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Black Island and Little Black Island

This 337-acre preserve features quiet picnic spots, rugged beauty, and breathtaking ocean-side camping.

Black and Little Black Islands are great for:

  • Camping – Spend a night at Little Black Island’s campsite, connected to the main island during low tide. (Stewards recently built two 8’ x 8’ tent platforms for you to enjoy!)
  • Hiking – Follow the 1.75-mile path that leads from the Quarry Wharf on the northeast corner of the island to the preserve’s picturesque southern shoreline.
  • Kayaking/Boating – Grab your paddle or set sail for the preserve’s pocket beach. Interested in setting out for a longer adventure? Consider stopping at neighboring preserves on Great Gott, West Sister, and Pond islands.

How to get there

Access to the preserve is by private boat. There are two recommended landing areas. The first and most protected landing spot is on the northeast end of the island in an area west of the quarry wharf in the southernmost of two pocket beaches. The anchorage on the south end is just west of the bar that connects Black and Little Black, tucked just inside Little Black.

Get directions from Google Maps

If the Island Could Talk

There is a long history of human habitation on the island, with European settlers arriving by 1820. By the turn of the twentieth century there were roughly 50 year-round residents practicing subsistence farming, logging the island’s forests, and fishing in the surrounding waters. Black Island residents also developed two granite quarries, a cabled cart railway, a school, and a boardinghouse. Most residents had moved off the island by 1930, though a handful of hangers-on remained for a few more years. Today, there is a small cabin on the north end of the island and two salmon aquaculture pen sites are located off the western shore.

Notes on topography, flora & fauna

Located 3.5 miles south of Bass Harbor in the town of Frenchboro, the Black Island and Little Black Island Preserve is comprised of 124 acres owned by MCHT as well as 213 acres of adjacent land protected with a conservation easement held by MCHT. This 337-acre preserve encompasses 2.9-acre Little Black Island and nearly three-quarters of its larger 463-acre neighbor to the north. The remaining 129 acres of Black Island are privately owned and not open to the public.

Preserve Neighbors

When visiting the Black Island and Little Black Island Preserve, please respect the privacy of the preserve’s neighbors on the northwest corner of the island.

How this place became open to the public

With the help of many generous donors, between 2009 and 2010, MCHT acquired multiple parcels that not comprise the Black Island and Little Black Island Preserve.

This place belongs to all of us. Help us take care of it!

Preserve information/guidelines:

  • Camp At Established Campsite (see map)
    • Limit Stay to 2 Nights
    • Commercial Users by Permission Only. Please call 207-729-7366.
  • Fires By Permit Only - Maine State Law
    • Contact Maine Forest Service at 1-800-750-9777 for permit
    • Keep All Fires Below High Tide Line – Do Not Build Fire Rings
    • Do Not Cut or Break Tree Limbs, Dead or Alive
    • Leave No Fire Unattended
    • Completely Extinguish All Fires
  • Stay on Established Trails while visiting the island’s interior
    • Foot Traffic Only - Trails Are Not Suitable for Wheeled Vehicles
  • Carry Out All Trash
    • Including Human and Pet Waste and Toilet Paper
  • Keep Pets Under Strict Voice or Leash Control
  • Please Respect the Privacy of Preserve Neighbors
  • Do Not Remove Archaeological Artifacts