Skolfield Shores Preserve
With fields, salt marsh and more than 4,000 feet of shoreline on Middle Bay Cove, Skolfield Shores Preserve is well-suited for a pleasant walk or spotting a wide range of birds, from meadowlarks to terns.
The main trail system includes the Hemlock Loop and the Merrucoonegan Loop. For a total of one mile, these loops wind through varied forest habitat and provide views of the cove, the salt marsh separating Brunswick and Harpswell and the fields of historic Merrucoonegan Farm. A spur trail leads to a turn of the century boathouse along the shore. Horseshoe crabs can be seen coming to shore to lay their eggs in May and June.
Just down the road from the main parking lot, the Liberty Farm Trail takes a short jaunt through the woods to the cove, providing easy access to the shore for recreation and digging clams. Parking for the Liberty Farm Trail is at a pull off on the east side of Harpswell Neck Road.
The word Merrucoonegan derives from a Native American term for “easy carrying place.” Traditionally, this area was used by Native Americans to move up and down the coast using protected waters. Later it was a center for the Skolfield shipyards in the heyday of wooden ship building. Today it is an important area for shellfish harvesters and for shorebirds to feed.
With the field and woods across from the street from the preserve also protected by a conservation easement, it is ensured that this gateway to Harpswell will retain its historic appearance and natural beauty for generations.
Skolfield Shores Preserve was purchased by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust with money raised during the successful Special Places for Harpswell campaign in 2002. The Liberty Farm addition to Skolfield Shores Preserve was purchased in 2015 with help from a National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grant and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Click here for a short video showcasing Skolfield Shores Preserve.
Click here to get directions from Google Maps.
Skolfield Shores Preserve is located at 33 Skolfield Drive, Harpswell. From the intersection of Rt 123 and Bath Rd at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, follow Rt 123 south for 4.6 mi. Turn right into Skolfield Drive and then take an immediate left into the parking lot for the preserve.