Location: Bowdoin / Outing / About / Local Trips

Local Trips Ideas

An Environmental Education Final Project
by Lily Morse '09

Having trouble coming up with a place to go for your next BOC trip?  Look no further!  Listed below you will find all the information you need to plan a local hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, birding, farming, volunteering, mountain biking, or canoeing trip.


Click here to read an introduction to the guide by Lily Morse '09

General Information: Hike, mountain bike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski on the well-maintained, well-marked trails here at one of Maine’s original 5 state parks, about 25 minutes from campus.  This is the closest “hike” (as opposed to walk) you will find in the area before Camden Hills State Park.  The view from the top of Bradbury Mountain is outstanding, especially in fall!

For more information please click here

CommonsBrunswick Town Commons

General Information: The ultimate local trip—leave on foot, snowshoes, or skis from the Schwartz!  The Town Commons are a fantastic nearby resource and a great place to go if transportation is unavailable, time is short, or trip participants are new to cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.  As the trails are poorly marked, you may wish to simply follow an out-and-back path.

For more information please click here

CathanceCathance River Nature Preserve, Topsham

General Information: There are almost 4 miles of well-marked trails with diverse sights and sounds in this 230-acre preserve, operated by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Highland Green, and the Cathance River Education Alliance.  Don’t miss the Rapids Loop, where you can walk along 1.5 miles of the Cathance River at its finest—class 3 and 4 whitewater.  You can easily hike all the trails in one trip.

For more information on the preserve click here

crystal-springsCrystal Spring Farm, Brunswick

General Information: Walk, snowshoe, or ski the 2.5 miles of trails on the left (as you approach from campus)/South side of Pleasant Hill Road.  Trails on this side are well-marked, and circle the agricultural areas as well as a blueberry barren.  Cross Woodside Road to follow a path to an old, small quarry.  Just beyond the quarry is the Bowdoin Organic Garden (you can see a sign on Pleasant Hill Road just after Woodside Road).  There are also several miles of newer, less well-marked trails on the other (North) side of Pleasant Hill Road.  The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust owns, preserves, and protects Crystal Spring Farm.

For further information please click here

falmouthFalmouth Nature Preserve

General Information:  The Falmouth Nature Preserve can be a little hard to find, but once you make your way in you will want to visit frequently. It is a wonderful place for winter snowshoeing and skiing. The park welcomes dogs on leash and is open from dawn to dusk.Five well-marked dirt trails wind through a mixed forest of hemlock, beech, maple, and yellow and white birch. The trails extend from the parking lot to the floodplain of Mill Creek and the Mill Creek Preserve. There is a comprehensive carved wooden trail map in the parking lot.

For more information on the park please click here

mackworthMackworth Island, Falmouth

General Information: This storied 100-acre island features a lovely 1.25 mile perimeter walking trail with great views of Casco Bay.  The island is accessible via a causeway crossing the Presumpscot River, connecting it from Falmouth. Mackworth Island is currently home to the Baxter School for the Deaf.  James Phinney Baxter and his son, Governor Percival Baxter, used to live on the island, and gave it to the state of Maine in 1943 to be “a sanctuary for wild beasts and birds,” as well as for state public purposes.

For further information please click here

mast landingMast Landing Sanctuary, Freeport

General Information: Just over 3 miles of marked trails in the 140-acre Maine Audubon sanctuary.  Ideal place for a nearby hiking/walking or snowshoeing trip.  As of May 2009 there were many blowdowns in the area, which would make cross-country skiing difficult unless there were at least 2 feet of snow.  The area is very quiet, and would also be a great trip for nature-lovers or aspiring naturalists.

The sanctuary features open fields, a salt marsh, an apple orchard, a freshwater stream, alder lowland and mature pine and hemlock forest. Caretakers reside in the old farmhouse (a.k.a. Millmaster's House).  The area was used by the British Navy in the 1700s for obtaining ship masts, hence the name “Mast Landing”. 

Free, sanctuary gate opens at 8AM, bathrooms.  Trails are not always well-marked, but feature a blue symbol when they are.  The mailbox at the entrance to the sanctuary contains a log for guests. 

For further information please click here

reidReid State Park, Georgetown

General Information: Reid State Park, Maine’s first state-owned saltwater beach, is a great place for spring and fall activity (the beach is often crowded in the summer).  BOC members interested in bird-watching would enjoy looking for waterfowl and raptors.  This trip could be combined with a visit to the Weber Kelley Preserve and/or Josephine Newman Sanctuary.

For further information please click here

scarboroughScarborough Marsh, Scarborough

General Information: Explore Maine’s largest salt marsh!  Walk the self-guided nature trail or bring canoes to see the incredible salt marsh ecosystem and diversity at Scarborough Marsh.  Within the broader marsh are a tidal marsh, salt creeks, freshwater marsh, and uplands.  Follow the attached Nature Guide for a great walking tour of the Marsh (continue exploring afterwards to make the trip longer, or bring canoes and do both canoeing and walking).

Maine Audubon operates a center at the marsh.  The center is open 9:30AM-5:30PM daily from June-Labor Day (not great for BOC trips) and weekends in September.  Visit the Maine Audubon website (listed under additional resources) or call (207) 781-2330 for access information after September.

For more information on the marsh click here      

wolfs neckWolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Freeport

General Information: 5 miles of beautiful trails on a peninsula between Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River.  On the 233 acres of this popular park, trails wind around the rocky coastline, a salt marsh estuary, and pine and hemlock forests.  Be sure to take the Casco Bay Trail for quick, gratifying access to the ocean, and the Harraseeket Trail for a quieter stroll with great views of Harraseeket River.  Trail intersections are not always well-marked.  See attached map for more detailed trail information; note that both the attached map and the map at the main kiosk at the park orient southeast (this has confused me on previous visits).Fee: $1.50 per person in the off-season (~October-May), not sure about in-season but probably around $4.50, like other state parks.

For more information on the park click here