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Changes at Stover’s Point Preserve

As of Wednesday, August 18, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) has created a pedestrian-only area at Stover’s Point Preserve. This was done to preserve the wildlife habitat and plant life at the preserve. As an added benefit, families with small children will be able to enjoy the beach without worrying about nearby vehicle traffic.

Boulders marking the beginning of the new pedestrian-only area at Stover’s Point Preserve in Harpswell

HHLT preserves land for a variety of purposes, such as protecting wildlife habitat, providing the public with outdoor recreation opportunities and access to the shore, protecting the water quality for important fisheries and preserving scenic vistas.

Whatever the primary purpose of a given property, HHLT is fundamentally committed to allowing access for the public to engage in low-impact recreation. At Stover’s Point Preserve, we recognize that many people have been enjoying public access and recreation opportunities for generations. We feel a responsibility to continue to provide access and to protect the health and value to wildlife of the preserve’s habitat in the face of increased use and climate change.

The trustees and staff of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust decided to make several changes at Stover’s Point Preserve in 2021 and to assess the impact of these changes on both nature and people. The changes include:

  • Closing off the west end of the beach to vehicles to provide a vehicle-free area for beach users.
  • Revising our Stover’s Point brochure and our website to promote awareness and stewardship of the marsh.
  • Changing our preserve guidelines to prohibit walking on the marsh grass.
  • Expanding the hours and visibility of our Stover’s Point Monitor.
  • Creating a community advisory group to provide feedback on management of Stover’s Point Preserve. Please let us know if you would like to be involved in this group.

We welcome your feedback as we attempt to balance multiple priorities and opinions. You can reach out to Executive Director Reed Coles with questions or concerns at 207-721-1121 or info@hhltmaine.org. For more information about Stover’s Point Preserve, click here.

Where should I park?

Parking is limited at Stover’s Point Preserve. You can park on any gravel surface up to the barrier of rocks that creates the pedestrian area, as long as you are not blocking the roadway or other vehicles. Please help us protect this sensitive habitat by not parking on the grass.

If there are no parking spaces left, please consider going to Mitchell Field instead, where there is ample parking, a lovely beach and porta potties. To find Mitchell Field, go back out to Harpswell Neck Road (Rt. 123), turn right, drive 2.5 miles and look for a road on the left just past Pammy’s Ice Cream Parlor.

Stover’s Point Preserve Visitor Guidelines

  • Carry in, carry out
  • Park on gravel surfaces only. Speed limit 5 mph.
  • No vehicles between dusk and dawn.
  • Stay off the marsh grass.
  • Dogs must be on leash between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dogs must not bother wildlife, neighbors or other users.
  • Carry out all dog waste.
  • The following are prohibited: Open fires; camping; trap, float or boat storage; and overnight parking.
  • Please respect wildlife, neighbors and other users.
  • Organized gatherings require advance permission.