The Fairy Houses of Mackworth Island

We had friends visiting from Philly all last weekend.  In addition to enjoying several local beaches, touring Fort Gorges and eating our fill of Labor Day barbeque, we also visited Mackworth Island.

Mackworth Island is 100-acres of birdwatching, hiking, fishing, sunning and fairy-house-building pleasure, located in Casco Bay, just north of Portland.  The island is accessible via a causeway off Route 1 in Falmouth, and has a free parking lot, though space is limited.  YES there is also an outhouse.

An easy 1.25 mile trail circles the island, meandering through the woods and hugging the coast, providing glimpses of the surrounding water.

In various locations you can clamber down to the sea, collecting shells and bits of organic material.

Why, you may wonder, would you want to shove seaweed in your pockets?  For THE VERY REASON YOU CAME TO MACKWORTH!  The Fairy House Village.

That’s right.  The Fairy Village.  Perhaps you didn’t know this, but while you & I are tucked safely in our beds, tiny fairies frolic in the woods of Mackworth Island.  And during the days, while they rest, we build them houses.

What may appear to be just another bit of forest is something else altogether.  Come closer and you will see.

Scattered everywhere in this section of the woods are fairy houses of every size and shape.  Some elaborate, some simple, all man-made of natural materials.

Some houses are bigger than others.  The one below, for instance, encompassed not only an amphitheater, but several housing units, as well as a fenced-in playground complete w/ ladder and swings.  It was my favorite, of course.

Fairy Swings

Some houses have enormous hot tub rooms. Did you know mushrooms are fairy hot tubs? You do now.

Fairy Hot Tub

Fairies like hot tubs. (Me too.)

Fairies like to eat bowls of big, juicy berries.  And sleep on yew-bush beds.

They throw lavish fairy parties replete with beautiful flowered dance floors.

They decorate their houses with moss and keep doodle bugs as pets. And just like humans, some like extra privacy.

So if you ever make it to Maine, be sure to stop at Mackworth Island and build your own fairy house.  There can never be too many.

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44 thoughts on “The Fairy Houses of Mackworth Island

  1. Beautiful shots and story Christy! Isn’t Mackworth kind of magical? If you like their fairy house forest, you guys should definitely make the trip out to Monhegan Island and go to the fairy houses of Cathedral woods next summer! You’ll love the whole island–absolutely breathtaking–an artist’s colony!

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  2. Wow! I was just mesmerized by your words and photos – and it brought me back to when my little sister and I were young; how seriously fun to visit a place so rich with opportunity to inspire the imagination. But a part of me in a little sad… if only we had the information then that fairies liked hot tubs and pet beetle bugs! Oh darn. 🙂

    Great post!

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    1. Craziest thing, Katie – my cousin recently posted photos on FB of his kids doing fairy house building down south. I think it’s becoming popular all over. As for NYC fairy houses, can you imagine? (I am a little scared thinking about the possibilities)

      Scratch that. PLEASE DO A POST MAKING YOUR OWN. I BEG YOU.

      PS: Yes the water up here is freezing most of the year but the hardiest of souls find it bracing. The wimps (like me) wait for the high point of summer to do their swimming. Over Labor Day I found it almost warm. Ayuh.

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  3. WOW! I wanna go there! I love how you are encourage to be creative with…NATURE! My favorites are the fairy dance floors and fairy swings.

    Why didn’t they have cool things like this when we were kids?

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  4. We would love that place! It reminds me of Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. There are woods where you can build fairy houses, with restrictions also so that the natural flora isn’t disrupted. How wonderful for your children to experience this!

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  5. I felt like I ventured into another world. A world of enchantment, where fairies do exist. If I can see their wings, they maybe hiding somewhere, ready to enjoy those berries as soon as I turn around. Those little houses speaks of magical creativity. I bet your daughters had a great and unforgettable time. The shells looked like gems. May be one day, I got to see this place. My son would be thrilled. He loved adventures. Superb post. Thanks for sharing the fairy dust…best wishes to you and your family.

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  6. Amazing and beautiful… I’m lucky that I see beautiful things in the Caribbean daily, but it’s nice to take a slice of culture off of the internet and expose my thoughts to other places….

    thanks for allowing us to peek into your world.

    T.

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  7. Fairy houses! Oh, how lovely. Takes me back to first grade, where we made our future homes under the trees during recess, playing at being grown up. What a lovely Labor Day weekend. Beats mine… going to the hospital on Labor Day. Ugh! Lovely to think of you and your family at such a magical place.

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  8. Christy, I noticed you folks went to the Renovation Warehouse in Portland?? In one your photos was a clawfoot tub with several soap holders on it. We have a claw foot tub that I would like to replace our soap holder with one of the ones you photographed. Can you tell me if this is the place where that photo was taken? I could send my daughter down there to pick one of them up. Thanks for any infor. Abbie Barber

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  9. Can’t wait to show this to the girls. We “feed the faeries” that live in the woods behind our house. I’m not sure how it was started or by who, but it’s alittle thing we have. Thanks for the photos!

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  10. Oh my…this is a place where I would love to linger…and so well described, it was almost as good as actually being there!! My English grandmother used to tell a story of when she was a little girl, and she and her younger brother happened upon several fairies dancing along the top rail of a wooden fence in the woods..,such a lovely vision! Brought back the memory!! Thanks for sharing!

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