Posted on April 5, 2021 and last updated on May 10, 2021

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge on Brave Boat Harbor, York


  • Preserve Size: 14,600 acres
  • Trail Mileage: 1.25 miles one ay
  • Pets: no
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: salt marsh, Brave Boat Harbor

This is a beautiful and easy 1.25-mile walk to the end of an archaic berm jutting out into a saltwater marsh. (A reader tells me this is actually the old trolley rail bed between York and Kittery!) Much of the trail follows an old woods road that is mostly level. Be mindful of staying on the trail and not wandering onto refuge land, which is prohibited, or onto private property.

The path continues through the woods parallel to the harbor for the first three-quarters of a mile or so, before coming to a four-way intersection. Take a sharp right here, along a mossy path by a wetland and an old cemetery, until you come out on the berm which has a narrow footpath running down its length.

The trail begins to the north side of the bridge that crosses the stream on Brave Boat Harbor Road. There are two places to pullover and park on either side of the road, probably enough for eight cars in total? The trail begins on the east side of the road — you’ll see a sign for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.


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