Owned and managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the 3,100 acre estuary known as Scarborough Marsh is the largest salt marsh in the state, comprising tidal marsh, salt creeks, fresh water marsh, and uplands. The marsh is particularly important for wildlife as a resting, breeding, and feeding ground.
The Scarborough Marsh Nature Trail starts across ME Route 9 from the visitor center. The short trail parallels the road, then turns onto an abandoned road and dead-ends into the marsh. Its final stage runs along side what remains of a canal dug during the American Revolution, to conceal ships from the British.
Opportunities to view the diverse plants and wildlife of the marsh, particularly birds, are abundant all along the trail. Some bird species you may expect to see include snowy egrets, great blue herons, black-crowned night herons, mallards, black ducks, teal, bald eagles, osprey, northern harriers, and red-tailed hawks.
Recognizing that a significant coastal wildlife habitat was threatened, in 1957 the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife began the 20-year process of acquiring the marsh. In 1972 Maine Audubon initiated a partnership with the state to convert into a nature center an old clam shack at the edge of the marsh.
Today, Scarborough Marsh is a classroom for school children, a labratory for biologist, prime territory for fisherman and hunters, and a fascinating, ever-changing world for nature lovers. The visitor center also offers canoe rentals and a Maine Audubon Nature Store. An aquarium, mounted birds and mammals, and interactive exhibits are also featured at the center. All guided programs are led by trained naturalists.
Visit the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center online for more information or contact:
From US Route 1 in Scarborough, turn east onto ME Route 9/Pine Point Road. The Audubon Center is located in 0.8 miles on the left and is a lone building in the middle of the marsh. Park here and the trailhead leaves from the other side of ME Route 9.
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