Posted on November 26, 2013 and last updated on February 12, 2023

Bonyun Preserve, Westport Island


  • Preserve Size: 120 acres
  • Trail Mileage: 3.1 miles in network
  • Pets: no
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Sights: tidal inlet, forest, fresh water marsh, river estuary, riparian area, pocket wetland, old mill

This is a beautiful, out-of-the-way trail managed by the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust. The land was donated by the Bonyuns, whom the trust describes as “beloved folklorists who pioneered the concept of folk songs as living history, and sang folk and maritime songs in the classrooms and concert halls of America.” 

Starting from the parking lot, a wide, easy 0.3-mile trail takes you to the first intersection. If you don’t want to hike the whole trail system, I highly recommend turning right to walk up along the tidal creek and then back down it to the point of Mill Cove. Here you can sit on wide slabs of rock along the shore, under some spindly pitch pine. The trail around the peninsula gets a little rooty and rocky, but is mainly flat. The loop (it is 1.2 miles) continues over to Thomas Cove. Also, along the way to the point on Mill Cove, you will pass the remains of an old sawmill/gristmill, Heal’s Lower Mill. The land trust has put up panels with old photos, and it is very interesting to walk out along the spit of land here.

From the parking lot to both these coves and back again, the walk is roughly 2.8 miles.

A newer part of the preserve is accessed via Junction Trail, which takes you down a beautiful inlet to a view where you can check out another panel with historical information and old photographs. Crossing Junction Road, you can head off into the woods for a roughly 1-mile walk. I believe more trails will be added to this preserve in the future.

Directions: From Route 1, take Route 144 south 10 miles to second intersection with West Shore Road. Turn Right, go .25 miles to parking lot and kiosk on left. There is space roughly for three to four cars in the small lot.