Welcome to Holbrook Island Sanctuary

Bordering Penobscot Bay in Brooksville, Holbrook Island Sanctuary protects many different ecosystems, which visitors can explore and enjoy. From the beaches, mud flats, and rocky coast to the tops of steep hills that are actually old volcanoes, the sanctuary hosts a great diversity of plant and animal life. Stands of spruce-fir, pine, and mixed hardwoods, together with wetlands and meadows, encourage a multitude of colorful wildflowers that bloom early spring until late fall. Down through these forests and old fields and around the marshes and ponds, alert visitors can see abundant signs of deer, fox, muskrat, beaver, otter, porcupine, bobcat, and coyote. This variety of habitats also offers excellent birding, especially during spring and fall  migrations. Visitors can see great blue herons and ospreys nesting around the ponds and estuary and may even spot bald eagles and peregrine falcons flying over the sanctuary. A bird list is available at the sanctuary headquarters.

      Wishing to preserve this special environment and to encourage its use by other lovers of nature, Anita Harris, a long-time area resident, began acquiring land in Brooksville for a sanctuary in the 1960’s. In 1971, she donated 1,230 acres to the State of Maine, in order “to preserve for the future a piece of the unspoiled Maine that I used to know.”

      Today, Holbrook Island Sanctuary has a unique place in the state park system. In keeping with Anita Harris’ vision, the sanctuary will not be altered by modern park facilities and management techniques. Instead, a network of old roads, paths, and animal trails leads visitors to explore the shoreline, marshes, ponds, and forests. In each of these diverse ecosystems, visitors have a rare opportunity to experience a natural environment whose future is being shaped by natural forces rather than human hands.