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Josephine Newman Audubon Sanctuary

A hidden gem bounded on two sides by salt marsh, the sanctuary features over two and a half miles of trails that traverse meadows, coastline, forest, and rocky ridges. Stonewall, exposed bedrock, and views of reversing tidal falls are all highlights.
Trail Activity
Snowshoeing Cross-country-skiing Walking Hiking
2.70 miles, Network
Easy, Moderate
Dirt/Forest Floor, Rock/Ledge
Not Permitted


Josephine Newman Audubon Sanctuary is a 119-acre preserve in the heart of midcoast Maine at transitional region between Maine's southern and downeast coast. The sanctuary’s 2.5 miles of trails traverse mautre forest stands of red oak, white pine, red spruce, and hemlock while meandering along the rocky shore and tidal mudflats of Robinhood Cove. The trail highlights include salt marshes, a former beaver pond, and a brook. In all, there are diverse opportunities to walk on bluffs rising above the ocean, or stand on a cliff and watch reversing falls caused by tidal water tumbling over ledges.

Geology Trail (blue, 0.6 miles): The most rigorous hike in the sanctuary, the extremely varied and steep Geology Trail begins in the meadow just north of the cellar hole, winds through coniferous woods to Robinhood Cove, parallels the eastern shore of the cattail marsh, and returns to the meadow.

Rocky End Trail (red, 1.25 miles): Branching off from the Geology Trail near the cattail marsh and featuring beautiful views of marshes, mud flats, and the cove’s rocky shore, the Rocky End Trail takes you through the deciduous forest in the center of the property to the highest point on the sanctuary and then winds back along the East Branch of Robinhood Cove to rejoin with the Geology Trail not far from the meadow.

Horseshoe Trail (orange, 0.75 miles): Beginning at the southern end of the meadow, the Horseshoe Trail joins the Rocky End Trail after a half mile, at which point you can either cut back on the interior portion of the Rocky End Trail (an old haul road), follows its coastal leg back to the meadow, or continue to follow the Horseshoe Trail to the ruins of a small cabin high on a ledge. Combined with the interior leg of the Rocky End Trail, this trail provides the easiest walking on the sanctuary.

Other Information

This sanctuary was willed to Maine Audubon in 1968 by respect naturalist Josephine Oliver Newman whose father had purchased the property for the family farm. Sanctuary is open to the public, dawn to dusk, year-round. Donations are appreciated for sanctuary maintenance.

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
View website

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Respect Wildlife
Avoid known animal mating or nesting areas during sensitive times.
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Trailhead Information

From the junction of US Route 1 and ME Route 127 in Woolwich, just east of the Woolwich–Bath bridge, head south on ME Route 127 for 9.1 miles to Georgetown. Turn right at the sanctuary sign and follow the entrance road to the parking area.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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May 04, 2021
Shame you don’t allow dogs
March 29, 2021
Lovely little network of trails here! I did the whole thing and it was mostly flat but I still got a nice workout in when the elevation picked up. I really enjoyed the views of the river and the waterfall too (I'm a sucker for trails that offer both woods and water). I took the connector to the Wilson Trail loop in the Berry Woods Preserve which was very enjoyable. Would recommend!
February 22, 2021
Our hike started off with a greeting from a deer at the trail head sign. It watched us for quite awhile and was so beautiful, but apparently ticks are a huge problem on this trail and I can see why, especially in the tall grass field at the beginning. However, we sprayed on some deet and actually didn't see any on our mid November hike. Loved how the scenery changed every few minutes. Lots of streams, rock walls, footbridges, marshes, inlets, and views. Found several horseshoe crab shells in the cove. Perfect mix of woods and waters on an easy/moderate hike.
September 03, 2020
I hate to say this, but don't waste your time! My son and I went here today and the road in was one way and pretty rough. I almost didn't drive down because it looked pretty sketchy to me. We started out on the main trail past the trailhead. Went down to red, then blue. Blue was impassible about a quarter of the way through due to a downed tree. There were no nice views of water or footbridges, just the woods (granted, we didn't go more than a half mile before turning back!) The mosquitoes were brutal, even with bug spray! I just got a bad vibe about the place, that it was run down and the sort of place you could imagine in a horror movie with a serial killer or something. I hike all over Maine and parts of NH, but I wouldn't come here again!
July 08, 2020
Beautiful trails with varied terrain. There are several wonderful footbridges, ferns, mosses, stone walls, massive rock formations, fields with milkweed and butterflies, and a lovely lily pond with yellow waterlilies in bloom. The water views are wonderful! Especially the kingfisher zipping along the shore. I would classify portions of the blue trail moderate/difficult because of the very steep climb (depending which direction you're going). Wonderful preserve.
October 28, 2019
Pretty easy trail, not a lot of elevation. Good marsh/river views on the Horseshoe trail (the eastern one). I took the connector at the landmark and checked out the Wilson Trail Loop of the nearby Berry Woods Preserve which was great too.
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