Field Trips to Swan Island

Are you seeking an enriching field trip for your class? Swan Island, located in the Kennebec River in Richmond, awaits you and your students for a day (or a few) in Maine’s best classroom: the great outdoors. Choose the MDIFW delivered wildlife program or a self-directed trip.

MDIFW delivered wildlife program: More than 900 children, teachers, and chaperones participate in this program every year! The field trip begins with an open boat ride across the river, then an open truck ride 1/4 of the way down the four-mile long Island to the campground. Depending on weather and the program itself, the program takes place outside or in the boathouse at the campground. Programs range in topics from animal adaptations to historic Swan Island information. For a full list of program topics and additional program information click here (PDF).

After your educational program and optional guided tour of the island, plan time for lunch at our picnic area, your own planned activities, or try some exploring. To make the most of your total trip experience, download our self-guided tour booklet (PDF). You can also check out the Beaver Pond Trail (PDF).

  • Educational Programs are Monday and Wednesday mornings.
  • Regular Education Programs are limited to 50 people.
  • More information and program descriptions (PDF)
  • An Island tour in our campground truck and wagon is available and must be booked in advance.
  • Buses must arrive at the Richmond landing with students ready to board the ferry to the Island by 9:30 a.m. Students will then ride our Island tour truck and wagon to the Campground area where the Wildlife Program will begin at 10:15 a.m. at the Boathouse and run approximately one hour.
  • After the program till your departure time, classes can picnic and explore the Island on their own. Departure times for everyone must be prearranged when booking your trip.
  • Bring lunches, snacks & beverages to hold you over until you are back on the mainland. No food or water are available on the island.
  • You may register for wildlife educational programs by calling 207-592-0750.
  • To book an island tour as part of your educational program call 207-592-0750.
  • All reservations for an Island program or tour are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • If you need to cancel once you have registered, please call and let us know so that another class may participate.
  • Island programs may be cancelled in the event of pouring rains, thunderstorms, or river flooding; but dressing for the weather is essential.

Or, an independent trip: Make a reservation to visit Swan Island and plan your own programming or exploration of the island. Even better…make it a memorable camping trip! We have an indoor classroom, large picnic shelter, and outdoor classroom space available. The Beaver Pond Trail (PDF) is a half-mile nature trail with various stations to stimulate discussion and learning.

  • Independent school trips are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays.
  • You may register for a Swan Island independent field trip, truck tour or camping by calling the Swan Island Reservation Line directly at 207-592-0579 or by emailing Swan.Island@Maine.gov.

We are looking forward to seeing you and your students at Swan Island this year for exciting and informative wildlife and conservation education programming.

Reminders

On the day of your trip:

  • Buses must arrive by 9:30 a.m.
  • Please know the total number of people in your group (teachers, parents, and all kids) and have the admission/tour fees counted out. Each person is part of the admission fee.
  • Pack your food and water. There is no food or beverages served on the island.
  • Dress for the weather! This includes jackets, hats, sunscreen, bug spray, and appropriate footwear. Remember the weather can be different by the water.

View Swan Island's Rules & FAQs

Teacher Resources

Looking for activity ideas for your visit? Check out our education resources! Pick an activity for before, during, or after your visit.