Helen and Walter Norton Preserve on Birch Island

Photograph © Jym St. Pierre

The Helen and Walter Norton Preserve is a beautiful spot to pull out of the water in Middle Bay and enjoy a picnic, swim or campout. The property has a fascinating history, having previously hosted native Americans, a shipyard, and then a boy’s camp. A shell midden and old foundation give clues about the people who have enjoyed this property in the past.

A beach provides easy, all-tide access for small boats. Once on the property, visitors can wander around the field and forest, set up a tent for the night and go swimming in the coves. What a beautiful place to get away from it all!

Access is by water only. A beach provides all tide access for small boats. The closest places to put in the water are the Mere Point Boat Ramp and Simpson’s Point Landing in Brunswick and Lookout Point in Harpswell.


Visitor Guidelines

  • Carry in, carry out.
  • No open fires.
  • Camping is permitted.
  • Dogs must be on leash during bird nesting season, April 15-July 31. All other times, dogs must be under owner control and not bother wildlife, neighbors or other users.
  • Carry out all dog waste.
  • Hunting is allowed. Wear blaze orange and take appropriate safety precautions during hunting season.
  • Trapping is allowed with written permission from HHLT.
  • Please respect wildlife, neighbors and other users.
  • Power driven mobility devices are not allowed.

More Information

  • Click here to read a fascinating article by Jym St. Pierre describing his trip to the Norton Preserve and including much about the history of Birch Island.
  • Click here to read an article by Christine Farrell about the history and acquisition of the Norton Preserve by HHLT.