When it comes to natural beauty, Maine is a state that never disappoints. From its rugged coastline to its picturesque forests, there’s always something to marvel at. But there’s one place that often flies under the radar, a hidden gem tucked away in the town of Phippsburg: the Cooley Preserve at Center Pond. This breathtaking nature preserve is a must-visit for anyone who appreciates the great outdoors, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Unveiling the Cooley Preserve

The Cooley Preserve is a 50-acre nature preserve located on the shores of Center Pond in Phippsburg, Maine. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in nature, taking in the sights and sounds of the forest, the pond, and the diverse wildlife that calls this place home. The preserve is managed by the Phippsburg Land Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the natural beauty of Phippsburg.

Exploring the Trails

One of the best ways to explore the Cooley Preserve is by taking a hike on its well-maintained trails. The preserve features a 1.5-mile loop trail that takes you through a variety of landscapes, including mature forests, wetlands, and along the shoreline of Center Pond. The trail is well-marked and suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

Wildlife Watching

The Cooley Preserve is a haven for wildlife. As you walk along the trails, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of birds, including woodpeckers, warblers, and herons. You might also spot white-tailed deer, foxes, and even the occasional moose. And if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a beaver or otter in the pond.

Enjoying the Pond

Center Pond is a highlight of the Cooley Preserve. This serene body of water is perfect for a variety of recreational activities. You can take a leisurely paddle in a canoe or kayak, try your hand at fishing, or simply sit by the water’s edge and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Visiting the Cooley Preserve

The Cooley Preserve is open to the public year-round, from dawn to dusk. There is no admission fee, but donations to the Phippsburg Land Trust are appreciated to help maintain the preserve. There is a small parking area at the trailhead, and a kiosk with maps and information about the preserve.


The Cooley Preserve at Center Pond is truly a hidden gem in Maine. Whether you’re a nature lover, a bird watcher, a hiker, or just someone looking for a peaceful place to relax and unwind, this preserve has something to offer. So the next time you’re in Phippsburg, make sure to pay a visit to the Cooley Preserve. You won’t be disappointed.

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