Posted on August 30, 2013 and last updated on December 24, 2019

Mica Mine, Phippsburg

QUICK TRAIL FACTS

  • Preserve Size: 1,846 acres
  • Trail Mileage: ~1.5-mile walk
  • Pets: no
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Sights: old mica mine, pitch pine forest


Sprague Pond Trail in red, Mica Mine in green, Denny Reed in blue and New Meadows in lilac.

The 1.5-mile Mica Mine trail is part of The Nature Conservancy’s Basin Preserve. A glittering trail covered with mica winds up a hill, passing old pits of former mica mines to a pitch pine forest. The first half mile to the .5-mile loop climbs slightly. The trail is wide and easy to follow.

The trailhead is off Meadowbrook Road but has no trailhead sign or kiosk. At the trailhead there is a small area to park, and a visible track heading into the woods blocked by a wall of boulders. 

Mica mining was common in the early 20th century, as the substance is heat resistant and was once used for electrical insulation and heat shields in furnaces — and, I think, old car windshields? Someone told me that once. 

There are lots of other trails in this basin area, which I’ve marked in different colors on the map. They’re connected by a dirt road that is nice to walk itself.

Directions: The Mica Mine trailhead is on Meadowbrook Road, the gravel part. If you’re coming southbound on Route 209, turn right onto the Basin Road (about 0.7 miles south of the intersection of 209 and Parker Head Road). Go roughly 1.4 miles to the intersection with Meadowbrook Road on your right. About .3 miles, you’ll see a little pull-off on the right side of the road where you can park. The trail heads into the woods from here.

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