At low tide, you can walk out to Matthews Island

The population of Eastport lives mostly on Moose Island, with a few more on Carlow. Both are connected to the mainland by a 1930s’ causeway running to the Passamaquoddy’s Pleasant Point Reservation in the township of Sipayak. Before that, the connection was a toll bridge to Perry.

But these aren’t the only islands within the city limits.

Treat Island is within Eastport’s city limits but you can get there only by boat. And nobody lives there anymore.

The Maine Trust Heritage Trust includes Treat Island among its preserves open to the public. Settled in 1784 at the juncture of Passamaquoddy and Cobscook bays, it became home to a fishing hamlet of 50 or so families and then a Civil War artillery battery before being acquired by 1935 for a tidal power project that was later abandoned. Treat’s open meadows, cobble beaches, trails, and spectacular views are, however, accessible only by boat – and kayakers are advised to hire a local guide before venturing out on the challenging tidal currents.

Eastport also includes small Dog Island, which once had a lighthouse, but is tucked away in a tony part of town. Again, you get there only by boat.

But you can walk to smaller Matthews Island if you time the tides right.

Fourteen-acre Matthews Island, however, sits along Carrying Place Cove and Cobscook Bay, not far from the municipal airport. And you can walk there, if you time it right, while the tide’s out. Just make sure you don’t get stuck by the incoming tide. Another of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust preserves, it’s accessed through a right of way on private property and then an exposed bar.

In the early 1800s, Capt. Charles Matthews raised his eight children here. Today, eagles are raising their own on the north side of the island.

Matthews has some stunning views of Cobscook Bay as well as berry-picking and nesting eagles.

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