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In the distance, the Smith Taylor Cabin built in Coecles Harbor around the turn of the century. Credit: Randee Daddona

You can sail to it or kayak to it, but Taylor’s Island is not a place you stumble upon.

An island the middle of Coecles Harbor, it is connected to Shelter Island by a narrow strip of sand that is underwater much of the time. You can only access the island — part of the Coecles Harbor Marine Water Trail — by kayak or shallow draft boat from town landings at the end of Burns Road or Congdon Road. 

The centerpiece of the tiny island is the Smith-Taylor Cabin, an Adirondack-style log cabin built around 1900 as a summer retreat by Francis Marion Smith, the Borax magnate who owned an estate on Shelter Island. It was later bought, gifted to the community and named for S. Gregory Taylor.

This magical spot is open May through October to the public for picnicking and public events, including an en plein air painting workshop on Sept. 11.

You can also arrange for a docent-led tour of the cabin. Inquire about visits and events at and arrange a kayak tour or rental at