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Treat Island

Located between Eastport and Lubec in the deep waters of Passamaquoddy and Cobscook bays, Treat Island has a rich history and abounds in natural beauty.

Treat Island is great for:

  • Picnicking – Enjoy inviting picnic locations from Treat Island’s open meadows and cobble beaches.
  • Hiking – Explore the preserve’s 1.2-mile network of trails featuring breathtaking views of Passamaquoddy Bay and a stop at the monument where American Revolutionary War Col. John Allan is buried. 
  • Paddling – Be prepared for challenging tidal currents, stay aware of changing weather conditions, and consider hiring a local guide before embarking on a kayak adventure to Treat Island.

How to get there

Both Lubec and Eastport have municipal boat ramps, which offer all-tide access for hand-carry and motor boats. Small boats can land easily on the island’s southern shore on either side of the dike between Treat and Dudley Islands. Despite close proximity, access from both Lubec and Eastport is made challenging by very strong currents and an average 22-foot tide in this part of Passamaquoddy Bay.

Get directions from Google Maps Printable preserve map (305KB PDF)

History abounds

Recorded history on Treat Island dates back to 1784, with the establishment of a trading post by Revolutionary War Colonel John Allan. Under the ownership of Upham Stowers Treat, in the 1840s, the island was home to a small fishing hamlet whose residents fished from weirs and smoked fish. During the US Civil War in the 1860s, an artillery battery and barracks were built to guard the Western Passage of Passamaquoddy Bay. By 1935, the US Government had acquired Treat Island in preparation for the development of the Passamaquoddy Tidal Power Project. The project was discontinued after only a year, but during that time a clay-cored, rock-filled dam was constructed between Treat and Dudley Islands. Today, the International Boundary Commission maintains range marks on the island, and the Army Corps of Engineers operates a marine concrete testing station on 3 acres on the island’s northwest side.

Information about Treat Island has been gathered with collaboration from the communities of Eastport, Lubec, Campobello and descendants of the island’s former residents. Learn more about Treat’s rich history and the story of Revolutionary War Hero Colonel John Allan.

The History of the Treat Island Preserve (PDF)

For a complete map with legend and guidelines, click on the Printable Preserve Map above.

Photo of monument to John Allan

Notes on topography, flora, and fauna

Located on Eastport’s 71-acre Treat Island, this preserve is prominently visible from Eastport, Lubec, and from New Brunswick’s Campobello Island. The island features a mix of open meadow and spruce forest, and offers stunning views, bold headlands, and gravel beaches. Most visitors to Treat Island are drawn to the beaches and meadows on its southern side. The beaches offer relatively easy landing areas for kayaks and small boats, while the meadows provide good vantage points to view resident wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, bald eagles, and northern harriers. In late summer, whales, porpoises and seals can be seen in the surrounding waters.

Photo of a collection of sea urchins

How this place became open to the public

MCHT acquired the Treat Island Preserve in 2009.

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

Preserve information/guidelines

  • 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
  • Foot Traffic Only
  • Carry Out All Trash
    • Including Human and Pet Waste and Toilet Paper
  • Keep Pets Under Control
  • Do Not Remove Archaeological Artifacts