EXPLORE OUR TRAILS BY TOWN
Camden, Rockport, Hope
Belfast, Northport, Lincolnville
A few other preserves also have trails open to the public. Because these are more sensitive areas that could potentially be harmed by higher visitation rates, we don't provide maps for these trails online. Coastal Mountains Land Trust doesn't currently have any preserves or trails in Brooks, Knox, Waldo or Morrill.
Please visit us or call our office at (207) 236-7091 to get copies of trail maps for these special places--and thank you for understanding our need to balance our desire to offer public access with consideration for the delicate natural resources of these preserves.
© Coastal Mountains Land Trust, Reprinting and publication of information contained herein by permission only. Please contact Coastal Mountains Land Trust for more information.
PRESERVE USE GUIDELINES
• All Preserves are open for low-impact public recreation during daylight hours.
• Wheeled vehicles and horses are not allowed due to trail damage.*
• Camping and fires are not allowed.
• Hunting permitted, except on Fernald's Neck, Hodson, Harkness, McPheters, and Young's Neck Preserves.
• Hunting of predators and trapping is forbidden.
• Removal of vegetation is not allowed.
• Dogs must be leashed at all times.**
• Groups larger than 12 must obtain Land Trust permission prior to use of our properties.***
* The Land Trust does maintain site specific trail agreements with various clubs to allow for limited snowmobile and mountain bike use. Please contact us for more information.
** Dogs are not permitted at the Fernald's Neck or Hodson Preserves.
*** Certain Preserves have specific restrictions and exceptions; please consult signs at the preserve entrance for details or contact the Land Trust with any questions.
Volunteers are integral to the success of Coastal Mountains Land Trust. If you are a current volunteer for the Land Trust, we hope you will continue to be involved. If you are new to our volunteer program, we invite you to join us. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.
The Land Trust is always seeking help with a range of stewardship and outreach activities. Specifically, we're looking for:
Short Term Volunteers (on call for workdays)
Throughout the year, we organize groups of volunteers for stewardship and outreach work parties that last from 2-4 hours. Office-based projects include stuffing envelopes, putting together newsletter mailings, and preparing for events. Field crews, based in Camden and Belfast, work from 9:00am to noon most Wednesdays, clearing trails, marking boundaries, building bridges, and pulling invasive plants.
Ongoing Stewardship & Outreach Volunteers
The Land Trust also recruits to fill a range of volunteer positions that require an on-going commitment and knowledge of the area and the Land Trust. Time committments range from 1 day/week to 1 day/month. What follows is a list of the long-term stewardship and outreach positions for which we are seeking interested candidates.
Enjoy walking out in the woods? These positions act to serve as the eyes and ears for the Land Trust out in the field... monitoring the conditions on the ground of our conservation properties, easements, and trails.
Beech Hill Steward
Beech Hill stewards serve as monitors of the Preserve and as hosts to visitors of Beech Hill Preserve. Stewards work independently and assist with observing visitor activity as well as condition of trails, signage, and Beech Nut (the sod-roofed stone hut at the summit). Stewards also convey Preserve guidelines to those inquiring and to those not complying.
Beech Hill Field Hand
Are you a hands-on physical person who wants to help our blueberry and grassland fields thrive? This position includes using power and non-power hand tools to maintain fields. 4 hrs/month. 1-2 positions.
Fernald's Neck Docents
Have you always wanted to engage the public in a natural setting? The position will provide scheduled coverage of the Preserve during high use times during the summer, and assistance on maintenance projects. 4-8 hrs/month. 3-5 positions.
We can always use an extra pair of hands at our busy office. Join the hubbub by assisting staff with office maintenance, staffing the front desk, forwarding phone calls, greeting visitors to the office, and helping with miscellaneous projects. 4 hrs/week or month.
New Property Buyers Researcher
If you're looking for an easy way to help a lot, this job is for you! The primary duties of this position are to visit town offices and review their recent property transfer tax documents, recording appropriate information and passing your notes along to the Land Trust via postal mail, e-mail, or drop-off. 20 minutes per office plus travel time in January, April, July, and October.
This position is for the gregarious outdoor enthusiast. The bulk of this position will be planning and leading monthly informal hikes on our preserves. As time permits, you may also be involved in outreach planning, formal outreach events, and exhibition displays. 2-4 hrs/month.
