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Clapboard Island East, Falmouth

A short excursion from the Falmouth mainland, this island preserve features mature hardwoods, towering pines, abundant bird life, a quartet of gravel beaches, and pleasant views of Casco Bay.

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Clapboard Island East is great for:

  • Kayaking – Visit Clapboard by kayak and enjoy an excursion close to the mainland with well-protected landing areas.
  • Picnicking – Pack a lunch and find your ideal picnic spot, along the shore or under the shady limbs of oaks and pines.
  • Birding – Ospreys provide a noisy greeting when landing on the preserve. Eagles and shorebirds are also plentiful.

How to get there

The Falmouth Town Landing is the closest access for both motorized and paddle boats, although parking is limited and there are few spaces for non-residents. Portland’s East End Beach is just over four miles to the south and offers more parking, and paddlers may launch from Sandy Point Beach on Cousins Island in Yarmouth, just over four miles to the north. Visitors are welcome to anchor off any of the landing beaches.

Get directions from Google Maps Printable Preserve Map

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

Share the island

There are two private homes on the island, one surrounded by the preserve in the north and the other on the southern half of the island. Please respect their privacy and remain on the preserve when visiting the island. Please also stay on designated beaches between mid-May and mid-June to avoid disturbing nesting eider ducks.

A casual hike awaits

Once on the island, take advantage of the preserve’s short network (a little over half a mile) of hiking trails. The gentle paths connect the preserve’s four beaches and lead to scenic vistas of surrounding islands. All the routes are well-marked and easy to follow.

Notes on topography, flora, and fauna

The Clapboard Island East Preserve has relatively undisturbed maritime spruce-fir and pine-oak forests with significant well-developed understories. Unlike many other Casco Bay islands, Clapboard’s forests exhibit very few signs of human activity. This habitat has attracted osprey and a nesting pair of bald eagles. Many of the island’s oak trees have been infested with browntail moth in recent years. Please take necessary precautions, especially in the spring.

How Clapboard Island East became open to the public

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Clapboard Island donors and volunteer group, donors to MCHT, the Town of Falmouth, and the Land for Maine’s Future program, MCHT now offers this 15-acre preserve just off the coast of Falmouth Foreside.


This place belongs to all of us. Please remember to take care when you visit public preserves!

Preserve information/guidelines

  • Please respect private property – all docks and moorings are private
  • No camping permitted
  • Please do not disturb nesting ospreys and eagles
  • Please keep dogs leashed and remove all waste – don’t forget bags!
  • No fires permitted
  • Carry out all trash, including human waste and toilet paper