Maine Coast Heritage Trust manages more than 100 preserves along Maine's coast. Featured below are links to a sampling of MCHT's preserves—places that exemplify the core conservation values that the Trust seeks to protect, and that are more suitable for public access.
Southern Maine Region
Mount Desert Island Region
Guidelines for Public Use
MCHT preserves are special places managed to protect ecological diversity, scenic beauty, low impact recreation, and other community benefits. Our intent is to have them retain their natural character, with little human influence. Where trails exist they tend to be footpaths; campsites are rustic; and human amenities are generally non-existent.
For a guided tour of an MCHT Preserve, be sure to visit our field trips page to learn about upcoming trips.
Thank you for observing the following policies:
- Please adhere to ‘leave no trace’ and ‘carry-in/carry-out’ practices.
- Pets must be under voice or leash control.
- Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
- Hunting is generally allowed.
- Islands with nesting birds have seasonal restrictions during nesting periods (typically February–August).
- Fires are generally allowed on island preserves, below mean high water, with a permit (207) 827-1800.
- Overnight use is only allowed on designated islands.
- Size limits apply to groups using MCHT campsites.
- Commercial and non-profit sponsored groups are required to obtain a permit from MCHT prior to visiting.
- Preserve specific guidelines are posted on location.
Visiting Maine Islands
Most preserves in this guide are undeveloped islands. In keeping with the Trust’s longstanding commitment to protect the unique experience these islands provide, we manage these properties lightly. We also count on the careful stewardship of all who use these special places—please treat them with extra care so that those coming after you can enjoy them as well. If you encounter other visitors, please respect their solitude and island experience.
With few exceptions, you will need to provide your own transportation to MCHT’s island preserves. Please do so only if you have experience navigating Maine’s coastal waters. As always when visiting a remote location, prepare in advance with proper clothing and equipment. We wish you a safe and enjoyable visit!
For more information, call us at (207) 729-7366.