Beech Hill Docent
Are you a history buff? Join the Beech Hill docents and cover Open Houses at Beech Nut throughout summer. The position includes opening Beech Nut and providing information to the public on cultural and natural history and current uses of Beech Hill Preserve. 2 hrs/month. 6-9 positions.
ATTEND AN EVENT
We offer many ways for community members to be involved in our organization—we truly have something for everyone! There are get-your-hands-dirty volunteering events, winter snowshoe/ski outings, year-round hikes, guided paddles, trail and fun runs. We have plenty of kid-friendly events: pack your basket for a summer solstice picnic, kick up your heels at a contra dance, munch on blueberries at August’s berry pick, and enjoy a windy afternoon of fun with our popular Kites and Ice Cream event.
To sign up, please contact us with the name and date of the event in the subject line.
BEECH HILL BLUEBERRIES
The mission of the Beech Hill Organic Blueberry Farm program is to demonstrate organic blueberry management practices and to promote a greater understanding in the community of the benefits of an ecologically and financially sustainable organic blueberry farm. Coastal Mountains Land Trust has been managing Beech Hill Preserve's blueberry fields since 2003. Currently, there are 25 acres of MOFGA-certified organic blueberries in production. All funds raised from Blueberry sales are used to support our efforts to maintain Beech Hill Preserve’s 295-acres for bird habitat, scenic views, its unique historic landscape, and more blueberries!
Get your hands on some Blues
Our farm is largely supported through our Land Trust membership. As a benefit to membership, members are able to order up to three 10-pound boxes through the spring appeal mailing. Not a member? You can submit a membership donation with your order in order to take advantage of this great member benefit.
Fresh pints and quarts of Beech Hill blueberries are available for sale daily, weather permitting. No pre-order necessary! For availability during the season, please give us a call.
Once member-orders have been filled in August, we can sell 10-lb boxes day-of to all customers.
Approximately July 29-August 24th
11am-4pm, closed Mondays
Beech Hill Preserve Trailhead
316 Beech Hill Road, Rockport ME
(207) 975-6981 (Jul & Aug)
Annual Free Pick
Enjoy picking your own berries? Since 2003 we have opened designated fields to the public for a blueberry Free Pick day. Land Trust members are welcome to come a day early for a Members Free Pick. Check our events calendar to confirm this year’s date. Bring your own containers and hand-pick as many berries as you can. Please leave dogs and rakes at home.
Our Farming Practices
To be an certified-organic farm, we do not use any pesticides or herbicides to manage the growth of weeds and shrubs that are not blueberries. To avoid the chemicals but still have a decent yield, we regularly monitor and maintain the fields in the following three ways. Our blueberry fields are flail-mowed each year. Flail mowers consist of dozens of small rotating blades that cut vegetation very close to the ground, like a close shave. Blueberries only produce fruit on new plant growth during the second summer after mowing, and our two-year rotation allows us to always have a field to harvest, either on top of the hill along the main trail, or at the bottom of the hill towards the ocean. In addition to the bi-annual mowing, our staff goes through the fields three times each year with a weed-wacker, pruning all plants that grow above the blueberries. Every six years, we take soil samples and spread pelletized organic sulphur through the fields, decreasing the pH and making the soil less hospitable to grasses and other native plants, allowing the blueberries to thrive.
We hand-harvest approximately 9,000 pounds of berries over four weeks with metal tined-rakes; alternating each summer between the two fields. The berries come in to the barn in boxes that contain blueberries, leaves, blackberries, small stems, and other treasures from the field, and are processed by our crew using a winnower. This mechanical process blows leaves and sticks, drops small berries, and removes clumps before sending the berries along the conveyor belt where 1-3 people visually scan the berries and remove crushed or clumped berries by hand before they fall into the ‘clean box’. This intensive process enables us to sell fresh berries in quarts, pints, and 10-pound boxes typically within 1-8 hours after harvesting.
The fields have been managed for wild blueberry production on and off for the last several decades. We are proud to continue this agricultural tradition on Beech Hill, and are delighted to offer our members and the public the freshest wild blueberries around.
JOIN OUR NATURE PROGRAM
The Coastal Mountains Nature Program hosts a series of monthly walks and occasional talks exploring the natural history of Mid-Coast Maine. All walks take place on the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. until noon unless otherwise specified. Each walk has a particular area of focus, led by a knowledgeable leader, and participants are encouraged to share their knowledge of anything that we discover. This program is co-sponsored by the Camden Conservation Commission.