Gambo Preserve and Shaw Park

A network of three trails owned by two different entities, The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust (PRLT) and the Town of Gorham, the Presumpscot River, Gunpowder Mill, and the Canal Towpath Trails offer a nice diversion from the Mountain Division Rail Trail or a great historic and recreational destination by itself!
Trail Activity
Length
1.2 miles, Network
Difficulty
Easy
Towns
Gorham, Windham
Surface
Dirt/Forest Floor, Pavement
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

The Presumpscot River Trail serves as a link between the Mountain Division Rail Trail, Shaw Park, and the Gambo Property of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust.

Starting on the west side of the Presumpscot River at its intersection with the Mountain Division Rail Trail, the paved Presumpscot River Trail heads south into Shaw Park, which has numerous recreation facilities including a boat launch and canoe rentals, picnic tables, and parking for any of the connecting trails.

South of the parking area, the trail winds around an old sand pit which was excavated by the former quarrying operations. The trail then connects with a discontinued portion of Gambo Road, now closed to automobile traffic, whose paved surface is still adequate for biking.

The trail continues to follow Gambo Road east to a pedestrian bridge above the Gambo Dam. Along the way there are visible remnants of the Cumberland and Oxford Canal and a submerged ruin of the Oriental Powder Mill. Those wishing to complete the Curtis Loop will need to travel uphill slightly, turn left onto the gravel road and reenter the Mountain Division Rail Trail at the end of this road.

The second half of the Presumpscot River Trail also provides access to the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust's Gambo Property and the Gunpower Mill Trail and Canal Towpath Trail trailheads. The property was once the Oriental Powder Mill, the first (1824) and largest gunpowder mill in Maine. During the Civil War, the Oriental Powder Mill supplied the Union Army with a quarter of its gunpowder! The mill closed in 1905, just prior to the construction of the adjacent Gambo Dam.

Starting near the dam on old Gambo Road, the Gunpowder Mill Trail tours the entire grounds of the former mill. Numerous ruins dot the trail, and wayside markers describe the significance of each ruin. The quarter-mile long Gunpowder Mill Trail ends at the Canal Towpath Trail.

The Canal Towpath Trail follows the old route of the Cumberland and Oxford Canal. In addition to the still visible canal prism, the trail also crosses an old weir (a water overflow structure) and passes along one of the now ruined canal locks.

Other Information

Presumpscot Regional Land Trust supports healthy lands, waters, wildlife, and people across the Presumpscot River watershed through conservation, water quality monitoring, education, and public access. Our success is based on member support. To learn more and become a member go to www.prlt.org.

Trail Manager

Visit Shaw Park or the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust online for more information or contact:

Presumpscot Regional Land Trust

Presumpscot Regional Land Trust
PO Box 33
Gorham, ME 04038
Phone: (207) 839-4633
info@prlt.org

Town of Gorham

Town of Gorham
75 South Street
Gorham, ME 04038
Phone: (207) 222-1630
recreation@gorham.me.us
View website

Nearby Events

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Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Be prepared for extreme weather. Bring rain/wind gear, warm clothing, and matches/fire starters.
Legend
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Trailhead Information

Shaw Park

From North: From the intersection of ME Routes 35 and 237 on the south shore of Sebago Lake, follow ME Route 237 south about 3.3 miles. The entrance to Shaw Park, on your left, is marked with a large granite sign that reads, "Shaw Park." This drive is also called Partridge Lane. Parking is about 0.5 miles from ME Route 237.

From South: From the rotary intersection of US Route 202/ME Route 4 with ME Route 237 in the village of Little Falls in Gorham, follow ME Route 237 northwest for about 1.8 miles. The entrance to Shaw Park, on your right, is marked with a large granite sign that reads, "Shaw Park." This drive is also called Partridge Lane. Parking is about 0.5 miles from ME Route 237.

Gambo Road

From North: From the rotary intersection of US Route 202/ME Route 4 with US Route 302 in Windham, take US Route 202/ME Route 4 south about 3.4 miles. Turn right onto Newhall Road; about a half-mile further, Newhall Road becomes Gambo Road at its intersection with River Road. Go straight onto Gambo Road for about 0.3 miles; to park at the Mountain Division Rail Trail, turn right onto Soccer Drive, a gravel road. Otherwise, on-street parking might be available near the end of Gambo Road.

From South: From the rotary intersection of US Route 202/ME Route 4 with ME Route 237 in the village of Little Falls in Gorham, follow US Route 202 north about 1.2 miles and turn left at the stoplight onto River Road. Follow River Road for about 0.5 miles and turn left onto Gambo Road. Take Gambo Road for about 0.3 miles; to park at the Mountain Division Rail Trail, turn right onto Soccer Drive, a gravel road. Otherwise, on-street parking might be available near the end of Gambo Road.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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