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West Sister Island

WestSister

Located in the town of Swan’s Island, West Sister is a 39-acre island preserve in outer Blue Hill Bay. Almost entirely forested, the preserve lies southeast of Swan’s Island, approximately 0.4 mile due east of Red Point. When MCHT acquired the island in 2011, it had a rustic cabin. Most of the building was removed a year later. What remains is a 15 foot by 18 foot open-sided pavilion with a fireplace. This structure serves as a tent platform for overnight use as well as an inviting picnic spot during the day.

West Sister’s interior is dominated by a dense, spruce and northern hardwood forest. This shady habitat attracts river otter and mink, while providing a nice backdrop to the island’s ledge-covered shoreline. However, the preserve’s main draw is its cobble beach that can be found on the northwestern shore.

The preserve’s cobble beach provides an ideal vantage point to scan the surrounding seas for harbor seals and sea ducks, as well as the sky above for bald eagles and common terns. In addition, the beach offers stunning views of the distant peaks of Acadia National Park. Visitors to the island will find attractive picnic sites. And, the island’s campsite is the perfect place to spend a night listening to the pounding surf and gazing at the stars.

How to Get There

The closest mainland boat launch is in Bass Harbor on Mount Desert Island. There are also launches in Mackerel Cove and Burnt Coat Harbor on Swan’s Island. The best anchorage is just off of the northwestern cobble beach; all other areas around the island should be avoided due to an extreme rip tide and bottom substrate unsuitable for anchoring.

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
  • Carry Out All Trash
    • Including Human and Pet Waste and Toilet Paper
  • Keep Pets Under Strict Voice or Leash Control
  • Do Not Remove Archaeological Artifacts