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Horseshoe Island Preserve

Photo Credit: Jym St. Pierre

Photo Credit: Jym St. Pierre

Location and Description:

Location: Winthrop, Maine

Property Description: KLT owns 24 acres on Horseshoe Island. Trails on the eastern arm feature a beautiful undeveloped shoreline and a mature white pine-hemlock forest. If you are traveling by boat from the east, you will pass Little Mosquito Island before approaching a narrow channel. Cedar trees drape over the channel, which is teeming with aquatic life. 

Directions: There is a public boat launch on the southwest shore of Cobbossee Lake in Monmouth, and an access point at the intersection of the Pond Road and Collins Road in Manchester (the Cobbossee Outlet). A KLT sign marks a landing point on the southeast shoreline of the Preserve.  

Usage and Trails

Allowable Uses: hiking, nature observation, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hunting in season. No motorized vehicles on the island. Dogs are allowed on a leash or under voice command. Please clean up after your pets.

Trail: A KLT sign on the northwest shore of the eastern arm marks the start of a 0.8 mile loop trail that follows the perimeter of the island through a beautiful mixed conifer-hardwood  forest. A bridge connects the northern tip of the arm to the southern trail loop. At low water, the channel can be crossed on foot.  

KLT's Annual Family Winter Fun Day, at Curtis Homestead. Photo: Gina Lamarche

History:

Two hundred years ago, before dams were built at the Cobbossee outlet, the lake shoreline and KLT’s islands looked very different from what we see today. The first dam on Cobbossee, constructed in the late 1830s, was only two feet high. Today’s dam, at nine feet, was built in 1917. Before the lake was dammed, KLT’s lands on the northwest arm of Horseshoe were connected at low water to KLT’s Sheep/Perry Island. When the lake level was nine feet lower, it would have been possible for farmers to herd animals to Sheep Island from the shore of Cobbossee Lake just east of Horseshoe Island. This is likely how Sheep Island got its name.

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