Morris Farm and Sortwell Memorial Forest, Wiscasset

The Morris Farm Trails link up to the West Wood Trails, offering paths on more than 200 acres of woods and fields on three contiguous properties: the Sortwell Memorial Forest, the Wiscasset Town Forest, and the Morris Farm (owned by the Morris Farm Trust). There are trails marked for walkers (blazed with colors like blue, red, orange and yellow) that connect with trails for snowmobilers. The trails I have here are mostly, like 95%, blazed trails that are pretty well marked.

Since I first explored this preserve, more trails have been added, including bike trails. Bring a trail map with you if you don’t know the area — it can get a bit confusing at times. I’ve uploaded a couple of recent trail maps below. You can also find a map online. Additionally, sections of the trails can be quite wet, so in a few areas walkers have carved out short detours around epic mud puddles.

The main paths, that is, the wider ones named for colors, make for easier walking than the narrower bike paths and the black-dotted path that goes out to the yurt.

Directions: From Route 1 northbound, take a left onto Churchill Street, right before the town offices and police station, and before the junction with Route 27. Go .4 mile and take your first left onto Willow Lane. The parking area will be on your right, .8 miles after you turn. You can also park at the Wiscasset Community Center, which is off Route 27.


Cushman Preserve, Wiscasset

Possibly the nicest part of the 117-acre Cushman Preserve is the meadow portion, with views over the water. After walking by the ice pond, a well-worn track curves around the pond and heads out into the fields. The rest of the preserve feels messier, with little to no marked or maintained trails — or at least this was the situation in the winter of 2018, when I last visited. You can, however, follow an old woods road into the preserve, where you can cut a rough track along the high ridge, scrambling over fallen trees while catching views through the trees of Back River. The highest point in the preserve is about 210 feet.

Directions: Park at the northern trailhead, on the short road that connects Birch Point Road to the Point East Road to Mason Station. Pass through a gate. Follow the track around the Ice Pond (on your left) to the monument to Margaret Stetson, who gave this land to the Chewonki Foundation.


Eaton Farm Preserve, Wiscasset

By far the loveliest, and most accessible, of Chewonki’s trails is the south loop of Eaton Farm Preserve, which is on a small peninsula jutting into the Back River. The Back River Trail here is easy to find and follow, and the footing is mostly gentle, on meadow paths, old woods roads, and footpaths around the peninsula. There are a couple of spots with steep sections. If you want to avoid those, stay on the eastern side of the peninsula, along the Back River.

All of the trails starts out in a rolling meadow that slopes gently to the shores of the tidal river. You can follow one of two paths across the meadow (one heads off to the left, shortly after the kiosk, while another heads straight). Or, you can veer off right into the woods, and do your loop counter-clockwise. The loop around the peninsula is just under 2 miles.

The now-defunct north loop (which you can see on the map below and on the trailhead kiosk map) is impossible to follow these days. 

Directions: To get to Eaton Farm, take Route One to Old Ferry Road. Take the 3rd right onto Ready Point Road (Ready Point Road is 0.5 miles past Chewonki Road). Follow Ready Point Road until you see a well-marked sign on the left for Eaton Farm Trail.