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Tinker Island (McKenney Preserve)

The McKenney Preserve on Tinker Island provides scenic vistas along its expansive beach-lined shores.

The McKenney Preserve is great for:

  • Exploring – Ringed by a series of beaches, the preserve is ideal for landing small boats, picnicking, and beachcombing.
  • Camping – Find two designated campsites, one located near a sandy spit on the west shore that serves as an excellent swimming area and the other near the north shore.

How to get there

Tinker Island is located in Blue Hill Bay in the town of Tremont. In Seal Cove on Mount Desert Island, there’s a public ramp with good parking, about 3+ miles east of the island.

Get directions from Google Maps

Staying overnight?

Enjoy two campsites on the McKenney Preserve on Tinker Island—“Sand Point Campsite” and “North End Campsite.” Please note that there’s a large raccoon population on the island, and you’ll want to secure or hang food.

History abounds

Tinker was originally named Robinson Island in honor of its first European settler Captain John Robinson. While serving as a sea pilot, Robinson guided many privateers safely past the British during the Revolutionary War. By 1850, 41 people in seven households lived on the island, but by 1910 the last resident departed. Remnants of Tinker Island’s past history remain: a wagon road, cellar holes, sills, wells, and stone walls are all visible today.

Notes on topography, flora, and fauna

MCHT's 230-acre McKenney Preserve covers the northern half of Tinker Island (the 430-acre island includes a 200-acre conservation easement limiting development on the southern half - please respect the privacy of the owners). A prominent landmark in the middle of Blue Hill Bay, Tinker Island has five distinct plant communities that provide habitat for abundant wildlife including nesting osprey and bald eagles, porcupine, snowshoe hare, white-tailed deer, and red squirrel. Its northern ledges are important haul-outs for seal pups.

How this place became open to the public

MCHT acquired the preserve through a bargain sale in 2001 thanks to the generosity of the McKenney Family and with support from the Land for Maine's Future Program.

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

Preserve information/guidelines

  • Camp At Established Campsites
    • Limit Stay to 2 Nights
    • Groups of 6 or More and Commercial Users by Permission Only. Please call 207-729-7366.
  • Fires By Permit Only - Maine State Law
    • Contact Maine Forest Service at 207-827-1800 for Permit
    • Keep All Fires Below High Tide Line
    • Do Not Cut or Break Tree Limbs, Dead or Alive
    • Leave No Fire Unattended
    • Completely Extinguish All Fires
  • Carry Out All Trash
    • Including Human and Pet Waste and Toilet Paper
  • Keep Pets Under Control
  • Please Respect the Privacy of Preserve Neighbors