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Beech Hill Preserve

Two trails offer the chance to summit an open summit hill with fantastic views of Penobscot Bay, Camden Hills, and the St. George Peninsula. Another highlight is a historic sod-roofed hut  known as Beech Nut near the summit. 
Trail Activity
Length
2.0 miles, Network
Difficulty
Easy, Moderate
Town
Rockport
Surface
Dirt/Forest Floor, Grass
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

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.

Other Information

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:

  • The Preserve is open to the public for low-impact recreation during daylight hours.
  • Removal of vegetation is strictly prohibited.
  • Fires and camping are not allowed.
  • Vehicles, motorized or non-motorized including bicycles and horses, are not allowed on the Preserve. Bikes are to remain in parking areas only.
  • Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
  • Hunting is permitted in the forested areas of the Preserve only. Please wear appropriate colored clothing during hunting season.
  • Groups larger than 12 should obtain permission before using the Preserve.

LMF Logo

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.

Trail Manager

Visit Coastal Mountains Land Trust online for more information and a printable map or contact:

Coastal Mountain Land Trust

Coastal Mountain Land Trust
101 Mount Battie Street
Camden, ME 04843
Phone: (207) 236-7091
info@coastalmountains.org
View website

Nearby Events

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Trail Tips

Leave What You Find
Leave the trail work to the pros: they will add or remove blazes, cairns (stone trail markers), structures, and trail improvements as deemed necessary.
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Trailhead Information

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.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
Chuck Greene
July 14, 2017
The view from Beech Nut at the top of the hill is stunning, and worth the trip any time. The Beech Nut "house" is open a couple of days a week during the summer, so if you plan accordingly you can tour the inside as well. The Summit Road Trail from Beech Hill Rd is an easy hike on the access road, with wide open views most of the way up. I would rate the Woods Loop Trail from Rockville St as a bit more difficult than "easy", but less difficult than "moderate" (considering that this site rates the Mt Battie trail in Camden Hills State Park as "moderate", and it's definitely more challenging than this one). The Woods Loop trail does not offer any scenic views along its length (in summer, anyway), no matter which branch you take, and was a bit overgrown in places when we hiked it, but it's a nice walk through the woods to the summit.
Landon Fake
November 10, 2015
Isn't it more than 10,000 acres protected, now?
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