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Trailhead

The Nature Conservancy Parking (pets prohibited):

  • From the north, take Route 1 into Bath and take the first exit into Bath as you are coming off the Sagadahoc Bridge. Turn left at the first traffic light onto Washington St. This will take you under the Route 1 viaduct and past Bath Iron Works. Follow Washington Street to Route 209 (High St.). Turn left onto Route 209. Go 6 miles and turn right on Basin Road. Follow the Basin Road for 3/5 of a mile (the road will turn to gravel) to a grass field (the Green Piece) and a parking area on the left side of the road.
  • From the south, take Route 1 into Bath and take the Phippsburg/Route 209 exit. Turn right onto Route 209. Follow Route 209 for approximately 7 miles and turn right on Basin Road. Follow the Basin Road for 3/5 of a mile (the road will turn to gravel) to a grass field (the Green Piece) and a parking area on the left side of the

Phippsburg Land Trust Parking (pets allowed): 

From Phippsburg, take Main Road (ME-209) south; after 2.7 miles you will find the parking lot on the right. 

Description

This trail connects Phippsburg Land Trust’s Sprague Pond Preserve (pets allowed) with The Nature Conservancy’s Basin Preserve (pets prohibited) in Phippsburg. From the Sprague Pond Preserve parking lot on Route 209, the trail winds past a beaver pond and dam on North Creek, and ascends through woods to Sprague Pond. Just beyond the beaver dam, the trail intersects the Sprague Pond Loop Trail. The loop to the right runs along the west side of Sprague Pond, past a seasonal waterfall known as Skull Falls and over a stream before entering The Nature Conservancy’s Basin Preserve. The trail to the left heads west before turning north along Burnt Ledge (also known as Pasture Ridge), one of the largest Pitch Pine Woodlands in Maine. Hikers can follow this blue-blazed trail to the “Green Piece,” an overgrown open field, on the Basin Road and the northern parking area or turn back south to return to Sprague Pond on the eastern side of the loop, for a five mile hike. A fenced area at the northern end of the Green Piece protects a newly planted chestnut seed orchard, which is an effort by The Nature Conservancy and Maine Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation to produce blight resistant seeds of chestnut for future forest restoration projects. The Sprague Pond Trail is maintained by both land trusts; the first part of the trail from the south to Sprague Pond is blazed in white; the balance is blue blazed.

Other Information

In October 2006, an anonymous donor gave The Nature Conservancy 1,910 acres in Phippsburg, including more than 4 miles of coastline surrounding the Basin, a saltwater inlet on the New Meadows River. In 2012, the Conservancy transferred 64 acres to the town of Phippsburg to be used for town recreational access and school programs. The Basin is the Conservancy’s largest coastal preserve in Maine and one of the Conservancy’s most valuable individual land gifts. The acquisition of The Basin Preserve is a substantial addition to existing protected lands and waters in the Kennebec Estuary. Comprised of Merrymeeting Bay and the Lower Kennebec River, the Kennebec Estuary is the largest tidal estuary on the East Coast north of the Hudson River.

In addition to protecting important estuary habitat of the Basin and shoreline of the New Meadows River, The Basin Preserve features extensive stands of rare Pitch Pine Woodlands. A series of ridges run down the length of the preserve in a northeast/southwest orientation. One of the larger ridges on the peninsula, Pasture Ridge, runs down the middle of the preserve and hosts an exemplary stand of Pitch Pine Woodland, one of the largest in Maine. These beautiful woodlands are influenced by past fires and pitch pine’s ability to persist in harsh growing conditions of acidic, thin soil on exposed granite ridge-tops. Sedge meadows, shrub marshes and black spruce bogs occupy the valleys between the ridges and provide excellent habitat for many plants and animals. One large stand of black gum, a southern tree species at its northern limit in Maine, is found on the preserve.

Visiting Guidelines:

  • Day use only
  • No fires
  • Carry out all trash, leave no trace
  • Bikes, horses, and motorized vehicles are prohibited on Sprague Pond Trail
  • Pets are permitted on the Phippsburg Land Trust lands (southern and eastern end of the trail, accessed from ME-209);
    they are not allowed however on The Nature Conservancy trails.
  • Please stay on trails
  • No collecting of plants or animals

LMF Logo

This trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage.

Trail Manager

Visit Phippsburg Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy online for more information or contact:

The Nature Conservancy, Maine Field Office
14 Maine Street, Suite 401
Brunswick, ME 04011
Phone: (207) 729-5181
naturemaine@tnc.org

Phippsburg Land Trust
PO Box 123
Phippsburg, ME 04562
Phone: (207) 443-5993
information@phippsburglandtrust.org

Comments

mainetrailfinder October 15, 2018, 11:24 am EDT

To clarify - dogs are not allowed on TNC's land, which is accessed from Basin Road, but they are allowed on PLT's land, which is accessed from ME-209. Hope this helps!

mikeandfern September 23, 2018, 2:36 pm EDT

Sign at trailhead says no dogs.

ashe72 February 21, 2017, 8:00 pm EST

Rikk Ashe

2/21/17 Great day ice fishing! Seen an owl on the 209 side, not far after entering the trail. Beautiful land out there!

bcummings.plt September 22, 2016, 5:21 pm EDT

The bridge across North Creek is fully repaired (and it looks like the beavers may have returned to North Creek as well).

mainetrailfinder March 01, 2016, 1:06 pm EST

There is currently a wash-out at the bog bridge crossing of North Creek. From the Phippsburg Land Trust parking area on ME-209, you will only be able to hike a quarter-mile walk down to the creek with no connection to Sprague Pond. The pond remains accessible by a longer walk from the The Nature Conservancy trailhead on Basin Road.This bridge will likely be repaired after the end of spring high water, but for now the trail is not accessible unless the ice freezes hard.

maine hiker February 28, 2016, 2:00 pm EST

2.28.16 Trail closed. The bridge is washed out.

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Leave No Trace Principle

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Avoid unwanted animal guests: store your food and trash securely and keep your camp clean of crumbs and spills.