QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 1,140 + 940 acres
- Trail Mileage: more than 14 miles
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy to moderate
- Sights: Ducktrap River
The 1,140-acre Ducktrap River Preserve and the large trail system around 940-acre Tanglewood Camp are two different areas, but I am putting them together in one post because they are connected by a snowmobile trail that seemed well-used by skiers when I visited in 2018.
Ducktrap River Preserve offers a longish walk — 5.6 miles all together on one side of Route 52 — and the Coastal Mountains Land Trust recommends it as a backcountry ski destination. And people do ski along the snowmobile track here, which continues past the land trust’s looped footpath. I skied in to the path and then walked the loop because this section had a few rough parts. Be careful, too, because one of the river crossings didn’t have a bridge when I was there, and so was a bit tricky to cross.
When you park at the trailhead on Route 52, you can either go right or left. If you head off right (south east), you will reach — in a little over two miles — the Tanglewood camp trails, a system of trails beloved by local people and their dogs. There are about seven miles of fairly easy walking here, although there are some slight hills. Lots of skiers come here when there is snow, although the trails are not groomed. The paths along the river are pretty, particularly at Turner Falls. The Tanglewood trails were not very well-blazed when I came, but there were signs at every intersection and the paths were easy to see and follow. Maps were available in a mailbox at the trailhead.
Some notes: The Turner Falls trail you see on the Tanglewood map that looks like it connects to Ducktrap Estuary appeared to peter out not too far down the river from Turner Falls. There are also a couple of snowmobile trails connected to the camp trail system that head off across Slab City Road. To be explored later!
Directions: To get to the Ducktrap River Preserve, drive 3.5 miles north on Route 52 from Lincolnville Center. The trailhead is located on the left, about 100 yards after Route 52 crosses the Ducktrap River. Park along the road. To get to the Tanglewood trails, turn off of Route 1 in Lincolnville onto Ducktrap Road. When the road splits, at roughly three-quarters of a mile, veer right onto Tanglewood Road. Follow this road a little under a mile, turning right to reach a circle where you can park. The gate to the camp is closed and the road is not plowed in the winter (so people ski it).