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The Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge: Maine’s Must-See Attraction

Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge in Prospect, Maine
Discover the breathtaking views and incredible engineering of the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge in Prospect, Maine. Learn about visiting this must-see Maine attraction.

From Stunning Views to Incredible Engineering: Exploring the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge

If you’re planning a vacation to Maine, you won’t want to miss the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge in Prospect. This unique attraction offers breathtaking views of the Penobscot River and surrounding landscapes, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the area.

 

Getting to the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge

The Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge is located at 740 Fort Knox Road in Prospect, Maine. It’s easily accessible from U.S. Route 1, and there’s plenty of parking available on-site. Admission fees are reasonable, and the observatory is open from May through October, with hours varying depending on the season.

Penobscot Narrows Observatory in Prospect, Maine

 

Exploring the Penobscot Narrows Observatory

One of the highlights of visiting the observatory is the elevator ride to the top. As you ascend 420 feet, you’ll enjoy a unique perspective of the bridge and river below. Once you reach the observation deck, you’ll be treated to 360-degree views of the stunning Maine landscape. On a clear day, you can see for miles in every direction, making it a photographer’s dream. The observatory also features educational exhibits that share the history and engineering of the bridge.

Penobscot Narrows Observatory in Prospect, Maine

For the best views and most comfortable experience, try to visit on a clear, mild day. Early morning and late afternoon are often the best times to avoid crowds and catch the most beautiful light.

Penobscot Narrows Observatory views

 

Walking the Penobscot Narrows Bridge

After exploring the observatory, take a walk across the Penobscot Narrows Bridge itself. The bridge walkway is accessible from the observatory parking lot and offers a unique perspective of the structure’s design and engineering. The walk is about a mile round trip and takes approximately 30-45 minutes, depending on your pace. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and stay within the designated walkway for your safety.

Penobscot Narrows Observatory bridge

 

Nearby Attractions and Activities

While you’re in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Fort Knox State Historic Site, located just across the bridge from the observatory. This well-preserved 19th-century granite fortification offers a fascinating glimpse into Maine’s military history. Guided tours are available, and admission is separate from the observatory.

Forst Knos State Historic Site with Penobscot Narrow Observatory in foreground

The nearby town of Bucksport is also worth a visit, with its charming downtown area featuring unique shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for more outdoor adventures, the surrounding area offers plenty of scenic drives, hiking trails, and opportunities for fishing and kayaking.

Bucksport, Maine near the Fort Knox State Historic Site
Bucksport, Maine near the Fort Knox State Historic Site and the Penobscot Narrows Observatory

 

Interesting Facts about the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge

  • The Penobscot Narrows Bridge is the tallest bridge observatory in the world, standing at 420 feet tall.
  • The observatory’s viewing platform is the highest occupied space in Maine, offering unparalleled views of the region.
  • The bridge was designed to replace the aging Waldo-Hancock Bridge, which was demolished in 2013.
  • The observatory’s design was inspired by the Washington Monument, featuring a similar obelisk shape.
  • The bridge and observatory were completed in 2006, taking nearly three years to construct.

Penobscot Narrows Observatory in Prospect, Maine

 

Tips for Making the Most of Your Visit

To make the most of your visit to the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge, consider these tips:

  • Visit during the shoulder seasons (May-June or September-October) for smaller crowds and milder weather.
  • Bring a camera, binoculars, and comfortable shoes to fully enjoy the experience.
  • Plan to spend at least a couple of hours exploring the observatory, bridge, and nearby Fort Knox.
  • Combine your visit with other nearby attractions, such as the charming town of Bucksport or the scenic drives along the Penobscot River.

View from the Penobscot Narrows Observatory

 

Make Your Maine Vacation Unforgettable with a Visit to the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge

The Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge is a true gem of the Maine coast, offering a unique blend of history, engineering, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a photographer, history buff, or simply appreciate stunning views, this attraction is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, when planning your next Maine vacation, be sure to add the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge to your must-visit list – you won’t be disappointed!

Penobscot Narrows Observatory Entrance in Prospect, Maine

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge

The following are answers to some common questions about the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge in Prospect, Maine.

How tall is the Penobscot Narrows Observatory?

The Penobscot Narrows Observatory stands at an impressive 420 feet (128 meters) tall, making it the tallest bridge observatory in the world.

Is the observatory accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, the observatory is fully accessible. An elevator takes visitors from the ground level to the observation deck, making it easy for everyone to enjoy the stunning views.

Are there any age or height restrictions for visiting the observatory?

There are no age or height restrictions for visiting the observatory. However, children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Can I visit the observatory year-round?

No, the Penobscot Narrows Observatory is open seasonally from May through October. Hours of operation vary depending on the month, so be sure to check the official website before planning your visit.

Is there an admission fee to visit the observatory and bridge?

Yes, there is an admission fee to visit the observatory. As of 2024, the fees were $9 for adults, $5 for children aged 5-12, and free for children under 5. There is no additional fee to walk across the bridge.

Can I walk across the Penobscot Narrows Bridge?

Yes, visitors can walk across the bridge using the designated pedestrian walkway. The walk offers unique views of the bridge’s architecture and the surrounding landscape. The round-trip walk is approximately one mile and takes about 30-45 minutes to complete.

 

Contact Information
Penobscot Narrows Observatory & Bridge
740 Fort Knox Road, Prospect, Maine 04981
207-469-6553
info@fortknoxmaine.com
https://www.fortknoxmaine.com/

 

 

Picture of Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark has an extensive background in the Maine Hospitality Industry, having owned the Ledges By The Bay, a boutique oceanfront hotel property, in Rockport Maine, for 40 years. He sold the property in 2016 but remains well-versed in the Maine Tourism industry and has written a number of Maine travel-related articles for various blogs and publications over the years.

Mark founded the TakeMe2 Travel Guides platform, an online travel guide initiative, designed to promote tourism in Maine, New England and in other key states – by providing in depth, unbiased information to potential tourists and travel consumers. TakeMe2 currently features the TM2Maine.com website.

Mark is also currently a stakeholder in VONT, a digital marketing agency in Westbrook, Maine, where he leads VONT's search engine optimization (SEO) practice.

Mark is versed in a number of digital information technologies including web design and development, digital video, electronic design and digital imaging technologies as well as internet marketing tactics such as blogs, web properties, and other smart media such as AI chatbots for content, image and video enhancement. One of his primary tasks at VONT is to find the successful application of these new information platforms in marketing and then teach VONT's marketers how to use them to create marketing campaigns more efficiently, creatively and cost effectively.

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