Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, named for the pioneering environmentalist, was established to protect coastal habitats of birds and other wildlife. It includes 11 parcels of land along the Maine coast between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth, and it is headquartered in Wells. The refuge welcomes visitors for walking and hiking, fishing, hunting, kayaking and canoeing, and wildlife photography and observation.
The Carson Trail starts at the Carson headquarters in Wells. It is a one-mile walk with views of one of southern Maine’s most valuable ecosystems. Leashed dogs are allowed on the Carson Trail. All refuge trails are open 7 days a week during daylight hours only. Leashed dogs are allowed on trails. - Interactive Map
This land, used thousands of years ago by Native Americans and formerly a salt-water farm, has been preserved as a nature center and place of environmental education for all. The Visitor Center, located in a 19th-century farmhouse, has exhibits, videos, brochures, trail maps, and a gift shop.
Hours: Trails are open daily, 7 a.m. to sunset. Visitor Center is open Memorial Day to Columbus Day, daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; April, May, October, November, weekdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed December to March except for February school vacation week)
Admission: Over age 16, $5; ages 6 to 16, $1