Colorful ragweed brightens the fields at the Wells Reserve. Credit Wells Reserve at Laudholm

Estuary Explorations

By Tom Richardson

Looking for some great hiking and opportunities to explore New England’s fertile and fascinating cold-water estuaries? Check out this pair of treasures on the South Coast of Maine.

Hikers at Wells Reserve will encounter this stone arch. Credit: Wells Reserve at Laudholm

Wells Reserve

The Wells Reserve at Laudholm at 342 Laudholm Farm Road in Wells is a National Estuarine Research Reserve and offers seven miles of trails that are open year-round for hiking, snowshoeing, and crosscountry skiing. You can even take a guided tour with a trained naturalist. Paddling is also possible on the protected waters of the Reserve’s estuary. Open daily Memorial Day to Columbus Day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Phone: 207-646-1555.

Bothe the Wells Reserve and Beach Plum Farm trails are open year-round. Credit: Wells Reserve at Laudholm

Beach Plum Farm

Beach Plum Farm in Ogunquit is a 22-acre property comprising remnants of an old New England farm. An easy half-mile loop trail circles the fields and community gardens. Down by the salt marsh, you can see bayberry, beach plums, and a variety of coastal birds. During the migratory seasons of spring and fall, the farm is a great place to see hawks, owls, and other raptors. Benches provide optimal spots for taking in the view. No dogs, please.