facebook

Crow Island Preserve

Photo by Alicia Heyburn

Photo by Alicia Heyburn

Description

Crow Island is a small gem of an island in Casco Bay on the coast of Maine. Crow is open for camping, and is part of the Maine Island Trail. The small 3-acre wooded island is surrounded by broad, highly productive mud flats at low tide. The southwestern part of the island is a great place to set up camp and take in quiet evenings while overlooking Casco Bay. Be on the lookout for osprey and Canada geese in early summer. Formerly owned by Civil War hero and former governor Joshua Chamberlain, Crow is said to be the final resting place of his favorite horse: Charlemagne. The island was given to the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust in 2002 and will forever be conserved for the benefit of future generations.

Directions

Water access by small boat only, at mid-tide or higher.

Map

Visitor Guidelines

  • Carry in, carry out.
  • No open fires.
  • Camping is permitted.
  • Dogs must be on leash during bird nesting season, April 15-July 31. All other times, dogs must be under voice control and not bother wildlife or other users.
  • Carry out all dog waste.
  • Hunting is allowed. Wear blaze orange and take appropriate safety precautions during hunting season.
  • Please respect wildlife, neighbors and other users.
  • Power driven mobility devices are not allowed.

More Information

History

The Island was donated to the Land Trust by David Holmes of Trenton, New Jersey, whose family has long ties to the Pennellville and Middle Bay region. His family came into possession of Crow Island through a purchase of mainland property from the heirs of General Joshua Chamberlain—Civil War hero, Governor of Maine, and President of Bowdoin College—the island “going with the property.” When the Holmes family later sold their Pennellville property, they kept Crow Island for “gunning purposes”. David Holmes and his family continued to enjoy the island for many years, “gunning, hanging out and exploring”, but by 2002 had decided to pass it on to the Land Trust.

An interesting side story to the island is that when General Chamberlain’s favorite horse “Charlemagne” died, he had it buried on Crow Island, a mighty undertaking indeed if true. No grave site is observable, nor has the story been verified, but it goes well with the island.