Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary
Encompassing 86 acres, the Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary is situated in West Bath on a peninsula extending between the New Meadows River and Back Cove.
The sanctuary is traversed by a 2.75 mile trail network that winds through the coastal forest of pine, spruce, and fir. Trail spurs lead to a former ice pond that has reverted to freshwater marsh and vistas overlooking the cove’s channels, salt marsh, mud flats, and open water. With its coastal marsh, mudflats, and freshwater wetlands, the sanctuary provides habitat for birds like American Oystercatcher, Bald Eagle, American Bittern, Great Blue Heron, and migratory birds such as warblers, sparrows, and flycatchers. Mammals like deer, fox, raccoon, and mink depend on the sanctuary’s habitat, too.
Red Trail: Starting across the road from the sanctuary parking lot, the Red Trail loops around an open meadow, offering great views of Back Cove’s marshes and mud flats.
Blue Trail: Take the Red Trail counterclockwise a short distance to reach the trail head for the Blue Trail, which traverses spruce and pine forest and crosses a brook before hugging the peninsula’s eastern shore. Reaching commanding views at Back Cove Point, the trail continues to follow the shoreline and reconnects with the Red Trail. Benches along the way offer spots to enjoy spectacular views of rocky shoreline, salt marsh, and open water.
Yellow Trail: In the heart of the sanctuary, this spur off the Blue Trail weaves between rocky outcroppings and a freshwater marsh.
Green Trail: An additional loop off the Blue Trail, the Green Trail adds an additional mile and a quarter around the peninsula to the east. It passes a freshwater pond and forested wetland while offering great views of Back Cove and nearby Williams Island.
Hamilton Sanctuary was given to Maine Audubon by Millicent Hamilton, an avid birder and naturalist who made her home here from the 1940’s until her death in 1986. In 1984, Millicent wrote of the eight-acre meadow:
It is a peaceful and beautiful bit of land that has been an important part of my life for many years, to roam afoot or to view from the water. It’s home to the woodcock and bobolinks in the spring, to redwings, catbirds and song sparrows to warblers and flycatchers along the marsh edge. It is spring and autumn grazing ground for the deer. My most fervent desire is that it continue unspoiled for the wildlife, and that many people in the years to come will find peace and joy there as I have done.
Directions & Contact
Take the New Meadows exit off US Route 1 in West Bath. Turn left onto New Meadows Road and go straight ahead at the stop sign. Here New Meadows Road turns into Foster Point Road. Follow it three miles to the sanctuary sign and parking area on the right.
Glenn Evans and Marianne Warner, Caretakers: 207.443.9652.