QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 124 acres
- Trail Mileage: 4 miles in network
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy
- Sights: river, woods
I’ve marked the four trail segments of the Gibson Preserve-to-Appleton Preserve trail with different colors. The Gibson Preserve is green.
Gibson Preserve forms part of the 11-mile Ridge to River Trail maintained by the Georges River Land Trust. The preserve itself is a 124-acre parcel that contains two trail networks accessed at different trailheads. In total, there’s more than three miles of walking here.
The northern trail segment (roughly a mile) has a riverside trail with some nice views. The southern section is a little harder to access (the road is rougher). It takes you into some cool, dark woods, and includes two small loops. The river views are slightly less impressive than from the northern side.
The Gibson preserve is mostly wooded, with some views of the Georges River. There’s a bit of impressive beaver action here, too.
Directions: The north side of the property can be accessed from a parking lot off Route 173 (Woodmans Mill Road) in Searsmont. From the center of Searsmont (Fraternity Village Store), head west on Route 173. Travel 3 miles to the parking lot on the left (see map). The south side of the property is accessed from Ripley Corner Road in Searsmont. From the center of Searsmont (Fraternity Village Store), head west on Route 173 (Woodmans Mill Road). Travel 2 miles to Ripley Corner Road on the left (see map). Note, this road is not plowed in the winter. Parking is on the shoulder of Ripley Corner Road and visitors must walk in to the Gibson Preserve via an old woods road. Proceed down the road toward the river and cross the wood/concrete bridge. Take your first right onto the overgrown woods road and walk approximately ¼ mile to the Gibson Preserve entrance on the right. The kiosk is somewhat hidden off the road, so be on the lookout for a footpath that leads into the property and the kiosk. To your left at this point is the ridge-to-river trail.