The Coastal Studies Center of Bowdoin College is located on Orrs Island in Harpswell. In 1981 Irma and William Thalheimer gave the 118 acre property, including the farmhouse and barn, to Bowdoin “to be protected in its natural environment and used as a research and teaching resource for faculty and students.”1 It offers low stress hiking trails, provides for habitat preservation, and hosts a marine research center. The Coastal Studies Center opened in 1998.
The trails follow the shore on the northwestern point of Orrs Island, along Long Cove on the east, passing Dog’s Head, then around to Harpswell Sound on the west.
Kiosk at the entrance to the trail system> Shelf fungi on a trail at the Coastal Studies Center Wooded trail at the Coastal Studies Center
Long Cove from the Long Cove Loop Trail at the Coastal Studies Center Harpswell Sound from the Long Cove Loop Trail at the Coastal Studies Center
Entrance to the trails, and their wooded and coastal views
As the Interpretive Trail Guide describes the experience:
Through its trail system, the Center encourages its visitors to actively experience its beauty and develop an appreciation for its natural and cultural history. As you walk the CSC trails, your footsteps trace the storied history of the land’s previous occupants: the indigenous inhabitants; colonist Joseph Orr, for whom the island was named; the Wyers and the Hansons, New England farming families; the Winnewisser brothers; and Thalheimers, who for the second half of the 20th century enjoyed its beauty during retirement.
This trail system will take you through a diversity of ecosystems and highlight how past inhabitants shaped the land. Please enjoy your visit and remember to respect the land’s beauty and diversity.1
The marine laboratory, supplied with running sea water, supports the College’s faculty and student research projects and class content.
The research lab at the Coastal Studies Center Interior of the research lab at the Coastal Studies Center Interior of the research lab at the Coastal Studies Center
Experiment underway in filtered running sea water at the Coastal Studies Center Experiment underway in filtered running sea water at the Coastal Studies Center Experiment underway in filtered running sea water at the Coastal Studies Center
The research lab, its interior, and three ongoing experiments in running sea water
“Coastal Studies Center.” From http://www.bowdoin.edu/coastal-studies-center/index.shtml. (accessed 10/19/2010.)
1″Interpretive Trail Guide: Coastal Studies Center. Brunswick, ME. Bowdoin College Coastal Studies Center. c. 2010.