Posted on December 16, 2013 and last updated on November 14, 2021

Thorne Head Preserve and Whiskeag Trail, Bath

QUICK TRAIL FACTS

  • Preserve Size: Thorne Head is 88 acres
  • Trail Mileage: Whiskeag Trail is ~6 miles long
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy to challenging
  • Sights: Kennebec River, Whiskeag Creek

Trail in red on my map is wheelchair accessible.

This is a popular trail network, with views of the Kennebec River and access to wide ledges along the river’s edge. You can head out for a seriously substantial walk here if you combine the trails of the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve with the town’s six-mile Whiskeag Trail.

Thorne Head offers pretty views of the fast-moving Kennebec River, and the trails here are popular with walkers and their dogs. The Overlook Trail is a 0.5-mile one-way universally accessible path—it’s packed dirt, wide and smooth. It leaves from the parking lot and brings you to a high point of the preserve with a view, which you can enjoy from a mushroom cap bench. The rest of the trails are less accessible — and some of them are downright steep and challenging. One (the Stone Steps Trail) even has rungs! The Narrows Trail, while somewhat rough in parts, is mostly easy, and takes you along the edge of the head and to some wide ledges where you can sit and enjoy the river. The Narrows Trail loop, which includes the start of the Whiskeag Trail, is roughly 1.7 miles. One highlight of the trail, besides the views, is a massive boulder that I think a lot of kids would enjoy climbing.

While Thorne Head is marvelous, sections of the Whiskeag, particularly along Whiskeag Creek, are also very pretty, and a few of the rocky outcroppings might make good bases for a swim.

The Whiskeag Trail is fairly well marked, but there are a few confusing sections along the way. For instance, at the school fields and the cemetery, you just have to walk toward the road crossings. So, at the cemetery, walk across the iron bridge and take a left and then follow the cemetery road to the crosswalk where the path continues in the woods. At the school fields, walk around the baseball field to the trailhead. The path crosses the road here and heads off into the woods.

Directions: In Bath, go north on High Street. Eventually, the road turns to dirt, and can be a bit pot-holey. Keep going until the road dead ends at the preserve parking lot. You can pick up the Whiskeag Trail at the Bath YMCA or off of Whiskeag Road, parking lot on the right.

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