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A Little History of SWFI

After being submerged for 150 years, the true character of the river reappeared and she began to sing her song.

Southwest French Island (SWFI) is private land on the banks of the Penobscot River in Old Town, Maine. The property is about 2 acres in size, and has been brought back into use by clearing brush shrubs, vines and weed trees that had accumulated over a hundred years of disuse. The process of creating a conservation easement for this land is underway.

The dam on the river in Old Town was removed in 2012. This allowed the river to flow in a seasonal, natural way. For more info History the dam removal, click on the image to the left.

People fell in love with the emergent character of the river.

Read one person's story on the left.

SWFI is a camping area on the nascient Penobscot River Paddling Trail (PRPT). Click on the image to the right for more about the vision for this paddling trail.

A map of the PRPT system in its current state is here.

SWFI is a convenient place to spend the night before venturing down river on the way to the ocean. At times, depending on the river flow (check river status here), the river can be a bit of a challenge to paddlers.

Although located in a small town, there is a private feeling about the area due to being tucked behind a natural fence of trees that surrounds the site on the land side, as well as giving a sense of openness on the river side.