Franklin Island National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine.

Franklin Island NWR is managed by the Petit Manan NWR Complex.

Located about six miles from the town of Friendship in Muscongus Bay, this 12-acre island supports nesting gulls, eiders, black-crowned night herons, Leach's storm petrels, and ospreys. The island is partially covered by red spruce with abundant raspberry thickets, grasses, and forbs. Franklin Island was listed on the State Register of Critical Areas in October, 1977 for its unique value to nesting eiders. At one time, the eider nesting density was the highest in the state with over 1,400 nests packed into six acres. Fewer eiders nest there today, mainly due to an outbreak of cholera that hit the area in the 1980's. The U.S. Coast Guard transferred the island to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1973 and still maintains the historic light house on the island.

Nearby Activities


Franklin Island lies six miles off the coast from the town of Friendship. The island can be accessed by personal boat only. Franklin Island is open during daylight hours from September 1 to March 31 and closed to public access during the seabird nesting season from April 1 to August 31. For more information, contact Refuge Manager at (207)236-6970.

Additional Information