Imagine a place where the air is crisp and clean, the scenery is breathtaking, and the sounds of nature are your only company. This is what awaits you at the Edwin L. Smith Preserve in Kennebunkport, Maine. This hidden gem, nestled in the heart of the Maine woods, offers a unique hiking experience that is both challenging and rewarding. With its diverse terrain, abundant wildlife, and stunning views, the Edwin L. Smith Preserve is a must-visit for any outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice looking for a new adventure, this preserve has something to offer everyone.

Overview of the Edwin L. Smith Preserve

The Edwin L. Smith Preserve is a 1,000-acre nature reserve located in Kennebunkport, Maine. It is managed by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and is open to the public year-round. The preserve is named after Edwin L. Smith, a local resident who donated the land to the trust in the 1980s. Since then, the preserve has been a haven for hikers, bird watchers, and nature lovers.

Trails of the Preserve

The preserve boasts over 10 miles of well-maintained trails that wind through a variety of landscapes. From dense forests and open meadows to wetlands and rocky outcrops, the trails offer a diverse hiking experience.

  • The Smith Trail: This is the main trail that loops around the preserve. It is about 5 miles long and offers a moderate hike with some steep sections.
  • The Meadow Trail: This trail takes you through a beautiful open meadow and is perfect for bird watching. It is about 2 miles long and is relatively flat, making it a great option for beginners.
  • The Wetland Trail: This trail takes you through the preserve’s wetlands and offers a unique opportunity to observe the area’s diverse wildlife. It is about 3 miles long and has some uneven terrain.

Wildlife and Flora

The Edwin L. Smith Preserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife and plant species. Deer, foxes, and turkeys are commonly seen, and bird watchers will be delighted by the numerous species of birds that inhabit the area. The preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including several types of ferns, wildflowers, and trees.

Planning Your Visit

Before you head out to the Edwin L. Smith Preserve, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

  • Check the Weather: The weather in Maine can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to check the forecast before you go. Dress in layers and bring rain gear just in case.
  • Bring the Essentials: Be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and a map of the preserve. It’s also a good idea to bring a first aid kit and a cell phone for emergencies.
  • Respect the Preserve: Remember to stay on the trails and respect the preserve’s rules. This includes not disturbing the wildlife and leaving no trace of your visit.


The Edwin L. Smith Preserve in Kennebunkport, Maine, offers an unforgettable hiking adventure. With its majestic trails, diverse wildlife, and stunning views, it’s a place that truly captures the beauty and tranquility of the Maine woods. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice looking for a new adventure, the Edwin L. Smith Preserve is a must-visit destination.

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