Posted on January 5, 2016 and last updated on January 04, 2022

Palermo Preserve, Palermo


  • Preserve Size: 74 acres
  • Trail Mileage: 1.4 miles in network
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: Sheepscot River, red maple swamp

This place is a great place to see perfect habitat for the endangered Atlantic salmon. I recently revisited this preserve, and there are two places to head to from the parking lot. Directly in front of the parking lot, if you are turned away from the road, is a short blazed system of trails. The perimeter loop, roughly .7 miles, goes along the sparkling Sheepscot River, and is mostly easy although there is one section where the preserve has installed a rope handle for help getting down a steep bank. The interior trails are well blazed but clearly used less than the perimeter trail. 

You can also head down an old track to the right of the parking lot. You’ll shortly see a blue blazed trail on your right. You can take that to a pretty spot by the river and what looks like it might have once been an old bridge? This trail is roughly .3 miles one way.

According to the land trust that protects this spot, “This section of the river contains some of the best spawning and rearing habitat in all of the watershed. They need undercut banks, overhanging vegetation, and submerged logs and rocks that create sheltered pools and provide resting places as they travel to and from their spawning grounds. To spawn, they require a gravel bottom with fast moving water about 14 inches deep.”

Directions: From the south, take Rt. 218 North from Wiscasset. Cross Rt. 17 and follow the Coopers Mills/Somerville Rd. north for 5 miles. Cross Rt. 105 and follow the Turner Ridge Rd. for 2.7 miles. The Preserve is on the right just past the Palermo/Somerville town line. Continue 200 ft. to the parking lot. From the north, from Rt. 3 turn south onto the Turner Ridge Rd. and follow for 2 miles. Parking entrance is 0.5 miles past the Gore Rd. intersection on left.


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