The Indian Point-Blagden Preserve lies on the western side of Bar Harbor on the Indian Point peninsula. The preserve is surrounded by private residential property, and care should be taken not to venture beyond the preserve boundaries. A series of carefully marked trails provide ample opportunity to explore the preserve. From the Shore Trail, there are fine vistas of Western Bay. The Big Woods Trail is rugged in spots. The round trip from the parking lot to the shore is just under three miles, and takes one to one and a half hours.
The preserve is on 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 there is evidence that some areas were cut in the past. There are also major blowdown areas, the largest of which covers more than ten acres. Yellow and white birch, red oak and red maple are more common along the forest edge and in the blowdown areas, where white and red spruce and balsam fir seedlings also compete for sunlight. Near the center of the preserve, where the ground is wetter, more than eight acres of tamarack have grown up. The remains of an old apple orchard are visible down near the shore.
The range of habitats found on the preserve supports abundant wildlife; birds are particularly numerous and include both forest and shore species. The careful visitor may see white-tailed deer, porcupine, 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 wildflowers of the preserve are available at the registration booth.
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 rocks underlying the preserve. Near the main road the bedrock is diorite. Several ledges lie offshore and are frequented by sunning harbor seals. Seal watching is a favorite activity of many visitors, but should be done with care. Binoculars will allow you to observe seals without disturbing them or our neighbors.
Early records indicate that Indian Point was first settled in the 1700s, but the land has generally remained forests and fields since. The preserve was donated to The Nature Conservancy in 1968 by Donald and Zelina Blagden. It had been their summer property for many years.
Please adhere to the following policies while using the preserve:
Visit The Nature Conservancy online for more information or contact:
Take ME Route 3 south from Ellsworth, across the Trenton Causeway onto Mount Desert Island (8.5 miles). Bear right at the first fork in the road (0.5 miles), taking ME Route 102/198 towards Somesville. After 1.8 miles, turn right onto Indian Point Road. Bear right at the first fork (1.7 miles). About 200 yards past the fork, turn right onto Higgins Farm Road and the parking lot is located on the left just past the turn.
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