MCHT's 42-acre Malaga Island Preserve lies at the mouth of the New Meadows River in Phippsburg. Maritime spruce-fir forest covers most of the island. One or two acres of overgrown meadow occur on the north end of the island, while on the south end, one can find a brackish pond and salt marsh. The shoreline is mostly rocky and rugged, except for a few small beaches and patches of salt marsh. The shell-filled beach on the north end of the island (near the overgrown meadow) is the best landing spot for small boats. Note: much of Malaga Island is ringed with poison ivy.
Purchased by MCHT in 2001 through a generous bargain sale, Malaga continues to be used by nearby lobstermen for storing their traps and fishing gear. Recreational visitors can explore the island by landing at the beach on the northern shore, then walking a nearly one-mile long loop trail that explores the island's forested interior. A spur trail leads to scenic ledges at the south end of the island, which afford a panoramic view of eastern Casco Bay.
In addition to showcasing coastal scenery, Malaga Island also has an important cultural history. The island was home to a mixed race fishing community from the mid-1800s to 1912 when the residents were forcibly removed by the State of Maine. MCHT has been working with various partners in recent years, including the University of Southern Maine, to better understand the island's archaeological history and to help share this unfortunate story from Maine's history.
- No Camping Permitted
- No Fires Permitted
- Stay on Established Trails
- Carry Out All Trash
- Including Human and Pet Waste and Toilet Paper
- Keep Pets Under Control
- Do Not Remove Archaeological Artifacts
- Do Not Disturb Fishing Gear
How to Get There: Malaga Island is located near the mouth of the New Meadows River in Phippsburg. The best landing area is on the island's north end.