My Favorite Preserve – Monroe Island

I first visited Monroe Island last summer and immediately knew that I had found a truly special place.

I love that it’s a short paddle from my home in Owls Head but that it’s also an island and inherently will never be a place you’ll run into many other people. It is raw, pristine and incredibly beautiful.  

The main trail system meanders through lush coastal forest where every rock is covered in moss, lichen drape over tree branches, and breezes smell of spruce. The north end offers unique, rarely seen views of Owls Head Light with the Rockland Breakwater and Camden Hills in the distance. The eastern side provides dramatic, rocky coastline and crashing waves. There are bogs and ponds on the interior of the island and hidden pocket beaches to explore on the perimeter.  

There’s just so much varied and interesting terrain packed into its 225 magical acres and I feel so incredibly lucky to have such close and convenient access to this wonderful slice of seclusion. I am so thankful to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust for preserving and protecting this very special island for all of us to enjoy. 

Dave Waddell is a professional photographer who recently relocated to Midcoast Maine from Philadelphia, PA. He enjoys exploring the outdoors and spending time with his wife and son. You can learn more about David and his work at and find him on Instagram as @davidbryanphoto.

More Stories from the Coast

Preserving Mystery on a Complicated Coast

Essay and photo by Ben Cosgrove, part of the Voices from the Coast project to celebrate peoples’ deep connection to the Maine coast and MCHT’s 50 years of land conservation.

Read More

Making the Trek

MCHT Public Policy Manager Jeff Romano and his son make the trek from MCHT’s Erickson Fields Preserve to Coastal Mountains Land Trust’s Beech Hill Preserve.

Read More

Getting Outside – Safely – in the Midst of COVID-19

While practicing social distancing, you can get outside and enjoy the health benefits—both physical and mental—of MCHT’s public preserves.

Read More

Two New Midcoast Preserves to Check Out

MCHT, the town of St. George, and Georges River Land Trust come together to protect special places in the midcoast for the public to enjoy.

Read More

Traveling at Woodward Point Preserve

Woodward Point Preserve in Brunswick is now open and ready for visitors! Have you been yet?

Read More