Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Nature Preserves

Androscoggin County Nature Preserves

Entering Thorncrag Sanctuary (2002)

Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary in Lewiston was founded by the Stanton Bird Club in 1921. At 310 acres it is one of New England’s largest bird sanctuaries. According to its own description, Old foundations, stonewalls, wolf pines, and large spreading maples … Continue reading

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Aroostook County Nature Preserves

Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge

Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge. The 5,000 acre preserve, created in 1998, was once a part of the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone. Deboullie Public Reserved Land, T 15 R9 WELS. Its low rugged mountains and scenic remote trout … Continue reading

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Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge

Location Map for Aroostook NWR

was created from a portion of the former Loring Air Force Base, which extended for 9,000 acres in the town of Limestone, and other sections in Caswell and Connor Township. One of the many nature preserves in Maine, it was … Continue reading

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Baxter State Park

Location Map for Baxter State Park

is a 202,733 acre area operated and maintained for the use and enjoyment of the people of Maine in accordance with the wishes of its donor Percival P. Baxter. It is the largest acreage east of the Mississippi River devoted … Continue reading

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Cathance River Preserve

Lady Slippers on the Heath Trail

The Cathance River Preserve is one of several preserves in Sagadahoc County.  Managed by the nonprofit Cathance River Education Alliance, it features summer camps, educational programs, and research.  Its Ecology Center is a learning facility that is itself a model … Continue reading

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Cumberland County Nature Preserves

Along a Trail at the Coastal Studies Center (2005)

Basket Island, Cumberland. 9 acres of mixed forest and shell and gravel beaches. Osprey nest on nearby ledges. Watch out for abundant poison ivy.  Popular picnic spot. Managed by The Nature Conservancy. Bay Bridge Landing, Brunswick. A six-acre wetland park … Continue reading

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Dresden Bog

Roadside culverts mark the Dresden Bog access site (2010)

The Erle R. Kelley Wildlife Management Area encompasses most of Dresden Bog, within the town of Dresden, and much of the adjoining land, some of which is in Alna. The Bog, one of Maine’s many nature preserves, is accessible from … Continue reading

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Franklin County Nature Preserves

Pond in Bigelow Preserve (2003)

Bald Mountain Public Reserved Land, Rangeley. Bald Mountain’s one mile trail to the summit offers panoramic views of Rangeley, Cupsuptic and Mooselookmeguntic lakes and the Height of Land. Especially popular in the fall with autumn colors, the area contains more … Continue reading

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Hancock County Nature Preserves

Barred Island, Deer Isle. 2 acre island with spruce-fir and shrub-cover and extensive granite shore ledges. Accessible by landing on inter-tidal sandbar or across private property with permission of Goose Cove Lodge owners. There are no trails; walk along the … Continue reading

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Kennebec County Nature Preserves

Pine State Arboretum (2002)

The Pine Tree State Arboretum, Augusta. 200 acres of rolling hills and meadows, mature pine and hardwoods and open woodlands provide a rich variety of colors and a diversity of habitats. A pond and open field provide fine opportunities to … Continue reading

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Knox County Nature Preserves

Map of Fernald

The Brothers and Hay Ledge Preserve, St. George. These four islands off Port Clyde provide a 12 acre home to a number of nesting sea birds such as the black guillemot, common eider, double-crested cormorants and various gulls, which prefer … Continue reading

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Lincoln County Nature Preserves

Entrance to Damariscove Harbor (2001)

Bass Rock, Round Pond. 12 acres look out on Muscongus Sound. There are no trails. Managed by the Nature Conservancy. Park on Back Shore Road. Damariscove Island, Boothbay. This National Historic Landmark (Maine’s earliest permanent settlement) is 209 acres of … Continue reading

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Mackworth Island

Gatehouse on Mackworth Island (2003)

is in Falmouth and hosts the Baxter School for the Deaf, public reserved land, and the former summer home of Governor Percival Baxter. Approximately 100 acres, it is connected to the mainland by a causeway at the mouth of the … Continue reading

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Moosehorn Refuge

Sign: Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge (2004)

The Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, a nature preserve, was established in 1937 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. It is the first in a chain of migratory bird refuges that extends from Maine to … Continue reading

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Morse Mountain

Sign Just Off Route 216 (2010)

The Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area is located off Route 216 in Phippsburg. A parking lot is available but no restroom facilities are provided. Managed by Bates College, it includes a spectacular view of the winding Sprague River exiting the Sprague … Continue reading

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Nature Preserves

Nature Preserves by County

Maine has hundreds of special places set aside for perserving natural areas and wildlife. Nature preserves, for the purposes of this article, include the following: public reserved lands, conservation areas, wildlife refuges, bird sanctuaries, etc. Click on a county for … Continue reading

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Oxford County Nature Preserves

Mooselookmeguntic Lake from Height of Land in Township D (2007)

Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1992 spans the Maine-New Hampshire border. 5,000 of the total of 17,500 acres lie in Maine. A Magalloway River trail leads off Maine Route 16. In addition, about 20 miles of logging trails … Continue reading

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Penobscot County Nature Preserves

Sunkhaze Meadows Refuge Notice (2005)

Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, Alton, Old Town. The site of an archaeological project along the Pushaw Stream, where evidence suggests occupation by prehistoric Indian cultures dating back approximately 7,000 years. Although no excavation is presently going on, and much of the … Continue reading

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Piscataquis County Nature Preserves

View from the Trail

Nature Preserves Appalachian Trail, Eliotsville Twp. Six miles of trail along the Barren Mountain ridge are protected by The Maine Bureau of Parks and Recreation. The Trail south trends westward over Barren Mountain to Wilson Stream, then south to Little … Continue reading

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Sagadahoc County Nature Preserves

The Sprague River winding through the Salt Marsh, Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area

Bald Head Preserve, Arrowsic. A Bald eagle wintering area on 296 acres and two and a half miles of the Kennebec and Back Rivers. Access is across privately owned marsh or from the river. A trail leads to  the picturesque … Continue reading

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