Managed and operated by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Swan Island is a wildlife management area that also provides a sanctuary for migrating waterfowl and the resident white-tailed deer. It is also the only management area where camping is allowed and programs are provided for visitors. Swan Island was once known as Swan Island Game Management Area. One of the early biologists working there was Stephen E. Powell. After Powell's death in 1971, the name of the area was changed to The Steve Powell Wildlife Management Area.
The Department provides transportation to and from Swan Island for parties visiting the area. Visitors will be met at the Department's landing in the town of Richmond at the time of arrival specified on the reservation unless special arrangements have been made. Travel to the island by means of personally owned watercraft is encouraged, but still requires a reservation.
Swan Island, known for its abundant and often quite visible wildlife (especially nesting bald eagles, white-tailed deer and wild turkey), is actually an abandoned 18th and 19th century town called Perkins Township, and has long been recognized for its varied and interesting history. It was used by Native American tribes, early explorers, and settlers, and was reportedly visited by American historical figures such as Aaron Burr and Benedict Arnold.
To get to Swan Island, take Route I-295 to Exit 43 (Richmond/Litchfield). From the exit, follow Route 197 East for approximately 3 miles to Richmond Village. Turn left at the intersection of Routes 197 and 24. The Swan Island parking lot, marked with a brown State of Maine sign, is immediately on your right, next to the brick Richmond Utilities District building.