Cathance River Nature Preserve

The 230-acre Cathance River Nature Preserve hosts 5+ miles of trails that pass by the wildest section of of the Cathance River, an unusual heath, and vernal pools, all amidst quiet woods.
Trail Activity
5.6 miles, Network
Easy, Moderate
Dirt/Forest Floor, Rock/Ledge
Not Permitted


The 230-acre Cathance River Nature Preserve, accessed from the Highland Green development, is a cooperative effort between Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Highland Green, and Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA). Public hiking and cross-country ski trails connect the Highland Green property with the Cathance River, passing quarries and a fascinating, almost-circular heath sanctuary. A trail circles the perimeter of the heath sanctuary and connects to the remainder of the preserve through a narrow corridor. The preserve slopes down to the river through a mix of fields and forest and follows 1½ miles of the Cathance River. The Cathance River Trail (white blaze) generally follows along the river for two miles, and continues off the Preserve (across a 60 ft aluminum bridge) onto adjacent conservation land. The Highland Trail (blue blaze) is an upland trail connecting two sections of the Cathance River Trail. Trails feel remote despite the proximity to busy downtowns and this stretch of the Cathance River includes Class IV rapids that are exciting to view during spring high water.

Other Information

Maps may be available at the Highland Green sales office and at the parking area. Alternatively, maps can be found online at the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust website.

These trails are located on privately-owned, easement-protected land. Please respect the privacy of residents living in areas adjacent to easement land and stay on marked trails. Many  who establish conservation easements do not go the additional step of allowing the public to use the land, so please treat this land and property respectfully so the public may continue to enjoy it.

Trail Manager

Visit the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust online for more information or contact:

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust
108 Maine Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
Phone: (207) 729-7694
View website

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Be aware of and limit the noise you and your group generate. Enjoy the sounds of nature.
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Trailhead Information

The Cathance River Nature Preserve is located in the Highland Green development off the ME Route 196 bypass (Coastal Connector) in Topsham. From the intersection of US Route 201 and ME Route 196 in Topsham, take ME Route 196 east for 0.5 mile towards Bath and US Route 1 North. At the first traffic light, turn left into the Highland Green entrance (Village Drive). Follow Village Drive 0.7 miles and then continue straight onto Evergreen Circle and continue for about a mile. Right past Junco Road on the left is a parking lot for the Ecology Center and Cathance River trails.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
March 28, 2017
Thanks so much for letting us know about the changes to parking here. We have updated the map and text! - MTF Team
Meredith Farnham
March 26, 2017
Heya! The parking directions for this trail are incorrect (I tried them today and saw a big "No Parking" sign). What you need to do is turn left on Evergreen Circle and continue for about a mile. Right past Junco Rd on the left is a parking lot for the Ecology Center and Cathance River trails. I got the directions from the Cathance River Education Alliance website (
Very glad I went: lovely trails with multiple waterfalls!

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