Walpole Woods

Walpole Woods is a property of the Town of South Bristol. This approximately fifty acre woodlot was a gift of the neighboring Gordon Merriam family to the former Damariscotta Area Recreational Alliance in 1963. Subsequently, ownership was transferred to the Town of South Bristol in 1978. Stewardship of the property was entrusted to the Damariscotta River Association in 2003, which now works in partnership with the town. It was Mr. Merriam’s wish “that trails could be opened up to the public for walks and enjoyment of woodland, springs, mosses, wildlife, etc. In winter the trails could be used for snowshoeing

Rutherford Island Preserve

A trail was built by DRA Trail Tamers during the summer of 2014 on this 15-acre property on Rutherford Island. A sign along West Side Road directs trail users to the trailhead. The trail is “in and back” to a lookout over the Damariscotta River. An osprey nest is visible along the way, as are stone walls and other signs of historical agriculture. The final leg of the trail to the shore crosses private property thanks to permission from the neighboring landowners. Please respect their gift of access by staying on the trail and limiting noise. There is a bench at the trail’s

River~Link Trail & Schmid Preserve

The River~Link Trail was made possible thanks to the River~Link initiative with funding and support from numerous partners. Primary access to the trail is from the Dodge Point parking lot on River Road at the northern end and McKay Road at the southern end. Setting up a car shuttle is a common practice to allow a through-hike of the entire length of the trail. Additional access is possible through the Schmid Preserve. Amazingly, a few large blocks of forest land remain on the Boothbay Peninsula, large enough to support moose and other creatures that require room to roam. Look for

Mills Overlook

The Mills Overlook Preserve exists today thanks to a generous gift from Anne (Nancy) Booth, who donated the 17 acre property to the Damariscotta River Association in 1999. Her love of the land and an appreciation of its place in the history of her family and community led her to seek the assistance of the DRA in ensuring that it would forever be protected and made accessible to the public. Managing organizations:   Damariscotta River Association Trail Abstract: An easy to moderate one mile loop trail connects two of the Damariscotta region’s most cherished and historic landmarks: the St. Patricks Church

Marsh River Bog

The Marsh River Bog Preserve is a 54 acre property that DRA purchased in 2004. Managing organizations:   Damariscotta River Association Trail Abstract The Marsh River Bog Preserve features three loop trails and a bog, opening up to exploration a natural community that few visitors ever have a chance to see. Cotton grass, bog orchids, cranberries, and stunted trees cling to a mat of peat moss which forms an ‘island’ in the center of the bog. Numerous individuals, foundations and public funds made the acquisition possible, among them the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, supported by the purchase of special instant lottery

Great Salt Bay Farm & Heritage Center

This 115-acre property is DRA’s headquarters campus, home to our offices, educational programs, and wildlife preserve. One of few intact saltwater farms in the Midcoast, the property was acquired in several pieces starting in 1994 with the help of generous members, neighbors, and donors, including Betty Noyce. LEARN MORE ABOUT GREAT SALT BAY FARM Beyond the trails discussed here, Great Salt Bay Farm offers numerous programs and amenities for visitors. Managing organizations: Damariscotta River Association Trail Abstract: A variety of habitats in close proximity make the Farm a regional birding destination. Other highlights of the property include our nature center, community

Crooked Farm

The Crooked Farm Preserve was established in 2002, as a result of a community partnership among Crook family, the Carpenter’s Boat Shop, the Pemaquid Watershed Association, and the Damariscotta River Association, along with the financial support of the local community and funding from the Land for Maine’s Future Program in collaboration with the Maine Department of Conservation. Managing organizations: Owned by the Pemaquid Watershed Association and co-managed by Damariscotta River Association. Trail Abstract:

Baker Forest

The Baker Forest is a 165-acre forest property owned and managed by the DRA. The property was donated by Bob and Margaret Baker of Newcastle in December 2003. The Bakers’ generosity ensures that this outstanding and diverse forest community will be available for present and future generations to enjoy. The gift of land begins on the River Road and extends westward nearly as far as Route One, crossing rocky ridges, flat and once cleared grazing ground, and a lowland stream with a long and current history of beaver activity. Owned and managed by the Bakers since the early 1960’s, this

Whaleback Shell Midden State Historic Site

Whaleback is an 11 acre property owned by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and operated cooperatively with the Damariscotta River Association. Managing organizations: Damariscotta River Association/Partner Owned Trail Abstract: The site once contained a massive oyster shell heap or midden formed over a period of more than 1,000 years by Native Americans. The shells were processed for chicken feed in the late 1800’s, leaving behind just a fraction of the original mounds. Interpretive storyboards relate the history of the middens, their accumulation and destruction, and also share stories of the Upper Damariscotta River. A swinging bench by the shore

Library Park

Library Park’s 16 acres of mossy, forested shorefront land slope steeply toward John’s Bay and afford excellent views of the bay and Witch Island. The original preserve was made of two parcels donated by Jane Sewall, who also donated the site of the adjoining library to the town, and was later enlarged with the help of Randy Phelps and Pamela Daley. Managing organizations:   Damariscotta River Association Trail Abstract: To complete the loop back to the library, a generous family to the south of the preserve has allowed the DRA to use a trail they had constructed many years earlier. Please