RICHMOND — Swan Island will open for the season on Monday, May 16, when the new ferry begins making its trips across the river. Prior to May 16, those with their own canoes or kayaks may self-access the island beginning April 30.

Those who wish can explore the four-mile long island in the Kennebec River. Visit for the day, or camp overnight in a six-person Adirondack shelter. Once on Swan Island, explorers can rent a kayak or canoe and explore by water, utilize the 10 miles of hiking trails, or mountain bike. There are fire pits and Adirondack chairs by the river.

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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 located in the Kennebec River between 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.

All visitor fees are as follows: Day use, $ 8; overnight camping, $8 plus $20 per site per night.

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