Where to Find Fascinating Tide Pools on the Maine Coast

Plus, download Maine Coast Heritage Trust's take-along guide to learn more about tide pools.

child looking into tidepool
Photo by Dave Waddell
Paid Content

Tide pools are found in the intertidal zone, a unique marine ecosystem that serves as a habitat for myriad plants and animals. They can be nurseries for certain fish species — and lobsters! — and also provide a food source for shorebirds. Preserving the land upshore from tide pools is important. This can help prevent issues like runoff and erosion that often result from development. “Keeping the upland happy and healthy keeps the intertidal zone happy and healthy as well,” says Maine Coast Heritage Trust steward Caitlin Gerber. “You need that level of conservation to make sure these sensitive areas are kept in balance.”

a northern sea star
A northern sea star. Photo by Kirk Gentalen.

MCHT is a nonprofit land-conservation organization protecting and caring for vital lands on the coast of Maine, including in the intertidal zone. Through the generosity of donors, MCHT has protected more than 179,000 acres and 335 islands, including more than 155 public preserves, since its founding in 1970.

Here are a few of our favorite MCHT tidepooling preserves!

BOG BROOK COVE, Cutler and Trescott

Bog Brook Cove features gravel and cobble beaches, breathtaking views of the Bold Coast, 5.5 miles of trails, including a universally accessible trail, and abundant wildlife viewing. Try the second beach to the south of the Moose Cove beach for your best chance at tidepooling.

There are two main parking areas. The south lot, in Cutler, has access to the Norse Pond Trail and Bog Brook Cove Beach. Use the north lot, in Trescott, to access the universally accessible trail, the beaches at Moose Cove, the Chimney Trail, and the Ridge Trail.


Malaga Island was once home to a mixed-race fishing community forcibly removed by the state in 1912. The island is now a public preserve and important Maine historic site. The rocky, rugged shoreline provides ample tidepooling, and visitors can enjoy learning more about the people who lived on the island before the state evicted them.

Malaga Island is located near the mouth of the New Meadows River in Phippsburg. The best landing area is on the white shell hash beach on the island’s north end. The nearest public boat launch is the Holbrook Street Landing, in Cundy’s Harbor.


The largest wild island in Casco Bay, Whaleboat’s scenic campsites, rocky shoreline, gravel beaches, and expansive meadow invite endless exploration. In addition to tidepooling, Whaleboat is great for camping, birding, and picnicking.

Whaleboat Island is located west of Harpswell Neck, in Casco Bay. The closest public boat ramp is the Mere Point launch, in Brunswick, just over 5 miles to the north-northeast. A private boat ramp at the Dolphin Marina, in Harpswell, is also available, roughly a mile to the southeast.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust take-along tidepooling guide

Download a free take-along tidepooling guide chock-full of information on where to go and what to look for when exploring tide pools in Maine!