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, Maine Geological Survey

The Ovens

Located on the headland between Salsbury Cove and Hulls Cove, the Ovens have been an attraction for visitors for centuries due to the strange geological formations caused by the ocean's tide and waves. The tide has carved caves into the rock that resemble ovens. The Ovens are best approached by kayak at low to mid-tide. They are largely submerged at high tide, and there is no public land access.

From their location, it is clear that The Ovens have been carved out by the sea. The geology here is different from other places around the island, producing these curious cavities. Three geologic features come together in these rocks in just the right way: horizontal rock layers, vertical fractures, and small inclined faults.

It is the massive nature of the rock here that allows the fractures to be so long and straight. Where layering is more prominent, the vertical fractures are shorter and the rock breaks into smaller blocks. The intersection of various vertical fractures gives the rock a natural column-like structure that has lent the name "The Cathedral“ to one prominent rock headland. Behind "The Cathedral" is a tunnel through the rock over 10 feet high. This narrow tunnel is at the intersection of the weak horizontal layer and a prominent vertical fracture. The rock above the hole is strong enough to remain intact.

, Trip Advisor
, Trip Advisor

A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about The Ovens

Visitors have been intrigued by the curious craggy cavities called The Ovens since the days of the horse and buggy, memorialized in postcards going back to the 1920s.

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