Located off Memorial Highway, Old Town House Park is comprised of 62 acres of open space in the geographic center of North Yarmouth. 25 acres of upland fields, along with 30 acres of seasonal flood plain and freshwater wetlands, make this a recreational centerpiece for the town. Visitors may begin at the kiosk by the main parking lot on Route 9. If you bear to the right on the Field Loop, you will see open hay fields and soccer fields on your left and a wooded embankment on your right. At the end of the soccer field, there is a short hill connecting the upper trails to the lower fields. You can either turn left and circle around the open soccer field areas to the Woods Trail, or head down the hill to the Lower Field Loop.
At the bottom of the hill, the loop trails go around the entire perimeter of the fields, but there are options for shorter walks as well. If you take an immediate sharp right, you will walk alongside a stand of thickly packed spruce trees. At the end of the tree stand, the Basin Loop Trail takes you around a small field and reconnects to the Lower Field Loop Trail. To continue, bear right and follow the mowed path around the open hay field. At the far end, the trail meets the Royal River. Turning left, the trail winds past a small wetland area before entering the second lower field, on the River Loop Trail. Continuing around the perimeter to the right, the mowed path again heads toward the river. Where the path parallels the river, it is surrounded by a planted buffer zone which provides bird and wildlife habitats, and will protect the riverbank in time. There is a lovely stone bench set on the river bank at the far corner of this trail.
Continuing past the bench, you can follow the river to the right, or you can go straight across the cut and connect to the Woods Trail. The Woods Trail continues to follow the course of the river. In the spring, this is a beautiful area to spot wetland flowers such as skunk cabbage, trout lilies, and lady slippers. Follow the Woods Trail as it weaves its way back and forth from the open fields to the left, or opt to take the short, steep Ravine Path. The Woods Trail eventually reconnects with the Field Loop near the top of a hill overlooking a lovely panoramic view of the park and its surrounding area. The trail head can be seen down to the right. Continue down the hill and over the boardwalk back to the parking lot.
The Old Town House is owned by North Yarmouth Historical Society and used for NYHS programs — a fall cider pressing, a December holiday party, and more. It was built in 1853, halfway between our town’s villages of Walnut Hill and East North Yarmouth, and used as the town’s meeting hall and selectmen’s office until 1970. In the 1940s the Old Town House was also used as a schoolhouse for grades 6-8. The building was saved from demolition and restored in 1976 by the Historical Society. The Old Town House is a rustic structure and is available for rental for a modest donation. For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Much of the floodplain and freshwater wetland area is protected by a Federal easement to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. Hunting is not allowed in the Park. Please pick up your dog waste and dispose of it properly. Bags and trash barrels are provided at the kiosk.
Park is open 5 AM to 9 PM.
Visit the Town of North Yarmouth online for more information or contact:
The trailhead is on Route 9 (Memorial Highway) in North Yarmouth, approximately 1/2 mile south of the North Road intersection or 0.8 miles north of Sligo Road.
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