Located between Chebeague Island and the southern end of Harpswell Neck, Whaleboat is the largest undeveloped island in Casco Bay. The island's long, linear shape, with higher elevations at each end separated by a low saddle, is said to resemble a whaleboat. A grassy meadow and dense maritime shrubland separates the spruce/fir forest stands at either end of the island. The island's uplands are bordered by cobble beaches, small areas of salt marsh, ledges, and dramatic cliffs.
Osprey nest on the island and bald eagles are regularly observed there. The shrub habitat on the island is valuable feeding and resting habitat for migrating songbirds and warblers nest in the spruce forest. In September, Whaleboat is an excellent location to view migrating raptors when the winds are blowing from the north. The island was settled by several families over the last two centuries. The historic remains of Whaleboat's early settlers still exist on the island, including stonewalls, a dug well, and the crumbling remains of an old foundation.
A small cove on the island's eastern shore is the best landing spot for small boats. The grassy meadow is ideal for day use and camping is allowed at the meadow campsite or north campsite. There are no trails on the island, but the rocky shoreline invites exploration - watch your step, the footing can be tricky.
The entire 122-acre island was acquired by MCHT in 2002 with generous donations from area residents. The state's Land for Maine's Future program provided funds to help with the purchase.
---------- Preserve Boundary
- Download a printable map showing campsites (PDF).
- You can reserve a group campsite for large groups on this website. First, you should check availability.
- 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 1-800-750-9777 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
How to Get There: Whaleboat Island is located off the west side of Harpswell Neck in Casco Bay.