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Stave Island, Gouldsboro

Located in Gouldsboro, this 121-acre island preserve’s bold southern shoreline features spectacular views of Frenchman Bay, Mount Desert Island and the peaks of Acadia National Park.

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Stave Island is great for:

Camping: Take advantage of an overnight campsite on the island’s southeast side.

Exploration: Follow informal footpaths to visit the island’s cobble beaches where picnic spots abound.

How to get there

The shortest access is from the harbor and boat launch in South Gouldsboro, but the preserve is also easily accessible from any of the many boat launches around Frenchman Bay.

Get directions from Google Maps Printable Preserve Map

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

Notes on topography, flora, and fauna

Located in eastern Frenchman Bay, 499-acre Stave Island is 0.3 mile west of the mainland in the town of Gouldsboro. MCHT’s Stave Island Preserve is 121 acres and covers the southern tip of the island. The land north of the preserve is privately owned, the bulk of which is protected with conservation easements held by MCHT.

Stave is highly scenic as viewed by visitors from public vantage points in Acadia National Park and by boaters in Frenchman Bay. Covered by spruce and fir, the island rises moderately to a highpoint of 147 feet. There are also attractive anchoring locations for picnic sites at the preserve’s many pebble and cobble beaches. Currently, there is no formal trail network on the preserve. However, there are footpaths along three, cleared property lines traversing the preserve in an east-west direction.

How this place became open to the public

MCHT has acquired the Stave Island Preserve in stages: the first 80 acres were conserved in 2002, an additional 25 in 2009, and another 16 in 2016.

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

Preserve information/guidelines

  • Camp At Established Campsite (see map)
    • Limit Stay to 2 Nights
    • Commercial Users by Permission Only. Please call 207-729-7366.
  • Fires By Permit Only – Maine State Law
    • Contact Maine Forest Service at 1-800-750-9777 for permit
    • Keep All Fires Below High Tide Line – Do Not Build Fire Rings
    • Do Not Cut or Break Tree Limbs, Dead or Alive
    • Leave No Fire Unattended
    • Completely Extinguish All Fires
  • Carry Out All Trash
    • Including Human and Pet Waste and Toilet Paper
  • Keep Pets Under Strict Voice or Leash Control
  • Please Respect the Privacy of Preserve Neighbors
  • Do Not Remove Archaeological Artifacts