Riverview Hayfields Preserve
Town: South Thomaston
Miles of trail: 1.5
Activities: Hiking, birding, skiing, hunting
The Riverview Hayfields Preserve in South Thomaston is central to the vision for our Bridging Two Rivers project. The goal of the Bridging Two Rivers project is to protect a ‘land bridge’ between the St. George and Weskeag Rivers.
This area supports most of the last remaining open hay fields on the St. George peninsula, and provides critical habitat and a ‘flyway’ for migrating birds that feed and rest along the two rivers.
The Riverview Hayfields Preserve not only provides valuable wildlife habitat, but protects significant river frontage, farmland, and recreational access lands. Nearly a half mile of frontage on the St. George River is permanently conserved as well as more than a mile of frontage on the Weskeag River. The Preserve is prominently located along Route 131 and across the Weskeag Marsh from Buttermilk Lane.
With our partners, more than 1,400 acres of land have been conserved between the Weskeag and Georges Rivers. Since the Land Trust launched the Bridging Two Rivers regional vision in 2008, ten families have permanently protected over 580 acres through easement or transferring title to the Land Trust. The state R. Waldo Tyler Wildlife Management Area conserved 700 acres, and our partner Maine Coast Heritage Trust has conserved another 200 acres.
The preserve is open to the public at the Bobolink Trail for day-use only; no overnight camping is allowed. We’ve created a parking lot on Route 131, a bridge across the stream, a picnic pavilion, and extended the trail along the shore. You’ll find interpretive panels detailing grassland bird ecology and local history. Hunting is permitted with prior permission.
Directions to the Property
Follow Route 131 south from Route 1 in Thomaston for .6 miles, toward South Thomaston and St. George. Cross the railroad tracks and watch for the parking lot on the right. The original Riverview Hayfields Preserve is farther along on the right as well (watch for a wooden Preserve sign in the field)(see map).