Open to the Public
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Indian Point Peninsula on the western side of Bar Harbor on Western Bay.
The preserve was donated to The Nature Conservancy in 1968 by Donald and Zelina Blagden. It had been their summer property for many years. In 1994, an additional 0.6 acres was donated by Phoebe Milliken.
Ecological Values & Features:
The Indian Point-Blagden Preserve lies on the western side of Bar Harbor, on the Indian Point peninsula. It is located in the part of Mount Desert Island that escaped the fire of 1947 and thus provides interesting contrasts to the central and eastern parts of the island, which were severely burned.
Most of the preserve is forested, covered by tall red spruce, white cedar, and balsam fir. The woods are generally mature, although much of what is now the preserve was cut in the past. There are also areas where over-mature spruce and fir have blown down, starting the process of diversifying the age of the forest.. Yellow and white birch, red oak, and red maple are locally common. Eight acres of tamarack occupy wet ground near the center of the preserve. The remains of an old apple orchard near the shore indicate the location of the old Blagden estate.
The preserve supports abundant wildlife; the careful visitor may see white-tailed deer, porcupine, snowshoe hares, ruby-crowned kinglets or osprey. The preserve is home to at least 12 species of warblers and six members of the woodpecker family, including black-backed and pileated woodpeckers. Checklists of the birds and flora of the preserve are available in the brochure box at the parking lot.
The preserve includes over 1,000 feet of frontage on Western Bay. Here the shore is rocky; gravel beaches are punctuated by bedrock outcroppings of Ellsworth schist, one of two types of metamorphic rock underlying the preserve. Near the main road the bedrock is diorite. Several ledges lie offshore, and are frequented by harbor seals which use them for sunning. Seal watching is a favorite activity of many visitors, but should be done with care. Binoculars will allow you to observe the seals without disturbing them or our neighbors.
- Park at the preserve entrance and walk in. There is no parking at the shore. Bikes and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trails.
- Leave your pets behind; they are not allowed on the preserve.
- Please, no camping on the preserve. Fires are not permitted, and visitors are asked not to smoke.
- Please stay on the trails and respect the areas marked private or not open to the public. This is especially important along the shore.
- Groups of 12 or more wishing to visit the preserve should make prior arrangements with The Nature Conservancy. Commercial tours are not allowed.
- The preserve is closed after 6 p.m.
Download the trail map!
Big Wood Trail, 1.2 miles – This trail starts at the parking lot and traverses the majority of the preserve, intersecting with the Fern and Shore Trails where the trail crosses the road.
Fern Trail, 0.3 miles – From the end of the Big Woods Trail, the Fern Trail loops through the site of the old Blagden estate. It intersects the Shore Trail along its western length.
Shore Trail, 0.5 miles – The Shore Trail runs the length of the shoreline along Western Bay.
Rockwall Trail, 0.7 miles - The Rockwall Trail starts ¼ mile north of the parking area along the Higgins Farm Road. The trail runs west through the forest and intersects with the Big Woods Trail.
Higgins Farm Road, 1 mile – Visitors may walk to the shore along the Higgins Farm Road, a private road that runs the length of the eastern edge of the preserve. Please respect the private property of our neighbors.
Take Route 3 south from Ellsworth, across the Trenton Bridge onto Mount Desert Island (8½ miles). Bear right at the first fork in the road (½ mile), taking Route 102/198 toward Somesville. In 1.8 miles, turn right on the Indian Point Road and bear right at the first fork (1.7 miles). Higgins Farm Road is located 200 yards further on the right, and is marked by a road sign and the preserve welcome sign. The preserve parking lot is located on the left just after the turn onto Higgins Farm Road.