Kennebunkport Maine Nature Walks
Kennebunk Maine | Nature Walks
Whether you are interested in woods and wetlands or the birds and animals that inhabit them, the Kennebunk Maine area has fascinating places for you to discover.
The Kennebunk Plains
The Kennebunk Plains, on Route 99 several miles west of Kennebunk, are a rare treat. This 1100-acre protected grasslands habitat is unusual in a state that is so forested and hilly; it is home to several rare and endangered species of vegetation and wildlife. Also know as the “blueberry plains” by locals, it is a wonderful, wide open place to walk or mountain bike. The roads take you through vast grasslands, scrub oak woods and by ponds.
It’s a favored place for birdwatchers, with dozens of species living here, including rare grassland nesting birds such as the grasshopper sparrow. Nature lovers will enjoy identifying the native bunching grasses and flowers; a special treat arrives in early August, when the extremely rare northern blazing star begins to bloom, painting the fields purple. Ninety percent of the world’s northern blazing star population is found here. The plains are also special in July, when the wild blueberries are ready. Nothing is a sweet as a wild Maine blueberry.
The Plains are monitored by the Nature Conservancy; every year, along with the Kennebunk Conservation Commission , they sponsor community field trips in mid-August. FMI call: (207) 490-4012 .
The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
This Wildlife Refuge protects coastal salt marshes for wildlife in Kennebunk and other communities in southern Maine . A one-mile, accessible, self-guided trail is located at the refugeheadquarters on Route 9 in Wells. It is open every day from dawn until dusk.
The headquarters, where leaflets and information are available, is open from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm Monday through Friday; limed hours on weekends in the summer. 207-646-9226 (TDD/Voice: 1-800-437-1220).
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm preserves 1600 acres of salt marsh , sand dune , mixed forest , and grassy uplands along the southern Maine coast . The spectacular scenery and historic farm buildings , along with 7 miles of walking trails and myriad programs and Maine events , draw thousands of people every year.
The weekend after Labor day is when the well known Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival is held. With about 75 exhibitors, music, children’s activities, and guided tours it is a a fair not to be missed.Trails are open from 8am to 8pm in the summer and 8am to 5pm the rest of the year. The Visitor Center with Gift Shop is open in summer from 10am to 4pm and reduced hours in fall and winter. Call (207) 646-1555 for more details or visit http://www.wellsreserve.org/