This 372-acre wildlife preserve is a project of the Stanton Bird Club for more than eight decades. Located high -- 510 feet -- above Lewiston, the sanctuary is a forested peak surrounded on three sides by urban and suburban development. The "Crag," as this property is locally known, is used by environmental biologists and others. Public recreation at Thorncrag includes birdwatching, picnicking, hiking, walking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding, skating, nature photography. Dogs are prohibited.
The Viles Arboreum has a collection of thousands of plants; six miles of trails across 224 acres of woods, fields, and wetlands; and a visitor center with meeting and conference space. The trail system provides access for collections, hiking and jogging, wildlife observation, bicycling and horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. Picnicking is allowed; carry all trash out. Pets allowed, but must be leashed. Owners must pick up pet waste.
Hours: Daily, dawn to dusk, at no charge.
Barters Island RoadBoothbay, ME, 04537Phone: 207-633-4333
New England’s largest botanical garden features acres of spectacular ornamental gardens and stonework, waterfront and woodland trails, a beautiful visitor center with café and gift shop, and a shorefront Fairy House Village – all on 248 acres of coastal landscape. Special events and programs for all ages, year-round, include a house and garden tour, book fair, Maine Fairy House Festival, Kitchen Garden Series, college horticulture courses, and more. Hours: Open year-round, daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Visitor Center and Bosarge Family Educaton Center are open only on weekdays from mid-November through March. Admission: Adults, $16; seniors, $14; children age 3-17, $8
Charlotte Rhoades Park and Butterfly Garden on Mount Desert Island welcomes people to come and enjoy the butterflies and bring a picnic. It has been named Best Pocket Garden by the editors of Yankee Magazine, so you know you are in for a treat. From April to October, volunteers are available on Thursdays to teach visitors about the gardens and its inhabitants, Note: there are no restrooms or drinking water at the garden. The park closes at sunset.
This 65-acre sanctuary is the headquarters of Maine Audubon. There is a apple orchard and peony garden to enjoy, along with miles of trails winding along a pond and through forest, meadow, orchard, and salt marsh.
See a full description at our walking and hiking pages.
The public is welcome to visit and enjoy the gardens and the view of the Presumpscot River. You may see a master gardener volunteer at work; feel free to ask any questions you may have. Gardens include an apiary, the children’s garden, a cottage garden, and gathering circle, the Norm Steele Harvest for Hunger Garden, an orchard and a pollinator garden. Also, the gardens give access to the adjacent Portland Trails.
(Please be respectful of all instructors and students while educational programs and workshops are taking place, and please do not interfere with any wildlife.
Hours: Sunrise to sunset.
Located on a bluff overlooking the Salmon Falls River, this Georgian mansion was built in 1785 and is now a National Historic Landmark on a Colonial Revival-style country estate. Visitors enjoy house tours and also the estate’s perennial garden, garden cottage, and overlooks of the river. The property is owed and managed by Historic New England. Hours: June 1-October 15, Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tours on the hour. Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $13; students and children, $7.
The Longfellow house and gardens became the property of the Maine Historical Society in 1901, and the society oversaw the re-creation of a Colonial Revival-style garden. The garden was dismantled in 2007 during library restoration, but an ancient lilac was preserved, and became part of a total garden rehabilitation. It now has many plantings from the early-20th-century plans. The garden has a popular children’s gate. Plant guide. Hours: May-October, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
near the intersection of the Park Loop Road and Route 3Mount Desert Island, MEPhone:
The Wild Gardens of Acadia in Acadia National Park reflect the typical habitats as found on Mount Desert Island. More than 300 native species are labeled to make identification easy in nine separate display areas. The garden is open year round and is located at the Sieur de Monts Spring and Nature Center, 2 miles south of Bar Harbor near the intersection of the Park Loop Road and Route 3 on Mount Desert Island. There is no entrance fee.