QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: ~85 acres
- Trail Mileage: 1.6 miles in network
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy
- Sights: woods, wetlands, streams, interpretive trail
The Bearce-Allen preserve, managed by the Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, has a marvelous nature walk, or interpretative trail. The walk includes a “name-that-tree” quiz, where you stand in front of different trees along the trail to identify them, lifting the lid of the box to reveal the answer. Completely fun and educational — especially for people like me who are a bit stilted when it comes to nature know-how. I spied a lot of pink lady slippers on the day I went out in May — and then lo and behold, the walk included an information panel on them! The preserve includes both young and mature forests, and lots of signs along the way to explain what you’re seeing. The trails, if you do both the Bearce-Allen and the adjoining Norgal Preserve, come to about a 1.6-mile walk. Dogs are allowed.
Directions: From Damariscotta, take the Bristol Road 7.1 miles and turn left on to Sproul Hill Road. Travel 0.2 miles and turn right on to Austin Road. Preserve and trailhead are on the left, with small pullout for parking on the right.