Gibson Preserve

Thanks to a generous gift from Charles Dana Gibson and Kay Gibson in 1999, the land trust owns and manages the Gibson Preserve, 124 wild acres on the Georges River in Searsmont. The preserve has a four-mile trail network with great summer hiking and winter cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. The property supports spruce-fir forest, meadows, and fields and has over one mile of frontage on the Georges River. The forest here is relatively even-aged and is estimated to be about 40-50 years old. The large softwood stumps are evidence of past harvesting. A natural resources inventory found five amphibians, three reptiles, 59 birds, and 14 mammal species. The Gibson Preserve is managed for high quality wildlife habitat.

Public Access

The Gibson Preserve is open to the public for day-use only; no hunting or overnight camping is allowed. The property has four miles of trails that provide great views of the upper Georges River, and it connects to the Ridge to River Trail.

Download the Printable Trail Map

Download the Google Earth/KML File

Directions to the Property

The Gibson Preserve is bisected by the Georges River and there are trails on each portion of the property. Currently, though, there is no simple way for visitors to get from one side of the river to the other. Rest assured, we are working on this from many different angles. Until then….

The north side of the property can be accessed from a parking lot off Route 173 (Woodmans Mill Road) in Searsmont. From the center of Searsmont (Fraternity Village Store), head west on Route 173. Travel 3 miles to the parking lot on the left (see map).

The south side of the property is accessed from Ripley Corner Road in Searsmont. From the center of Searsmont (Fraternity Village Store), head west on Route 173 (Woodmans Mill Road). Travel 2 miles to Ripley Corner Road on the left (see map). Parking is on the shoulder of Ripley Corner Road and visitors must walk in to the Gibson Preserve via an old woods road. Once parked, proceed down the road toward the river and cross the wood/concrete bridge. Take your first right onto the overgrown woods road and walk approximately ΒΌ mile to the Gibson Preserve entrance on the right. The kiosk is somewhat hidden off the road, so be on the lookout for a footpath that leads into the property and the kiosk.