options. Old Quarry Ocean Adventures runs a 34 foot boat out of Stonington. A small outboard motor boat suitable for getting back and forth to Stonington can be rented for $400 per week. Steve Johnson runs a charter service called Bert & I Charters, 207-460-8679 (Boat Phone), 207-367-2991 (Residence). The Isle au Haut Ferry also does private ferry service to and from Stonington to islands in the area. Another option is to hire our amphibious Sealegs boat with a captain. The cost is $125/hour. The advantage of the Sealegs is that, as an amphibious craft, it can drive out of the water and set down on the ground like a camel for easy and safe loading and unloading. This is especially nice for exploring the many uninhabited islands around the area. For deep sea fishing, a good option is Eggemoggin Guide Service.

Island Life: There are many fun things to do on and around Spruce Island. Some examples include: Intra-island or even inter-island capture-the-flag; Camp fires on the beach; Exploring the many other small islands in the area; Sleeping in a tent near the shore is a wonderful experience for children and adults. You can sit by a camp fire and gaze into the heavens wondering how it all came to be, even catching glimpses of satellites moving across the sky, before rolling into a cozy tent and letting the gentle sounds of waves and wind lull you to sleep.

More Details
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Colie O'Donnell (Property Manager)
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 13, 2015

About Colie O'Donnell

We started building the stone houses in October 2006. It took five years to finish, working spring, summer, and fall and towards the end, working through the winter, though we had to pick the days to avoid really dangerous winter conditions. I was out there almost every day, in all kinds of weather, guiding the process and working with the crews. I ran the landing craft, did errands mid day, operated the crane and Lull and other equipment, and coordinated the logistical challenges moving thousands of tons of materials, across four miles of water. Somehow we persevered through the economic crash of '08 and other calamities along the way. The fact that all the stone as well as windows, doors, and wind turbines are from China is another story.

One of the most gratifying experiences of this island project has been to see how much people love gathering here for family reunions. I hope you too will enjoy it as my family and so many others have. And I hope you will return for many years to come and that this little island will become a significant place in your life, as it has in mine.

Colie O'Donnell purchased this lodge in 1986

Why Colie O'Donnell chose Deer Isle - Stonington

I bought Spruce Island twenty nine years ago, when I was thirty. The island had nothing on it then. The first trip out, I rowed the four miles alone in an eight foot dingy. I remember it was a beautiful fall day, but quite windy and it was a slog getting back to Stonington against the headwind. There was something about that island and that archipelago that was just so stunning. I recall very well sitting for the first time on the smooth granite slide on the east shore, transfixed by the beauty. I was unemployed at the time, with a wife (also unemployed) and two young children. Having just graduated from business school, I should have known better but instead I spent all my savings on it.

What makes this lodge unique

To some people, the architecture of these stone houses may be rather plain and sever, but they are strong and enduring, as is the island they are a part of, and to me that is both practical and beautiful. The heavy stone structure easily withstands powerful winter storms and requires virtually no maintenance that over time will offset the added cost of building on an island, with stone. Inside, they are warm and playful. They have all the practical comforts of a mainland residence, but a simplicity and plainness that are out-of-the-ordinary and refreshing.

Guestbook comments from the manager

Today we woke up and had pancakes! It was my birthday today. I just turned 12. We made a cake that was huge! I had such a fun time and I really hope that we come back. My mom said that we might! We found a fort cave going down to the dock and we also made a fort out of wood. We had a really fin time and will hopefully see you next summer. Thanks so much!

P.S. Our friends are coming in two weeks so we left them something on the mantel. So please don't move it!
Jul 2011
  • 1 of 7

Why HomeAway

Bedrooms 7
Half Baths1
Property type lodge
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights
Book with confidence
Book with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Add vacation protection services to your booking
Three services to protect your trip:
Protect your payments in case you need to cancel.
Guarantee the rental meets your expectations
Ensure you're prepared in case of accidental damage.


based on 7 traveler reviews

Write a Review
Spruce Island - A Private island for large or small gatherings
average rating of 5.0 based on 14 reviews

Entirely Breathtaking!

  • 5 of 5

Everything about this trip was wonderful. There's little else like the Maine shore in autumn! The entire process was so easy, that for a while I thought it ~too~ easy, but everything went off according to plan.

We were greeted at the boat launch, loaded up our bags, and the adventure began. The island is beautiful, with so much to wander through and explore. The woods are so thick and beautiful. Trails, rocks, beaches... too much to describe to put it all in here.

