Posted on June 25, 2018 and last updated on March 26, 2021

Orris Falls Conservation Area, South Berwick


  • Preserve Size: 171 acres
  • Trail Mileage: ~4.2 miles in network
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Sights: wetlands, balancing erratic, small gorge, historical spot mentioned in Sarah Orne Jewett's writing

This 171-acre preserve contains a lot to see: the stone foundation of a home where the writer Sarah Orne Jewett visited, a small waterfall and long gorge, wetlands and beaver ponds, a humongous rock balancing on its precarious angle of repose, an old graveyard, and, I gather, some legends. (People’s compasses don’t work near the big “Balancing Rock.” My GPS, which often malfunctions, did not seem affected, though.) I missed Lachance Point, unfortunately, which Great Works Regional Land Trust says offers views of nearby Mt. Agamenticus.

The main path follows an old colonial road and so is fairly wide and at times, flat and smooth. I didn’t see many blazes or trail markers here, but the path are well used and easy to follow. The walking is mostly easy, although the area is somewhat hilly. Several of the trails cross private property. I found the deeded right of way to Thurrell Road past the Big Bump difficult to find, and ended up on someone’s driveway. The other two deeded right of ways are easier to find, and they also have small parking areas. The main lot is plowed in the winter, I believe.

Directions: From Ogunquit, take Berwick Road as it becomes Ogunquit Road and then Boyd’s Corner Road, a total of 6.8 miles, then go left on Thurrell Road for .9 miles to the trailhead on the left.

2 comments to “Orris Falls Conservation Area, South Berwick”
2 comments to “Orris Falls Conservation Area, South Berwick”
  1. I’m not sure — many land trusts do allow hunting on their protected land, but rules change from preserve to preserve. I think your best bet is to contact Great Works Regional Land Trust.

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