Birdsacre Sanctuary

The historic trails at Birdsacre include many natural and constructed features worth contemplation, as well as a rare opportunity to see non-releasable, educational birds like owls up close.
Trail Activity
Accessible Adventure Hiking Walking
4.20 miles, Network
Easy, Moderate
Dirt/Forest Floor, Rock/Ledge, Boardwalk/Bog Bridging


Visitors will find themselves within a complex of buildings and short paths near the parking area. Please be quiet and considerate around the non-releasable, educational bird enclosures near paths that connect to small ponds and picnic areas. Trail maps are available in the registration building and show the trail junctions marked by number, which can help new visitors navigate the trail system ornithologist Cordelia Stanwood fashioned to photograph and study bird life in the early 20th Century.
Within the Sanctuary one encounters gentle hillside slopes, grassy swamps, blankets of deep green moss, towering pines and spruces, laughing brooks and bubbling springs, all supporting a vast array of nesting bird, plant, and wildlife populations. Natural vistas have been cleared, and six refreshing ponds and pools added, all for the enjoyment of birds and the public.

Behind the nature center is the ADA Woodlands Gardens boardwalk. This 540-foot boardwalk is suitable for wheelchairs, strollers, and anyone with mobility challenges, and includes handrails and numerous benches. It travels through five different and diverse environments - woodland meadow, ledge, evergreen forest, fern-moss habitat, and a bog. Labeled examples of plants and wildflowers are located along the trail. The crushed-stone Pinkham Path is also designated as accessible.
The longest trail is the white Perimeter Trail at 2 miles, Blue is intermediary, Yellow serves as a connector between major trails, and the shorter loop is Red at 0.5 miles. Be advised that rainy or icy weather can make some trail sections slippery and wear appropriate gear.
Boardwalks at Stevenson Bog at the far end of the Perimeter Trail and at Martinland between the Red and Blue Trails offer excellent opportunities to visit wetland areas without getting your feet wet. Visiting the Queen's Throne is a real highlight and nearby other natural features such as Egg Rock, Herpel Pond, and Big Chief's Fireplace. 

Other Information

Please keep pets on leash and stroll beyond the non-releasable owl shelter area, for the peace of the Avian Ambassadors.

The Sanctuary is open year round from dawn to dusk, funded by donation, reestablishing our connection with nature, and offering a pleasant balance to the hustle-and-bustle of today’s fast-paced world. The Homestead Museum and Nature Center are open seasonally, from June through September, 10 to 4 pm, dependent on volunteer availability. Birdsacre is also available to hold club meetings, special events or birthday parties on the patio deck or pond side.
The 200-acre Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary fosters a sensitivity of nature through experiential learning, inspired by Cordelia J. Stanwood's contributions to ornithology, preserving her home and legacy for public enrichment.

Trail Manager

For more information about Birdsacre, contact:

Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary

Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary
P.O. Box 485
289 High Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605
Phone: (207) 667-8460
View website

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Respect Wildlife
Keep your pets under control at all times, to protect both them and wild animals, fragile environments, and the enjoyment of other visitors.
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Trailhead Information

Birdsacre Sanctuary is located on a one-way section of ME-3/High Street in Ellsworth, just up the hill from the junction where US-1 heads east. Stay in the right lane and look for the Birdsacre Entrance sign on the right, across from the Eagle's Lodge Motel on the left.

The ADA Woodlands Gardens boardwalk is accessed via a steep gravel road.  Persons with mobility limitations may drive their vehicle down the gravel road and park adjacent to the boardwalk. Some assistance may be necessary if one decides to walk down the road. The Nature Center is wheelchair accessible. Some assistance may be needed to utilize the restroom.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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