The accommodations were top-notch, the main house very comfortable. Watching the sun set from the crows nets gave me some spectacular photos.

This will likely become a yearly adventure for us.

  • Submitted: Oct 24, 2014
  • Stayed: Oct 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway


  • 5 of 5

I can't say enough good things about our stay on Spruce Island. I went with a group of 14 friends. Our main goal was to "get off the grid". Well we found the right place! The island itself is a short ride from the harbor. Just short enough to not be a pain but long enough to get away from it all. There was so much to do on the island... beaches, trails, exploring, ping pong, drive golf balls into the ocean, and more.

The houses had every amenity you could wish for. We were more than comfortable while being on a remote Maine island. Couldn't have asked for more.

We had 3 clear nights when the moon went down early and the stars came out in full force. Sitting up in the crows nest while looking up at a sky full of bright stars is quite the experience.

Colie and Jeff couldn't have been more accommodating and helpful. Can't wait to come back next year!

  • Submitted: Jun 11, 2014
  • Stayed: Jun 2014
  • Source: HomeAway

Magical Family Vacation

  • 5 of 5

Our visit to Spruce Island Stone House far exceeded all expectations. Our group of 18 , which consisted of three generations ages 18 months- 65 years old , had the dream vacation of a lifetime. The facilities are so well thought out to include the greatest comfort . The main house is beautiful and full of rustic charm with a large comfortable common area for eating, watching movies or just relaxing.The fully equipped kitchen is a dream to work in making it easy to cook for large parties. With 7 private bedrooms equipped with comfortable beds and private baths, the place is ideal for a large party or family reunion.

The owner has paid such close attention to every detail including beach chairs and grills and camp fire set ups at the two beaches. The island trails are well maintained making island exploration accessible to all. The shoreline is exquisite and wild. We sat on the beach and watched the seal pups lounging with their mothers on the rocks. We watched the stars at night from the crows nest. Some of the braver souls even swam while others kayaked. There are even golf clubs and balls to hit out to sea, followed by the game of collecting all the balls at low tide.

The owner, Colie was so helpful answering all of our questions before the trip. An added bonus is the boat ride to and from the island on the new amphibious boat....nothing like it! I would give it ten stars if I could. We were all sad to leave and will be back for sure. There is nothing I would change! This is a unique and very special adventure. I highly recommend it!

  • Submitted: May 27, 2014
  • Stayed: May 2014
  • Source: HomeAway

A perfect vacation!

  • 5 of 5

One of our most memorable family vacations ever! Spruce Island is so relaxing and peaceful. I highly recommend this place to everyone! A must see!

  • Submitted: Oct 13, 2013
  • Stayed: Jul 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
Sioux City, IA, USA

A Perfect Family Retreat

  • 5 of 5

For those whose who grew up under the influence of Robert McClosky's childrens books set in the granite ledged islands of Maine, Spruce Island is heaven on earth. Ringed by smooth white walkable rock and capped with pines, this remote yet accessible playground located in the protected waters of Merchants Row off of Stonington, is the perfect place to gather the clan.

Well suited to large groups, this impeccably maintained property is a great base for taking advantage of island life as it was experienced by past generations who yearly migrated to the cool natural air conditioning of the Maine coast.

I have sorted through many VRBO listings and held my breath on arrival waiting for the shoe to drop in squaring reality versus landlord hyperbole. If anything, the listing is an understatement of the experience. The buildings are brand new and built with care and are well set up for housing a large group in comfort. The fact that all beds are singles might be a bit off-putting for some, but this possible detriment is more than made up for by the fact that every room has its own bathroom.

The owner was more than helpful, both prior to arrival and during our stay (without being a nuisance). We asked tons of questions in the months leading up to our arrival: was there a mooring and how much weight could it hold, did the kitchen have baking tins, food processor, measuring cups, etc etc etc. Every question was promptly and completly addressed.

For the right group, this property is a gem beyond price. Being on an island, at the end of a 4 mile boat ride is not everyone's idea of a dream. However, due to the owners foresight and customer service driven attitude, any issues, including transport, are quickly and suitably addressed.

