QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 451 acres
- Trail Mileage: ~4.5 miles in trail system
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy to moderate
- Sights: salt marsh, old forests, meadows, old cemeteries, Boulter Pond, Smelt Brook
You get two preserves in one here! Or one quite large parking lot, that is. The 300-acre Smelt Brook Preserve lies along the salt marsh, to the west of Cider Hill Road, while the 151-acre Highland Farm is to the east of the road. So, you can go for a long walk combining the two. Plus, Highland Farm Preserve connects to the vast trail network around the Kittery Water District (via Kingsbury Lane at the northern end of the preserve).
If you head over to Smelt Brook Preserve, it is about 0.5 miles to the salt marsh. The 1.3 miles of trails on this side are more consistently easy, if you’re looking for a reliably easygoing stroll. The trails in the Highland Farm Preserve start out gently in a large field before entering the woods and becoming rocky and rooty. I particularly loved the high Ridge Trail in this preserve, which looks down on Boulter Pond. The old cemeteries are also interesting to check out. Additionally, there is a very short wheelchair-accessible trail that juts out into the meadow at the start of the Highland Farm trail system.
Directions: From the junction of Routes 1 and 91 in York, follow Route 91 north three miles to the preserves’ entrance on the right. Both preserves share a large parking area. You have to cross a busy street to access Smelt Brook Preserve.