Visit a Preserve
We keep the coast open
Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s free and public preserves range from waterfront pocket parks to vast forests, from wild islands to community garden spaces. These special places are here for you to enjoy thanks to the generosity of thousands of donors. Thank you ahead of time for helping us keep the coast clean and beautiful!
Find preserves close to home or set out on a far-away adventure.
How do you experience the coast? Indulge your passions. Find preserves great for…
Guidelines for Public Use
MCHT preserves are special places managed to protect ecological diversity, scenic beauty, low impact recreation, and other community benefits. Our intent is to have them retain their natural character, with little human influence. Where trails exist they tend to be footpaths; campsites are rustic; and human amenities are generally non-existent.
For a guided tour of an MCHT Preserve, be sure to visit our field trips page to learn about upcoming trips.
Thank you for observing the following policies:
- Please adhere to ‘leave no trace’ and ‘carry-in/carry-out’ practices.
- Pets must be under voice or leash control.
- Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
- Hunting is generally allowed.
- Islands with nesting birds have seasonal restrictions during nesting periods (typically February–August).
- Fires are generally allowed on island preserves, below mean high water, with a permit (207) 827-1800.
- Overnight use is only allowed on designated islands.
- Size limits apply to groups using MCHT campsites.
- Commercial and non-profit sponsored groups are required to obtain a permit from MCHT prior to visiting.
- Preserve specific guidelines are posted on location.
Visiting Maine Islands
Most preserves in this guide are undeveloped islands. In keeping with the Trust’s longstanding commitment to protect the unique experience these islands provide, we manage these properties lightly. We also count on the careful stewardship of all who use these special places—please treat them with extra care so that those coming after you can enjoy them as well. If you encounter other visitors, please respect their solitude and island experience.
With few exceptions, you will need to provide your own transportation to MCHT’s island preserves. Please do so only if you have experience navigating Maine’s coastal waters. As always when visiting a remote location, prepare in advance with proper clothing and equipment. We wish you a safe and enjoyable visit!
For more information, call us at (207) 729-7366.
Learn more about some of our more popular preserves
Southern Maine Region
- Aldermere Farm, Rockport
- Ash Island, Owls Head
- Bagaduce River Region, Castine
- Basin Preserve, Vinalhaven
- Battle Island, Penobscot
- Big Babson Island, Brooklin
- Black Island, Friendship
- Elizabeth Noyce Preserve (Louds Island), Bristol
- Erickson Fields, Rockport
- Harriman Point, Brooklin
- Head Harbor, Isle au Haut
- High Island, St. George
- Hog Island, Brooklin
- Huber, Vinalhaven
- Jed’s Island, Blue Hill
- Lampson, Castine and Penobscot
- Lookout Rock, Brooksville
- Merchant Row, Stonington
- Ned’s Point, Friendship Long Island
- Pond Island, Penobscot Bay
- Rene Henderson, Castine
- Saddleback Island, Stonington
- Seal Bay and Winter Harbor, Vinalhaven
- Tills Point, Penobscot
- Witherle Woods, Castine
Mt. Desert Region
- Babson Creek, Somesville
- Black Island and Little Black Island, Frenchboro
- Blue Horizons, Bar Harbor
- Calderwood Island, North Haven
- Cranberry Shores, Cranberry Isle
- Flat and Ned Islands, Winter Harbor
- Folly Island, Bar Harbor
- Frenchboro Preserve, Frenchboro
- Great Gott, Tremont
- Kelley Farm, Bernard
- Kittredge Brook Forest, Bar Harbor
- Marshall Island, Unorganized Territories
- Mitchell Marsh, Tremont
- Pond Island, Frenchboro
- Preble Cove, Great Cranberry Island
- Stave Island, Gouldsboro
- Thomas Island, Bar Harbor
- Tinker Island (McKenney Preserve), Tremont
- West Sister Island, Swans Island