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.
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.
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.