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Swan Island Open for the Season with Improvements

RICHMOND, Maine – We have made it easier the ever to visit Swan Island. First, visitors can now use an online reservation system to book their stay — complete with a new campground map. Campers can now reserve specific campsites using this new tool.

Visit https://book.rvspots.com/SwanIslandWildlifeManagementArea to book your stay today!

Once visitors arrive, they will notice a new parking lot with additional spaces. In addition to easier parking, this renovation project has enhanced the look of Richmond’s waterfront and the hand-carry boat launch just south of the parking area.

Make this the year you discover the remote feel of Swan Island, as you explore the 4-mile long by 1-mile wide island in the Kennebec River. Visit for the day or camp overnight in a 6-person Adirondack shelter. Once on Swan Island, you can rent a kayak or canoe and explore by water, enjoy 10 miles of hiking, or site-see from a mountain bike. If relaxing is your thing, then enjoy time by your fire pit or in an Adirondack chair by the river watching eagles, ospreys and soon, the Atlantic sturgeon migrating and leaping!

When you plan your trip, be sure to check the Island calendar of events at www.maine.gov/swanisland so you don’t miss out on a great weekend opportunity. One event that is sure to book fast is a traditional lobster bake; clams, lobster, corn, potato, salad, and desert. Is your mouth watering yet? For $40 you’ll get the traditional clam bake, along with a boat tour of Little Swan Island – which usually has a nesting bald eagle. And this great new event will be offered 4 times over the course of the summer! Other events involve boat tours, truck tours, paddle tours, historic tours and a Family Field Day.

Swan Island is now open for another great season of camping, hiking, wildlife viewing, educational programs and a variety of special events. Several features are available, including a larger ferry, kayak/canoe rentals from the island campground, new interpretive signage, docks at the campground and a 15 & under kids-only trout fishing pond with free fishing equipment loans.

History: Swan Island, known for its abundant and often quite visible wildlife, is actually an abandoned 18th and 19th century town called Perkins Township, and has long been recognized for its varied and interesting history. The wildlife management area, about 2,000 acres in size, is located in the Kennebec River between the towns of Richmond and Dresden.

Today, the island is managed for a variety of wildlife and enjoyed by many visitors each season. Five of the historic homesteads still stand. The cemetery and agricultural landscape, along with old stone walls and other remnants, stand testament to the islands’ rich history.

Swan Island’s public visitation season runs from May through October. There are ten Adirondack shelters available for overnight use; picnic facilities for day use; modern bathroom facilities at the campground; drinking water; hiking trails; kayak rentals and wildlife viewing.

Reservations: If you wish to visit the Swan Island Wildlife Management Area, you must make reservations for the ferry and/or campground. You may access the island, for day use, via personal canoe or kayak without a reservation; admission fees may be deposited in iron rangers. All visitor fees are as follows: 5 and under free! Day use – $ 8.00. For overnight camping – $8 plus $20 per site per night. Please visit our website at www.maine.gov/swanisland for more information and details about the island; or find us on Facebook!

Swan Island, also called the Steve Powell Wildlife Management Area, is owned and maintained by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Operation and maintenance of the campground and public use areas are supported by your visitation fees. The wildlife management work is supported by revenue from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, and federal monies under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program.