The Beech Hill Preserve offers ready access to one of the most scenic and multi-faceted conservation properties in the western Penobscot Bay region. As the only bald hilltop in the area, Beech Hill is an extraordinary hiking, picnicking and birding destination that offers panoramic views of Penobscot Bay, the Camden hills and the St. George peninsula. The conservation program of this Preserve protects nearly 300 acres of land managed for grassland bird habitat, organic blueberry production, and scenic and historic preservation values.
Located approximately 1.5 miles from Rockport village, between Routes 1, 17 and 90, Beech Hill is a large hill dominated by open grassland habitat and a commercial organic blueberry operation. The open fields of the summit, capped by Beech Nut, a sod-roofed stone hut listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are visible from miles around. The lower portion of the Preserve is dominated by a mixed hardwood forest.
Originally protected by a conservation easement in 1986, the summit of Beech Hill was purchased in 2003 by Coastal Mountains Land Trust with support from the Land for Maine’s Future program, the MBNA Foundation, and individuals who have long appreciated this dramatic and beautiful property.
Summit Road Trail (Easy): The first (and original) trail begins at the Beech Hill Road trailhead follows a stone wall and an old farm road for an easy, but at times steep, ¾-mile before reaching the historic stone hut. Given that the Land Trust is managing these fields for organic blueberries and wildlife habitat, it is crucial that walkers not stray off the path and keep their dogs on leash at all times.
Woods Loop Trail (Moderate): The second trail is a loop trail that begins at the Rockville Street Trailhead/parking lot. The trail passes through a two-acre sugar maple stand and begins to wind through a young forest that has colonized an old field before dividing into a loop trail that offers two routes to the summit. The left and more direct route continues through a young forest before running along the edge of the lower fields that approach the summit and Beech Nut. The right path on the loop swings more gradually through a majestic hardwood forest dominated by numerous towering oaks.
Coastal Mountains Land Trust is a membership-based non-profit working to permanently conserve land to benefit the natural and human communities of western Penobscot Bay. Since 1986, the organization has protected or facilitated the protection of more than 9,000 acres of land as preserves or conservation easements. The Land Trust is an accredited community-based organization that relies upon the generous support of its members and volunteers. Please consider becoming a member and/or volunteer with the Land Trust.
Please help us keep this Preserve and trail a pleasure for all who visit this natural area by following these guidelines:
This trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage.
Visit Coastal Mountains Land Trust online for more information and a printable map or contact:Coastal Mountain Land Trust
Beech Hill Summit Road Trailhead: From US Route 1 in Rockport heading south, take a right onto Beech Hill Road across from Hoboken Gardens. Go approximately 1.6 miles. The parking lot is on the left just past the old gate to Beech Hill and a stone wall.
Woods Loop Trailhead: From US Route 1 in Rockport heading south, take the first right immediately after ‘Fresh Off the Farm’ onto Rockville Street. Take first immediate right and continue along Rockville Street. The parking lot is about 0.7 miles on the right-hand side of the road.
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