1.5 miles of trails through the site of an old quarry with panoramic views of Merchants Row islands and Isle au Haut.


  • Hiking
  • Picnicking
  • Views of Merchants Row and Isle Au Haut
  • Walk through and learn about a historic quarry
  • Geologic Observation
  • Bird Watching


Hike the winding .5 mile Glacial Erratic trail or the easier .3 mile access road to the top of the quarry where you will find a viewing platform, an overlook, and a few small trails that wind through the quarry. There are many drop-offs and other dangerous points – please be careful.


  • Day Use Only – no camping or overnight parking
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From the Deer Isle Causeway, drive South on Route 15 for about 8 miles. Shortly after passing Airport Rd on your left, turn right onto Oceanville Rd. In less than a mile, the entrance to Settlement Quarry Preserve parking lot will be on your right.


With Ecologist, Dr. Ken Crowell, & Naturalist, Marnie Reed Crowell:

“While Settlement Quarry first brings geology to mind, this area is rich in plant and animal life. In early spring, you may hear the first Song Sparrows and Slate-colored Juncos, and perhaps you will smell a fox on this sheltered walk. Just as the poplars and white birches begin to leaf out, the wave of warblers returning from the American tropics will be heard.

The view from the quarry head is both lovely and instructive. The asymmetric shape of the quarry hill with its gently sloping north side up which you walked and steeper south side now quarried away is characteristic of a glaciated landscape. As the ice sheet moved south, the north slope was worn by abrasion. In the southern rock face, water pressure variations result in cracking of the rock, and fragments are plucked out as the glacier moves. As the rock is eventually carried off piece by piece, it leaves a steeper, ragged slope. This plucking has endowed the quarry with a natural deep-water access for shipping granite to the coastal cities.

By color you can sort out the ingredients of our granite. Microcline, a pink feldspar, plagioclase, a white feldspar, and quartz make up 95 % of the rock, with shiny flakes of biotite, black mica, added in.”

Check Out the FULL Virtual Guided Walk through Settlement Quarry Preserve


The last stone cut at the Settlement was for the memorial to Robert Kennedy.  Ownership passed to the Perini Corporation of Massachusetts, which hauled out loose stone for use in breakwaters and rip rap. But this did not last, and in 1996 the quarry itself was acquired by Island Heritage Trust.


The Deer Isle Granite was formed at least 300 million years ago when what is now coastal Maine was geologically active. Some of the magma rose through the crust and became trapped before reaching the surface, cooling slowly over hundreds of thousands of years. In the great expanse of geologic time, the thousands of feet of overlying rock has been gradually eroded inch by inch so that the Stonington Granite is now exposed at the earth’s surface.

The human history of the area begins with Indians, the ancestors of the Etchemins (meaning “real people”) whose campsites are numerous around the shores of Webb’s Cove. By 3000 years ago, the cove was the southern end of a major transportation route that ran north through Deer Isle, eventually connecting with routes to Castine and the Penobscot River. From the cove to the south, Indians had access to the various islands off the Deer Island Thorofare and Merchants’ Row, as well as Isle au Haut (one of their sources of stone for tool making).

Besides the fish, marine mammals and waterfowl available in the waters beyond, there were abundant resources in the cove itself. In addition to some of the best clam flats on the island, there was good fishing for mackerel, flounder, sculpin, shad and dog fish. Jack’s Brook at the head of the cove, along with other streams, provided good smelt runs, Tom Cod, and eels were plentiful in the outlet brook from east end of Burnt Land Pond that flows into Webb Cove. Duck hunting, too, was productive…

…[Among] the early white settlers on Webb’s Cove was Thomas Buckminster, who in 1790 acquired 50 acres on the east side of Webb’s Cove (later the site of the Settlement Quarry). To the east was land of Thomas Robbins, and to the north, George Gross. At the time, this was the southernmost settlement on the east side of Deer Isle, and the earliest in what would later become the town of Stonington. Thus, it came to be known as “The Settlement.” – Bill Haviland, A History of The Settlement Quarry Preserve, 2008

In the early part of the 20th century the Settlement Quarry was a major industrial site, employing hundreds of men. It was a forest of stacks, masts, booms, and derricks, such as depicted in Stonington’s Granite Museum. It included coal-fired boilers to generate the steam to run the engines that operated compressors, dynamos, winches, and cranes. There was a railroad for moving granite and machinery within the site.

In 1902 the first major granite shipment went to construct abutments of the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City. Subsequent shipments were used for the George Washington and Triborough Bridges, New York’s Grand Central Terminal, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and many other important buildings. Its last major shipment in the late 1960’s was sent to Washington D.C. for the Robert Kennedy memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. The quarry was most active in the 1920’s. It opened briefly in the 1960’s and closed permanently after a final effort about 1980.

Technology changed the quarrying industry. Steel and reinforced concrete replaced granite. Special burning torches replaced black powder. Huge loaders and trucks replaced derricks and schooners. Over the years the old buildings were removed and the equipment salvaged or sold as scrap.

Today, the Maine granite industry primarily supplies veneers for building facades and kitchen countertops. Because of bedrock fractures, the Settlement Quarry can’t supply suitable stone. The Deer Isle Granite from Crotch Island is still barged to the Webb Cove wharf where it is loaded onto trucks and hauled elsewhere for cutting to supply today’s market.