Posted on December 24, 2019 and last updated on December 24, 2019

Rutherford Island Preserve, South Bristol


  • Preserve Size: 15 acres
  • Trail Mileage: .4 miles one way
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Sights: Damariscotta River

This is a short trail — .4 miles one way — but it offers a lot of beauty. The forest trail, which culminates in a lofty view of Damariscotta River, is winding and lovely, passing some old stone walls before coming out on a lane, which you cross, to the final 100 yards to a bench with a view. There are a few ledges you need to pick your way down at the end of the trail, and the rocks below the cliff you end your walk at can be slippery, so take care if you try to clamber down to get photos.

The trail is well marked, which is helpful, since there are other unmarked paths weaving in and out at points.

Directions: Follow Route 129 to the South Bristol Bridge. Once you cross over, go right onto West Side Road, following it until you come to a little lane called Atlantic Avenue. Take a right and the small preserve parking area will be almost immediately on your right.


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