Wild islands are among the unique natural treasures of the Damariscotta River estuary system and neighboring Johns Bay. Coastal Rivers has been working for decades to conserve these gems in concert with state, federal and non-profit partners. With the exception of Fort Island, Coastal Rivers owns, helped to protect, or plays a role in caring for the following wild islands and ledges. If you do visit the many islands that allow visitation (all but Goose Rocks, Outer Heron and Outer White), please carry out trash, light no fires, and follow all recommended Leave No Trace practices for island stewardship to ensure they will remain available and wild for years to come.
Beaver Island (Coastal Rivers)
This small wild Johns Bay island is difficult to access but open to day use by intrepid paddlers.
Big Huckleberry Island (Coastal Rivers)
A good spot for a picnic and the perfect size for kids to get a real sense of being on an island. Not too big, not too small – just right!
Crow Island (Coastal Rivers)
Conserved thanks to funding from Land for Maine’s Future, this scenic island at the north end of the Thread of Life is home to ground nesting osprey and should not be accessed during nesting season.
*Fort Island (MDAFC)
Set up for group camping, with a nice cove and a privy. On the Maine Island Trail and managed by the state with assistance from the Maine Island Trail Association.
*Goose Ledges (MDIFW)
A tern nesting ledge close to the Twin Villages – don’t set foot on the ledges and please keep a respectful distance away to prevent the terns from leaving their nests (=cold eggs that don’t hatch)!
*Little Thrumcap Island (USFWS)
Essential Roseate tern habitat and part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, it is nonetheless a traditional seasonal day trip destination with a great beach and wide ocean views.
Coastal Rivers’ first and largest island with a great loop trail around it. Nesting eagles on the north end require special consideration and a wide berth.
Another good-sized island with a trail system, Witch has long been a favorite local picnic destination. Transferred to Coastal Rivers by Maine Audubon.
Other Islands (USFWS)
Coastal Rivers also played a role with partners in protecting several of the outer river islands that are now part of the National Wildlife Refuge.