Posted on September 25, 2017 and last updated on January 12, 2021

Harrison Nature Trail, Gardiner


  • Preserve Size: 15 acres
  • Trail Mileage: .4 miles one way
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: Paper Mill dam, Cobboseecontee Stream, alewives and blueback herring in May and June

This is a short, wide trail (once a sewer access road) that is, in season of course, grassy and lined with wildflowers. Or, at least some of it is. It runs from 261 Harrison Avenue, goes past one dam, and ends at another dam — I think the Paper Mill Dam? — on the Cobboseecontee Stream. It is a good place to see cormorants, herons, and osprey. There are a few picnic tables set up. More info on the second page of the Kennebec Land Trust map, where this trail is called Cobbossee Stream Conservation Area. Like many areas near an urban area, it is not pristine, and I saw some litter. But it has a certain charm and it seems like a nice place to picnic.

Directions: From downtown Gardiner, take Route 126 west toward the the Route 95 turnpike. About one mile from downtown, you will cross the New Mills Bridge. Take an immediate right onto Harrison Avenue (you’ll see a street sign for Andrews Street — Harrison is to its right). Access to the preserve is marked well with several signs along Harrison Ave. The best place to park is on a little pullout before the park; the city has signed this area as official parking area.


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