QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: Not sure
- Trail Mileage: ~1.6 miles in trail system
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy to moderate
- Sights: Hardscrabble River, Meadow Brook
It’s hard to imagine how Hardscrabble River got its name — it is a beguiling tributary to Dennys Bay, with calm waters and forested shores. From this beautiful preserve’s parking area, you can follow a path along the wooded Meadow Brook, which spills over rocks into the smooth open estuary. If you don’t have much time, you can turn back into the meadow for a 0.3-mile loop, or you can continue your walk along the river for about 1 mile.
If you follow the 1-mile Hardscrabble River Trail, you’ll intersect in about 0.6 miles with a wide quarter-mile woods road labeled a ski/bike route on the map. It’ll take you to a boat shed and a small peninsula with views up and down the river, including the “flood gates” (quotation marks from Cobscook Shores). I couldn’t find what this refers to, but here you’ll see short cliffs bracing the river, as well as ledges and grassy mudflats.
From the boat shed, you can take another 0.4-mile path to the southern boundary of the property, past historic pilings. While this last path is nice, the views are nicer elsewhere in the preserve.
Directions: From Route 1, turn onto Shipyard Road. From the north, the park entrance is half a mile from Route 1 on the left. If you’re coming from the south, it’s about 1.25 miles on the right. The drive is marked with a blue Cobscook Shores sign.