Royal River Park
With a beautiful path running the length of the park along the river and parallel to the heart of the village, this is one of Yarmouth’s most beloved parks, owned and managed by the Town. Highlights include views of three waterfalls, two at old dam sites and another at a historic mill site. There are ADA picnic tables under a pavillion, open fields as well as floodplain forest, and a 75- to 200-year-old stand of hemlock. Most of the park is built on former industrial and mill sites. The Middle (or Third, counting upstream from tidewater) Falls with its brick remnants and Factory Island were once completely spanned by the massive Forest Paper Company mill complex in the early 1900’s.
The primary trail is a paved, 5-foot wide path through the park starting from East Elm Street, near the Upper (or Fourth) Falls, down along the river through open fields to the Third Falls overlook. This first 0.2-mile section of trail is accessible with minimal grades. The overlook has a surface of loose gravel and stone. Past the overlook there is a significant grade of over 12%, making the trail past this point potentially challenging for those in wheelchairs and others with limited mobility.
Past the Third Falls overlook, the trail descends steeply by brick mill remnants and enters a stretch of basswood and locust floodplain forest, followed by hemlock and pine forest, before meeting the Beth Condon Pathway, where a pedestrian bridge crosses the river. It continues south under US-1 to the final dam and the Second Falls (“Cotton Mill Falls”) at Bridge Street.
Historical interpretative signs are stationed alongside the way. There are several connections to Main Street. A second path extends from East Elm Street and the upper dam along a small peninsula between the river and an old mill sluiceway. From here, you can look over to Gooch Island, which you can also view from a pathway between Park Street and Forest Falls Drive.
Beth Condon Pathway
The Beth Condon Pathway is now part of the East Coast Greenway, a trail system of nearly 3,000 miles, extending from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida. The Beth Condon Pathway extends for over a mile along US-1, from Portland Street to Hannaford Plaza, with several connections to other pedestrian and cycling routes. Beth Condon was a Yarmouth High School student who was fatally struck by a car while walking along the shoulder of US-1. The Pathway was developed in her memory by family, friends and the Town, to provide a safe pathway for walkers and bikers.
Behind Town Hall, the Pathway has a resting stop with stone benches at the Butterfly Garden, surrounding the Beth Condon Memorial. Interpretive signs illustrate the habitat needs, life cycles, and descriptions of many of the butterflies that use these gardens during the growing season. It crosses the Royal River Park east of the Rowe School tennis courts where the lighted, paved path descends through a deep hemlock grove to a scenic pedestrian bridge across the river (with a vista upriver to the Third Falls) and on to Hannaford Plaza.
Visit Yarmouth Community Services online for more information or contact:
Royal River Park: The primary entrance and parking lot is across East Elm Street from the newly renovated Yarmouth History Center, about 0.3 mile east of the Main Street intersection. Park here if you are launching canoes from the History Center. There are additional entrances to the park from Mill Street, from the Beth Condon Pathway near the Rowe School, or the entrance of Forest Falls Drive (which connects to the Royal River path via a pedestrian bridge) and from Bridge Street.
Beth Condon Pathway: Parking is available at many points along the Pathway: in front of businesses along Route One north of Portland Street, behind Town Hall near the Butterfly Garden, and at Rowe School.
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