Posted on September 29, 2013 and last updated on April 02, 2020

Ridgewell and Morse River Marsh Preserves, and Town Forest, Phippsburg


  • Preserve Size: 46 acres in Ridgewell Preserve
  • Trail Mileage: ~4.5 miles in network
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Sights: woods, massive boulders

Ridgewell Preserve, protected by Phippsburg Land Trust, hooks up with town trails for a long and interesting walk through forest ridges. There’s something ever so mystical about this land. Massive boulders lie like slumbering monsters — they’re called Dinosaur’s Rocks, and it does seem as if they might wake up at some point. There are also remains of old settlements deep in the woods. The trail takes you up a ridge, but you don’t ever get a truly stupendous view — or if you do, I missed it! You do walk through what I think are pitch pine woods — scruffy pines growing on sandy soil on exposed ledge. It is lovely.

Some of the peripheral trails were a bit overgrown when I visited. The best trails are along the ridge and to the Dinosaur Rocks — the white- and orange-blazed trails on the map you can pick up at the kiosk.

There is also a blazed trail to the Bates College’s Shortridge Center, at 74 Popham Road. The college allows the public to walk its trails, which lead to the lovely Meetinghouse Pond. It is easy to miss the turn onto this trail from the preserve trail, but it is marked by a painted SR on the rocks at the intersection.

In addition, the Ridgewell Preserve connects to the Morse River Marsh Preserve, which has a 1-mile loop. There are pretty views down the river marsh from a boulder.

Directions: Drive south on Rte. 209 (Main Rd.), 3.3 Miles south of the Center Store turn left onto Pride Rock Way. The Ridgewell trailhead is on the south edge of the turnaround. There is also an access point on Route 209, Popham Road, but it there is no safe parking along the road.