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Photo: Christine Murray

Pristine, quiet, 360-degree protection, some moorings, excellent cellular, extensive trails, shore access, multiple anchorages, adjacent to Smith Cove and Castine.  Be advised, however - the seals on Ram Island can occasionally be noisy .

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Google Earth

Entering from the NW, one should leave Can 1A off Nautilus Island to port and Holbrook Island to starboard. Alternatively, especially if proceeding up Penobscot Bay from Cape Rosier, turn right at the south end of Holbrook Island and enter the channel between Holbrook Island and the mainland.

CAUTION: there are shallow and visible rocks on either side of Ram Island. Note in particular the one on the SE side of Ram Island in the middle of the channel.

Holbrook area Google Earth image

Holbrook chart

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Tom Cod Cove has some guest moorings but check for swing room as the tide while not strong can be a bit squirrelly in direction. Holding is generally good for anchoring off the isthmus beach, north of Ram Island or just out of the moorings at Tom Cod Cove.

Getting Ashore

Photo: Jahfre Fire Eater

There is a dinghy dock at Tom Cod Cove, another on Holbrook Island, and a beach at the isthmus for getting ashore. Once ashore you can easily pick up the Holbrook Island Sanctuary trails. The Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry describes it well: “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 from 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, beavers, otter, porcupine, bobcat and coyote.”
A good reminder from a local: “Please remember that the family cemeteries within the Holbrook Sanctuary are not for your entertainment. My ancestors did not ask to be within your hiking space. They were buried near their home places. Please be respectful of the pioneers who worked hard and died on Cape Rosier. My family’s gravesites are not your amusement park.”

Goose Falls trail, with tall trees surrounding a path criss-crossed by tree roots.


Smith Cove, around through Castine and turn to starboard, is another “special place.”


What CCA Members are saying:

Holbrook is a great little harbor for lots of reasons. It's usually tranquil and scenic with views out to the Camden Hills. The hiking trails on the mainland are numerous and you can find a variety of easy and more challenging options. On Holbrook Island, the fields are mowed occasionally and provide a great playground for young visitors. The trails through the woods are gentle and well marked. The anchorage is reasonably close to Castine. Taking a dinghy there is much easier than anchoring or docking in Castine's wicked strong currents.

Doug Bruce

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