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Pond Island

Located in eastern Penobscot Bay, this 32-acre island preserve features breathtaking views, extensive beaches, and diverse wildlife habitats.

View overlooking Penobscot Bay from the high point of Pond Island

Pond Island is great for:

  • Exploring – After visiting the tidal pond and stream, follow a short hiking trail over the preserve’s highpoint and down into a meadow.
  • Swimming – Cool off on a hot summer’s day, beaches total more than one mile of the preserve’s shoreline.
  • Camping – Two campsites await, for those wishing to spend a night under the stars.

How to get there

Pond Island is located in the northeastern part of Penobscot Bay, near the western end of Eggemoggin Reach. The island’s easiest access on most days is on the north side; however, it is possible to access the island from the south. Boaters can launch for free from the Castine Town Dock. Town Dock floats are available from May 15 through October 15 and tie-up is limited to two hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. (Please double-check the town website to make sure info is up to date.)

Get directions from Google Maps Printable preserve map (218KB PDF)

A popular destination for many years

Pond Island has a long history of human activity. Native people used the island for centuries, while the first European settlers arrived in the 1600s. In the centuries that followed, the island did not house any permanent year-round residents, but drew people seasonally for fishing, hunting, and, by the 20th century, as a summer retreat.

Notes on topography, flora, and fauna

The 32-acre Pond Island Preserve has a diverse array of coastal environments including a cuspate barrier beach, salt pond, sand dunes, and a salt marsh. Away from the shore you’ll find a maritime spruce-fir forest, shrubland, and a grassy meadow. Pond Island’s interior also includes a prominent hill that rises more than seventy feet above sea level. These many different habitats attract a wide array of avian species to the island such as sandpipers, waterfowl, raptors, and songbirds.

How Pond Island became open to the public

In 1980, Pond Island was purchased by Philadelphia Conservationists, Inc. (later named the National Land Trust) following a citizen’s fundraising effort spearheaded by Betty Eberhart. By 1982, the new owners had granted a forever wild easement to Acadia National Park. The easement stipulated that the island can only be used for “conservation, education, and recreational purposes.” In 1995, the Philadelphia Conservationists transferred Pond Island to MCHT.

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

Preserve information/guidelines

  • Camp at Established Campsites
    • Limit Stay to 2 Nights
    • Groups of 6 or More and Commercial Users by Permission Only and restricted to the group campsite located on the eastern edge of the pond. Please call 207-729-7366.
  • 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
  • Stay on Established Trails
  • Carry Out All Trash
    • Including Human and Pet Waste and Toilet Paper
  • Keep Pets Under Control