  • Submitted: Sep 11, 2012
  • Stayed: Jul 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway

Great Family Escape

  • 5 of 5

The accommodations on Spruce Island were excellent. From the Bunkhouse to the Stone House, the owners thought of everything. The kitchen is fully stocked with all the necessary equipment. Even the beach areas were stocked with everything from beach chairs (in multiple locations) to a volleyball court, multiple gas grills, and lobster cookers. Collie and his staff made it easy for us to find lots of entertainment both on and off the island. We were able to kayak, sightsee, and even take a trip to Isle au Haut. The pirate outfits made for a fun night when some of the adults dressed up and surprised some of the children and adults camping on the beach. We even won lobsters by learning the island rules. Our family had a great time getting back to "nature" on Spruce Island. There were 15 of us, from age 70 to age 6 -- and there was something to do for everyone. The Maine coast is a beautiful area and you will not find a better spot from which to explore it than Spruce Island. We hope to be back again!

  • Submitted: Aug 5, 2012
  • Stayed: Jul 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway


Nearest Airport
40 Miles
Bangor International Airport
Nearest Ferry
100 Metres
Nearest Golf
100 Metres
Driving range on the island
Nearest Restaurant
3.5 Miles
Fisherman's Friend
Nearest Beach
100 Metres
Car: not necessary

Spruce Island is a small, 80 acre private island in Merchants Row, half way between Bar Harbor to the east and Camden to the west. Isle au Haut, part of Acadia National Park, is about 5 miles to the south. Merchants Row is renowned for its scenic beauty and is a destination for boaters from around the world. There are dozens of small, uninhabited islands in the area that can be explored by kayak or other small boat and on foot. Robert McCloskey’s “Time of Wonder”, captures the essence of summering on a small Maine island in this area. Stonington is a pituresque fishing Village frequented by artists who capture its unique beauty on canvas and film. There is an old Opera House in town, built originally to entertain the many thousands of granite workers in the 1800's, which now conducts plays and musical performances throughout the year. There is a fresh water quarry on a near by uninhabited island that is a wonderful place to swim.

Other Activities: campfires on the beach; lobster bakes, Kayaking, Boating, Wildlife Viewing


Rates & Availability

From $375 Per night

Deer Isle - Stonington Lodge Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Rental rates quoted in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Fall and Spring
Sep 7 2014 - Jun 26 2015
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $45 per night, per additional guest
Summer 2015
Jun 27 2015 - Sep 5 2015
6 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $45 per night, per additional guest
Fall and Spring 2015
Sep 6 2015 - Jun 17 2016
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $45 per night, per additional guest
Summer 2016
Jun 18 2016 - Sep 3 2016
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 17 guests; add $45 per night, per additional guest
Fall & Spring 2016
Sep 4 2016 - Jun 17 2017
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $45 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $45 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Property Damage Protection $99.00
Tax Rate 8.0%
Notes Separate charges for electricity and water: $2/KWH and $0.25/gallon above 1000 gallons/week. Deposits collected in advance.
Electric ATV rental (optional) charged at $10/KWH electricity used. Deposit collected in advance.
Small outboard boat rental (optional) $400/week.
Summer rates are for up to 18 people.
Groups larger than 18 are possible; ask for details.
2.5% fee on credit/debit card pmts
Cleaning and transportation fees added if staying less than 4 nights.

Cancellation Policy

Policy available by contacting manager when booking.
Enter dates to see total


Deer Isle - Stonington Lodge Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • lodge
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 3600 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Near The Ocean
  • Rural
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood
  • Internet
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone ...
  • Toilet Paper
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Stove
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Lobster Pot
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • 7 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Full 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Full 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Full 3 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Full 4 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Full 5 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Full 6 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Full 7 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Half 1 - toilet
  • 7 Bedrooms, Sleeps 18
  • Bedroom 1 - 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 4 - 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 5 - 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 6 - 4 twin/ single
    Bedroom 7 - 4 twin/ single
  • Books
  • Books for Kids
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Music Library
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Radio
  • Stereo
  • Video Library
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Boat ...
  • Boat with Paddles
  • Child's Swing
  • Crow's Nest
  • Deck / Patio
  • Golf ...
  • Golf Cart
  • Golf Clubs
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Walkway to Water
  • Wood Deck
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • pond
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • hunting big game
  • hunting small game
  • jet skiing
  • mountaineering
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing
Some fun things to do include: intra-island or even inter-island capture the flag; camp fires on the beach; sleeping in tents near the shore; exploring other islands in the area; dressing up as pirates to entertain your children (pirate clothing provided); hiding 'pirate treasure' on the island for children to hunt for; use the kayaks provided to explore the area; charter a larger power boat for local or long distant excursions; drive golf balls out into the water at high tide on the beach and collect them at low tide to do it all over again (golf balls and clubs provided)...

Learn more about this vacation rental at the manager's website:

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