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Experience the Moody Beauty of Muscongus Bay

Working along Maine’s nearly 5,000 miles of shoreline, we get to know the unique character of every bay. Muscongus, between John’s Bay and Penobscot Bay, is especially mercurial. Southwesterly winds often whip up the waters and the abundance of fishing boats and rocky outcroppings dissuade some from recreating here. But these dynamic qualities are part of what make Muscongus so “spectacularly beautiful,” says MCHT steward Amanda Devine.

“The abundance of fishing boats and rocky outcroppings dissuade some from recreating here. But these dynamic qualities are part of what make Muscongus so spectacularly beautiful.”

Less developed than other places on the coast, along the Muscongus Bay shoreline you’ll still find traditional rustic cottages, saltwater farms, and working waterfront. Islands range from spits of rock covered in seals to birding meccas like the National Audubon Society’s Hog Island on which MCHT holds a conservation agreement guaranteeing public access and limits development. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, Amanda recommends launching your hand-carry or motorized boat from Round Pond, which puts you in a good position to head north up the Medomak or southeast toward most of MCHT’s conserved islands with public access.

Anchoring can be tricky at MCHT’s nearby Elizabeth Noyce preserve on the southern end of Louds Island, but on a calm day it’s worth a try to see the hay-scented fern meadow and views over Pemaquid. Ned’s Point preserve on Friendship Long Island is best reached by the sheltered cove on its western side, where you’ll find a nice landing beach. The cove warms up into August—Amanda says this makes for a great swimming spot. You can camp overnight on Black Island, where Amanda is reopening a trail. Hungry Island, which is owned by The Chewonki Foundation and listed on the Maine Island Trail, is also open to the public through a conservation agreement with MCHT.

“Less developed than other places on the coast, along the Muscongus Bay shoreline you’ll still find traditional rustic cottages, saltwater farms, and working waterfront.”

These islands are conserved and cared for in perpetuity thanks to the generous gifts of donors like you. Thank you for supporting coastal conservation and Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s effort to protect the natural integrity of Muscongus Bay. We hope you’ll get out there and experience it for yourself! You can find contact info, trail maps, directions, and more in our preserve pages.