Just a stone’s throw from the St. George mainland, 20-acre High Island welcomes visitors to camp, picnic, hike, and take in spectacular views from its rugged shoreline.
High Island is great for:
- Hiking: Walk the preserve’s new half-mile loop trail, which offers stunning views from rocky overlooks.
- Camping: An attractive, open campsite is just south of the main landing beach.
- Shoreline exploration: The island’s western shoreline is varied, featuring smooth ledges for sunbathing, a pocket salt marsh, and a few areas of fine gravel beach for those brave enough to swim.
- Paddling: High Island is close to the mainland, and in fair boating conditions, is suitable for novice paddlers to visit.
How to get there
High Island is just north of the mouth of Tenants Harbor, at the confluence of the harbor and Long Cove. Small boats and paddle craft can land at the head of a northeast-facing cove on the island’s northwestern shore, while larger boats can anchor just west of the island. Motorized vessels should take care approaching the island, as significant ledges extend north of the northwestern shore. The nearest boat launches are in Tenants Harbor: a public launch with limited parking is located at the end of Commercial Street, and the Tenants Harbor Boatyard is off Barter’s Point Road – launching and parking area available for a small fee. Both ramps are part-tide. Paddlers can easily access High, though Tenants Harbor is a busy commercial fishing port, and boaters should be prepared to avoid fishing vessels.
Notes on topography, flora, and fauna
Mature red spruce covers most of High Island, and hiking the loop trail will lead you through a peaceful, open forest with extensive moss and lichen cover on the forest floor. The trail features a few steep pitches, while offering opportunities to access and view the striking bold shoreline and views of Metinic Island and Penobscot Bay. Ospreys nest on the island’s southeastern shore, and their cries are commonly heard through the late spring and summer months. Ravens are also frequently seen and heard flying overhead, as they nest on a nearby island. The westernmost point of the island was once the site of a two-story house, which, due to its poor condition, MCHT removed in the fall of 2016. The area is now a pleasant, sunny picnic spot with a granite fire ring created from the old foundation.
How High Island became open to the public
MCHT first became interested in conserving High Island in the 1980s, when staff wrote a letter out of the blue to the island’s former owners. In 2014, MCHT started working with the Town of St. George and Blueberry Cove 4-H Camp, whose campers have enjoyed overnights on High Island for many years. MCHT purchased the island through a generous bargain sale in June of 2016.
This place belongs to all of us. Help us take care of it!
- Carry Out All Trash
- Including human and pet waste and toilet paper
- Keep Pets Under Control
- Fires by Permit Only—Maine State Law
- Visit www.wardensreport.com for a permit
- Keep all fires below high tide line or in designated fire pit
- Do not cut or break tree limbs, dead or alive
- Leave no fire unattended
- Completely extinguish all fires
- Camp at Established Campsite
- Limit stay to 2 nights
- Groups of 6 or more and commercial users by permission only
- Please Leave No Trace