Merrymeeting Fields Preserve
In 2003, the 125-acre preserve was donated to the Trust at the generous bequest of Eleanor B. Burke, long time resident of the property. Mrs. Burke’s will instructed the Trust “to maintain the property’s open space, forests, woodlands, and varied habitats with no hunting, trapping or motor vehicles to be allowed.”
The land is primarily a mixed forest and includes a former farm field which is maintained by KELT for nesting birds and small mammals. It is a wonderful place for bird watching and cross- country skiing. The Preserve also has extensive frontage on Merrymeeting Bay and Chops Creek, an area designated as critical habitat by the Maine Natural Areas Program.
The Trust has cleared trails along the old lighthouse road and through the forest to an impressive overlook on Merrymeeting Bay. This historic site provides fine views of the Kennebec River and Abagadasset Wetlands, high value habitat for nesting and migrating birds. Striped bass spawning grounds lie off the Preserve shore.
XC Skiing: 2K of trails opened in 2011!
The trail is approximately two kilometers long and starts at the north end of the Merrymeeting Fields Preserve parking lot, goes through a hunter’s break in a stone wall, down a gentle slope through the woods, runs for about 300 meters along a stone wall built during the “sheep fever” (about 1810 to 1840). At the end of the stone wall the trail turns west and runs down a gentle slope through pretty woods for about 100 meters and then turns south onto an old logging road. The trail follows the old logging road for about 400 meters and comes out onto the upper field of the Preserve. There skiers have the choice of going south across the field and looping back onto the upper trail or taking the more challenging course down onto the lower field, around the field with pretty views of Merrymeeting Bay then ascending the trail back to the upper field and reconnecting to the main trail. New skiers should not try the more challenging course to the lower field. While the slope is not steep it may frighten new skiers, and of course, what goes down must come back up and the upslope after the trip around the lower field requires herringboning. So, Please take young skiers across the upper field rather than down to the lower field.
- Driving Directions -
Take Route 1 North to Route 127 (just across Bath bridge on the left). Take North on 127 to Route 128 and turn left. Follow about 6 miles to Chopps Point Road, turn left. 0.9 miles to parking lot and kiosk on right. View Map.