Carson Trail

Located in the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, this 1-mile interpretive trail and greenway traverses three natural habitats and offers numerous opportunities to view wildlife.

photo: A fall trail beckons at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. Photo by USFWS.

Length: 1.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Greenway
Allowed Uses: Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Location: At Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge just outside Wells, ME
State(s): Maine
Counties: York
Longitude: -70.54843
Latitude: 43.34743

Driving Directions

The refuge entrance is located on Port Road (Route 9) in Wells and just minutes from exit 19 on I-95. From exit 19, turn left onto Route 9/ Route109. At the stop light, turn left onto Post Road (Route 1 North). Just past the Maine Diner, turn right onto Port Road (Route 9) and follow for approximately ¾ mile; turn right into the refuge entrance.

321 Port Road, Wells, Maine 04090

Description

The Carson Trail was built by volunteers, Maine Conservation Corps, Youth Conservation Corps, and staff in 1988 after 3 years of hard work. Trail design takes advantage of a natural isthmus and the confluence of Branch Brook and the Merriland River to form the Little River. The compacted crushed-stone tread is outlined with 1x6 planks, bent to the undulations of the trail. Hand rails, where present, are mounted on taper-cut 4x4 timbers and interior-fastened, overlapping 1x2 stock. Framing and handrails on the older sections of the trail are pressure treated yellow pine. Sections rebuilt after a dramatic landslide use plastic lumber.

The trail is set back from the river banks by the width of three to six trees. The red maples, birches, alders, oaks and black cherry are mature allowing excellent views without direct disturbance. Eleven interpreted stops provide overlooks, benches and information on area wildlife. Most of the stops offer views of salt marsh pools and pannes with the Gulf of Maine in the distance. Newer uplands are dominated by eastern white pine, balsam fir and red spruce.

An interpretative brochure covers the coastal wetlands and wildlife habitat, as well as the author, Rachel Carson. The trail transverses three habitats, upland hardwoods, shrub-scrub and salt marsh. The varied structures and edges provide excellent wildlife habitat. Migratory birds are the most prevalent species present, but otter, deer, moose, coyote, bear, and turkey have all been seen from the trail.

Additional Details

Width: 60 inches.
Primary Surface: Crushed Rock
Secondary Surface: Boardwalk

Maximum Grade: 1%
Elevation Low Point: 5
Elevation High Point: 20
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:
2006

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Website: Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Ward Feurt
US Fish and Wildlife Service
321 Port Road
Wells , ME 4090
(207) 646-9226
ward_feurt@fws.gov
http://RachelCarson.fws.gov

 

Photos

A fall trail beckons at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. Photo by USFWS.

A fall trail beckons at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. Photo by USFWS.

This Hurricane Sandy recovery project repaired damages to a section of boardwalk on the Carson Trail. Photo by USFS.

This Hurricane Sandy recovery project repaired damages to a section of boardwalk on the Carson Trail. Photo by USFS.

 

Photo from walking trail. Photo by Captain-tucker/wiki.

Photo from walking trail. Photo by Captain-tucker/wiki.

Ferns on trail. Photo by Captain-tucker/wiki.

Ferns on trail. Photo by Captain-tucker/wiki.

 

 Photo by Captain-tucker/wiki.

Photo by Captain-tucker/wiki.

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