One of Harpswell’s major islands, it is accessible on Route 24 (Harpswell Islands Road) by the Orrs Island Bridge just south of the intersection with Mountain Road. Bailey Island is just south of Orrs across the historic Cribstone Bridge.
The Orrs Island Bridge has been the historic home of a small number of lobster fishing families whose docks, floats and gear have been a staple on the west side of the bridge for years. Because of the danger from traffic on the small plot of land, the leases are slowly being retired as the fishermen retire.
Uphill from the bridge looms the Devil’s Back portion of the island. Parking for a scenic hiking trail is at the crest of the hill. The 1.2-mile loop is relatively easy and offers a woodland with views of Harpswell Sound and Gun Point Cove.
The island hosts one of the the town’s two local libraries. Another short walk with a view is at Houghton Graves Park near the library. Bowdoin College’s Coastal Studies Center provides research opportunities for students and faculty, along with a scenic walking path along the shore.
Among the many early buildings are the island’s former (1938-1989) “Fire Barn” and the small 1900 Episcopal All Saints Chapel.
Several community building occupy the center of the island: The Orrs-Bailey volunteer fire department, the old Orrs Island Schoolhouse, now a community center, and the 1855 Orrs Island Meeting House.
Unnamed Photographer. “Orrs Island Bridge with fog rising (c. 1901).” Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/94506002/ (accessed December 13, 2017)