Woodward Point, Brunswick
Located in Brunswick, this 87.5-acre preserve invites visitors to explore its trails in search of wildlife and picturesque scenes of northern Casco Bay.
Woodward Point is good for:
- Hiking – Lace up your hiking shoes and venture along the preserve’s 1.5-mile network of trails that lead across open fields and through forest to the water’s edge.
- Birdwatching – Pack your binoculars to enjoy intimate views of bobolinks, great blue herons, bald eagles, and countless other avian species who frequent the preserve throughout the year.
- Snowshoeing and Cross-country Skiing – After a snowstorm, head down the preserve’s wide paths where breathtaking winter shots of Casco Bay await.
Want to make your experience at Woodward Point even better? Sign up for a special map with tips on where to go and what to look for. Have little ones in your life? We have a variety of themed activity maps just for kids! (Consider your Saturday planned.)
Together with Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, we’re fundraising to create a level, half-mile trail at Woodward Point. We want visitors of all abilities to enjoy this special place! Learn more and give today.
How to get there
From Route 1 east of Brunswick, take the Cook’s Corner exit. Stay straight off the exit and pick up Route 24 south. Drive 1.3 miles and then turn left onto Board Road. In 0.4 miles, bear right onto Woodward Point Road. Follow the public road until the end, where it swings right. Turn left onto the road leading into the preserve and head down the hill. After passing the barns, find the parking lot on your left.
Making Woodward Point accessible to all: With the support of donors, we have been working on building an accessible trail and parking to facilitate access for all visitors, including people who need a level surface to walk, use a wheelchair, or push a stroller.
Construction on this trail will begin in September with completion expected in late fall. During construction, portions of the preserve may be inaccessible due to actively working machinery. Please do not disturb the construction area, stockpiles, or machinery.
For a complete map with legend and guidelines, click on the Printable Preserve Map above.
How this place became open to the public
MCHT purchased the preserve in 2019 thanks to a bargain sale from the previous landowners, Jaki Ellis and Andy Cook, who farmed the land for years. Below is footage from their working farm, taken by the Cook-Ellis family from April through December of 1989.
Working in partnership with Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT), MCHT raised the necessary funds to purchase the property in 2019 thanks to support from the Land for Maine’s Future Program, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coastal Wetlands Program, the Town of Brunswick, and through the generosity of numerous private contributors. MCHT now co-manages the preserve with BTLT.
Notes on topography, flora, and fauna
Woodward Point is one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land in northern Casco Bay – a designated estuary of national significance. Two commercially important shellfish beds surround the preserve, which also serve as critical habitat for waterfowl and wading birds. Woodward Point’s vast fields are also home to a healthy population of bobolinks estimated to be around eighty birds in the summer.
The Woodward Point property totals 87.5 acres of uplands. In addition, there are more than 38 acres of subtidal wetlands and almost four acres of fringing salt marsh. Most of the intertidal lands are state-mapped significant shellfish beds as well as high-value waterfowl and wading bird habitat. The shellfish beds in Woodward Cove and “the Little Bullpen” consistently produce some of the highest shellfish landings in the Casco Bay region.
The fields found on the preserve today were once part of an active farming operation that included dairy and beef cows, as well as hay production. Previous owners also built a dam on the western side of the point that forms a small pond.
Be prepared and watch your step
A hand-carry boat launch is located on the east side of the preserve, providing access for paddlecraft to the New Meadows River. A small car unloading and boat drop-off area is located beyond the preserve parking lot; after unloading your boat, please move your car to the preserve parking lot adjacent to the red barns. Although accessible at all tides, launching and landing is best at half to full tide. During low tide, substantial mud flats, shoals, and rocks are exposed.
Other public preserves and recreation opportunities accessible by water in the area include Sawyer Park, Thomas Point Beach, Lower Coombs Island, Merritt Island, Bombazine Island, Berry Island, Bushey Island, Indian Point, Long Island, the Basin, and Malaga Island.
Many ticks and porcupines call Woodward Point their home. Protect yourself from potential tick bites by following current recommended protocols including, but not limited to: dressing appropriately (wearing light colors, tucking in shirts and socks), using insect repellent, and checking your body during and after spending time on the preserve. Porcupines are a more visible feature at Woodward Point. Be alert for these slow-moving animals. Enjoy them from a distance.
- Open Sunrise to Sunset – No Camping Permitted
- No Fires Permitted
- Stay on Established Trails – Trails Are Not Suitable for Wheeled Vehicles
- Carry Out All Trash
- Dogs Allowed on a Trial Basis
- Keep Dogs on Leash and Remove All Waste
- Please Respect Private Property and Stay on MCHT Land
- Please Do Not Disturb Nesting Birds or Wildlife
- Bow Hunting by Permission Only
- Swim at Your Own Risk
- Do not remove any archaeological artifacts