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Gilsland Farm

On the shore of the Presumpscot estuary, Gilsland Farm's gentle trails are one of the best places in the Portland area to see wildlife in varied habitats, including meadows, historic gardens, marshes, and forests.
Trail Activity
Length
3.5 miles, Network
Difficulty
Easy
Town
Falmouth
Surface
Dirt/Forest Floor, Gravel/Crushed Stone, Grass
Pets
Not Permitted
Fees
No

Description

The main trailhead is just outside the visitor center, about 40 feet from the main entrance. From it you can access all the trail spurs and junctions as well as the following principal trail loops:

West Meadow Trail (0.7 miles): The walk encircles the rolling West Meadow with its high bluffs over looking the Presumpscot Estuary and views to the Portland skyline in the distance. Follow the signs from the main trailhead through a small forested wetland and out into the field. Two observation blinds accessible by spur trails provide secluded spots from which to observe wintering waterfowl and flocks of migrant shorebirds. They gather on the mudflats from June through September to feed on the abundant marine life exposed by the tide.

Pond Meadow Trail (0.6 miles): Passing through the greatest diversity of habitat on the sanctuary, the Pond Meadow Trail winds behind both the visitor center and the headquarters building. Pockets of mature red oak and hemlock that date back a century or more are interspersed with stands of red maple, ash, white birch, and trembling aspen. Through the woods just below the apple orchard, the trail leads down to the pond where muskrat and wetland birds live and feed.

North Meadow Trail (1.2 miles): From the turnout halfway down the driveway, bear right through a grave of mature oaks and hemlocks and into the North Meadow. A wide loop around this field offers views reminiscent of the property's farming past. Mowed annually in late fall after the nesting bobolinks and meadowlarks have fledged their young, and sparrows have migrated, this meadow provides winter forage for Canada geese and hunting grounds for birds of prey. The bordering spruce and shrub edges of staghorn sumac, northern arrowwood and speckled alder are good places to observe songbirds.

Other Information

The sanctuary is open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk daily.

Please help ensure an enjoyable visit for all and protect wildlife and its habitat by staying on the trails and carrying out all litter. Pets, fires, firearms, and alcoholic beverages are not allowed.

Maine Audubon works to conserve Maine's wildlife and wildlife habitat by engaging people of all ages in education, conservation, and action. In 1976, Maine Audubon erected its headquarters building on the site at Gilsland Farms as a prototype of energy-effiencent office space heated by solar and wood heat. In 1981 the organization purchased the property's farmhouse, and, in 1995, built the award-winning visitor center using state-of-the-art "green" design and construction techniques. For more information about the organization and its work, visit maineaudubon.org (link below).

Trail Manager

Visit Maine Audubon online for more information or contact:

Maine Audubon, Gilsland

Maine Audubon, Gilsland
20 Gilsland Farm Rd.
Falmouth, ME 04105
Phone: (207) 781-2330
info@maineaudubon.org
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Nearby Events

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Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Be prepared to find your way home. Familiarize yourself with the area before you set out and bring your map and compass along.
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Trailhead Information

Gilsland Farm Audubon Center is located off US Route 1 in Falmouth, just 1 mile north of the Portland city line.

By public transit: Take METRO's Route 7 from Monument Square or Falmouth Town Landing.

By bike: Wide bike lanes on US Route 1 lead from downtown Portland, via Veranda Street and the Tukeys Bridge bike path (3 miles, approximately 30 minutes at an easy pace), to ME Route 88/Falmouth Town Landing to the north (2.5 miles, approximately 15 minutes).

By car: From the north, take I-295 to Exit 10 and turn left on Buckman Road. At the light turn right onto US Route 1 and continue south for one mile. After the blinking light at the intersection of US Route 1 and ME Route 88, turn right at the Maine Audubon sign (Gilsland Farm Road). From the south, take I-295 to Exit 9. Continue 1.9 miles north on US Route 1 and turn left at the sign.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
Kasey Marsters
March 05, 2018
This place is awesome! The trails, the view, the wildlife - excellent. Why are there no reviews yet!?

Definitely worth taking your family for an adventure here - make sure you bring binoculars and a delicious picnic lunch!

This is located just off Route 1 - it's so easy to get to and not far off the beaten path! Best, Kasey Marsters www.foxtrickadventures.com
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