The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has announced that the Bureau of Parks and Lands has acquired Pond Cove Island.
The 50-acre Pond Cove Island, located in Englishman Bay in Washington County, will be added to Roque Bluffs State Park.
The island is located roughly a third of a mile from the mainland. It features nearly two miles of winding shoreline, gentle stone and cobble beaches suitable for landing kayaks and small boats, and open views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The popular Roque Bluffs State Park offers a variety of coastal landscapes to enjoy, including a half-mile sand beach, freshwater pond, hiking trails, and a picnic area. In addition to serving as a new coastal attraction, the state’s acquisition of Pond Cove Island will also contribute to the town’s tax base because of the revenue-sharing formula for Maine State Parks.
Acquisition of the island has been a priority for the bureau for many years. Maine Coast Heritage Trust stepped in as the island’s interim owner while a conservation plan was developed. The Land for Maine’s Water Access Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and private contributions to Maine Coast Heritage Trust made the acquisition possible.
“As a sea kayaker, I know how important it is to have islands close to shore that are open to the public,” said Bureau of Public Lands Director Andy Cutko. “Pond Cove Island is an exceptionally scenic spot in an ideal sheltered location, and we look forward to developing campsites for overnight use.”
“The addition of Pond Cove Island to Roque Bluffs state park provides a new and unique opportunity for visitors to easily experience the thrill of exploring and camping on a Maine island,” said LMF Director Sarah Demers.
“We’ve been working to conserve this exceptional island for many years now, and we’re thrilled to see it protected and owned by the state,” said Maine Coast Heritage Trust president Tim Glidden. “Pond Cove Island will make a fabulous addition to Roque Bluffs State Park.”
Remote camping at designated water access sites on Pond Cove Island is planned for the future in partnership with the Maine Island Trails Association.
The entire island will be open for hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching, with hunting, fishing, and trapping allowed under state park rules. The island’s 37 acres of intertidal wetlands provide significant habitat for tidal waterfowl and wading birds. A nearby existing town boat launch provides easy access to the island.
For more information, contact the BPL Northern Regional Office at (207) 941-4014.