Beaches, Gardens, Parks & Preserves

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Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

 
2810552_orig.jpgRanked at number one on TripAdvisor’s top ten public gardens in the U.S. for 2013, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has many magical features and one of the most notable is that it is constantly changing. The color and landscape not only vary season-to-season but also week-to-week.
 
You never know what new exciting thing may await you around the next curve. Guests who are visiting the region often plan to visit more than one day during their stay so that they can savor the wide variety of dramatic color and natural beauty. 
 
 
It’s also exciting to discover the Gardens during the spring, autumn, and winter months when it is quieter but no less stunning. A recent visitor from Maryland said, “So much to see and it doesn’t matter what season you are there.”
 
In June of 2014 the Gardens will be celebrating the opening of The Landing, a dock from which Gardens’ guests can actually get out onto the water and have an even more unique Maine experience.
 
Open year-round and charges admission from mid-April through October. For pricing, directions, and other information, visit the website at www.MaineGardens.org or call (207) 633-8000.
 
“The trails are easy to navigate and around each curve another beautiful scene awaits you.” Dennis M. from Madison Wisconsin, CMBG visitor
 

Boothbay Region Land Trust

 
6134452_orig.jpgThe Mission of the Boothbay Region Land Trust is: “to conserve for the public benefit, the natural habitat, scenic beauty and working lands of the Boothbay Region” for generations to come. They have been devoted to conserving the natural beauty and character of the Boothbay Harbor Region (Boothbay, East Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Edgecomb, and Southport) since 1980.  Their efforts have provided the priceless gift of public access to hundreds of acres of working waterfront and pristine coastline with over 30 miles of hiking trails that are open year-round and free of charge.
 
 
 As part of their mission, the BRLT promotes education on wildlife, ecology, conservation and local history by hosting over 175 free programs a year serving ages 3 and up. These events include guided hikes, workshops, and kayak and boat excursions. Caring for these preserves and maintaining more than 30 miles of trails takes an entire community.  The BRLT team encourages all who share in their passion for this region to get involved and become a part of preserving the future of our pristine landscape. There are many ways to do this: through participation in trail work parties, the Adopt-a-Preserve program, membership, volunteering or simply by making a donation.
 
BRLT Fun Facts:
 
  • The BRLT cares for 22 preserves: 6 are accessible by water, 3 have docks and moorings, and they encompass a total of 17 miles of saltwater frontage, which includes 6 islands.
  • The BRLT Preserves are home to over 160 species of birds and provide over 200 acres of deer wintering area
  • According to a 2012 study by the University of Maine, BRLT trails are visited by residents and visitors roughly 64,000 times each year. The economic impact attributable to those hikers is $3.9 million annually, supporting 39 full and part-time jobs.
 
 
FMI visit their website at www.bbrlt.org, call 207.633.4818 or stop by their office at 137 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor.
 

Other Gardens, Parks & Preserves

 
In addition to the BRLT preserves and garden, our region has an impressive number of natural amenities that are open to the public and free of charge. Barrett’s Park is located only steps from downtown and offers plentiful parking, handicap accessible restrooms, shade trees, grassy areas and even some sand to stick your toes in. Cozily tucked into Lewis Cove on Linekin Bay, the park is popular for swimming and picnics and is also a beautiful setting for wedding ceremonies and receptions.
 
 
4973140_orig.jpgAnother hidden gem is Knickerbocker Lake, located off Barters Island Road in Boothbay. 
 
The 105 acre lake features a dock and float, which make it the ideal spot for swimming, fishing or simply basking in the sun. The lake is also an excellent place to enjoy kayaking, canoeing and boating (less than 9 horsepower motors permitted). 
 
Knickerbocker Lake offers plenty of parking, is free of charge and pet friendly.
 
7291352_orig.jpgA scenic ride on Route 96 will bring you to Ocean Point, a historic coastal community that offers free parking to enjoy a stroll along the winding coastal road, a picnic lunch on the rocks or even a dip in the sea at Grimes Cove.
 
A trip to the area is not complete without checking out what is happening at the Boothbay Common and the Whale Park. Boothbay Common is located across from the Boothbay Town Hall on Route 27 and features a wide variety of free events, such as a weekly farmer’s market on Thursdays, concerts, craft shows and antique shows. 
 
 
 
 
5152283_orig.jpgThe Whale Park, located in the heart of downtown, hosts a number of art shows and other events throughout the summer. There are public restrooms available.
 
Visit to Harold B. Clifford Playground, located on Back River Road in Boothbay, offers modern equipment, picnic tables and ball fields.
 
Please help us keep these places beautiful by respecting the “Carry In, Carry Out” rules and by cleaning up after your pet.