Places We Protect

Mill Pond Preserve


Looking through a frame of trees at marine grasses and a tidal flat beyond.
Mill Pond Preserve Gentle trails lead to views of the tidal Back River © Mairead Campbell

Experience coastal woodlands, tidal salt marsh and intertidal wetland along the Back River and Sasanoa Bay.



A walk on the Mill Pond Preserve trails will take you through beautiful and ecologically vital wildlife habitats; spartina saltmarsh, oak-pine forest and woodland with vernal pools, and intertidal wetlands along the rocky shores of the Back River. The preserve is named after a former mill pond that existed into the mid-1900s. The dam and sawmill were located at the northern point of the preserve and portions of the former mill are visible at low tide.   

Mill Pond Preserve was formerly farmland and you can see evidence of old plow lines in some of the fields reverting to shrubland. Several stone foundations a family cemetery, an abandoned apple orchard, and stone walls are remnants of the farming history. 

The Mill Pond Preserve serves as a shoreline buffer to protect water quality and habitat for migratory fish, and protects bald eagle feeding and roosting habitat along the shore of the Back River. This conserved property adds to contiguous habitat protected within the network of conserved lands in Arrowsic and Georgetown. This region harbors one of the nation’s largest intact systems of freshwater and brackish tidal marshes along with a number of globally rare plants.

The Nature Conservancy purchased the initial 50 acres of the Mill Pond Preserve in 2005 and the remaining 0.75 acres in 2013. The property is adjacent to other conservation land including the 286-acre Holt Forest to the south and is across the Back River from TNC’s 262-acre Flying Point Preserve in Georgetown.




Sunrise to sunset


Hiking trail to the scenic Back River, a tributary of the Kennebec River, near its confluence with Sasanoa Bay


50.75 acres

Explore our work in Maine

Looking out across green grasses in a tidal marsh with trees beyond.
Tidal Marsh With a road removed, the marsh at Mill Pond Preserve is recovering. © Mairead Campbell

Hiking Trail—2 miles Roundtrip

From the parking area, a moderately easy trail winds along the salt marsh for about .5 miles, connecting to a mile loop trail that continues along the salt marsh and through old farmland and oak-pine forest along the Back River. 

A portion of the trail system that winds around the head of the saltmarsh is on Holt Forest Property and accessible through the generosity of Maine TREE. Please respect their property and stay on the marked trail.

  • Preserve open for day use (dawn to dusk)
  • Parking is located on east side of Old Stage Road at the trailhead
  • Foot traffic only
  • Stay on trails
  • No collecting plants, animals, or artifacts
  • Dogs and horses are not allowed on the preserve
  • No fires, smoking, or camping
  • Carry out all litter