QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: On 3,200-acre former Navy base
- Trail Mileage: ~7 miles in network
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy
- Sights: remnants of base, streams, little pond, playgrounds, fields
Kate Furbish Preserve East trails in red; Neptune Trails in pink; wheelchair accessible trails in blue
Since the Navy moved out in 2009, and the base was formally decommissioned two years later, the 3,200-acre area has gradually been opened for civilian use. Barbed wire fences have been clipped, trails have been opened, and businesses have moved into industrial space. Snowy owls have been spotted here in the winter. The airplane runway is still open.
A bit of the trail on the western side is paved and wheelchair accessible. The part that does not run near the busy Bath Road is the nicest section. Many of the trails on the old base are wide and flat, more like roads. Close to the southern portion of this segment there is a nice picnic area near a small pond.
The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) has developed some very squiggly mountain bike trails in a 64-acre area called Neptune Woods, on the east side of the preserve. The easy, winding trails here interlace with older dirt roads, but the land trust has blazed them all well, as well as posted maps at what would have been confusing intersections.
In addition, the BTLA is developing beautiful trails at the Kate Furbish Preserve. Right now, you can catch some of these trails off Ordinance Road, which leads you through a neighborhood of old military bunkers. (We know where Brunswick townspeople will be headed when the nuclear winter arrives!) The long perimeter trail at Kate Furbish East is groomed for skiing. It is also nice for walking when there is no snow. If you do this 3.5-mile loop clockwise, you begin on an old Navy road that passes through a meadow and to the tip of a small pond. (You have to walk through holes in old metal fencing and pass by warnings of the munitions items you might still find on the land. ) At the end of the meadow, the path turns sharply right to enter the woods. The road follows the southern end of the preserve before arriving at the shores of Harpswell Cove. The walking is very easy on this section, wide and clear, with some rolling hills. The last winding leg of the path, along the cove and marsh, is beautiful, but the walking is slightly more difficult, with more roots and a few deep gullies.
Directions: To access the upper-western segment of trails, take Pine Street from Bath Road, and drive to the end of the street. Park where the road curves. You’ll see the paved trails ahead. To reach Neptune Road, make your way to Neptune Drive, off of Forrestal Drive, and park on the side of the road, across from a housing development. Kate Furbish Preserve East is off Ordinance Road.