Posted on August 14, 2015 and last updated on March 02, 2022

Gull Crest, Willow Brook, Runaway Farm, and Town Center Trails, Cape Elizabeth


  • Preserve Size: More than 227 acres
  • Trail Mileage: more than 7 miles
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: fields, wooded wetlands, wetlands, boardwalks

Gull Crest trails in blue, Town Center and Willow Brook trails in orange, Runaway Farm trails in yellow

This lovely, large area of protected land has lots of little spurs and add-ons to its approximately seven miles of trails. You can do a long meandering walk here. I thought the most beautiful parts of the preserve are the fields on the south-western side. In addition, the Gull Crest trails connect via a pretty boardwalk and marsh bridge to the Town Center trails and to the high school (my alma mater!), where you can park by the tennis courts and football field (when school is not in session). There is a dedicated, and groomed, Nordic ski trail on the Gull Crest property, thanks to Cape Nordic.

The Greenbelt trail cuts through Gull Crest, and much of it has a boardwalk, making for a nice, pleasant, and dry walk.

The grassy and flat Town Center trail, connecting the high school to Spurwink Avenues, is unmarked but relatively easy to find. From the tennis courts, walk down the hill toward the marsh. The trail is located behind the row of houses on Longfellow Drive. Continue straight here until you come to the wooden bridge across the marsh that takes you to Gull Crest. If you continue straight, you’ll see land trust signs for the small (somewhat overgrown) loop on what I believe is the Willow Brook Preserve. 

On the southwest end of Gull Crest, you can walk on the cool and shady route to Runaway Farm. (These paths were unmarked when I visited in the spring of 2020 but easy to follow.)

Directions: There are several places to park here. The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust says the primary trailhead is located just outside the gates to the transfer station on Spurwink Avenues, with additional access points near the community garden and public works depot on Cooper Drive.


Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!