Purple Trillium
Purple Trillium Purple Trillium © Eric Aldrich/The Nature Conservancy

Places We Protect

Tatnic Hills Preserve

Maine

A quiet and beautiful place at the north end of the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Area.

Tatnic Hills Preserve is nestled at the north end of the Mt. Agamenticus Conservation Area and features a variety of forest types in a setting of gently rolling terrain. The preserve contains a mixture of early successional, mature, and old growth pine and mixed hardwood forest. Of particular interest are white oak and shagbark hickory which make up a small but important component of the forest, providing food for wildlife. Both of these tree species are relatively uncommon in Maine and are restricted to the southern part of the state.

Numerous vernal pools and pocket wetlands provide habitat for the state-endangered Blanding’s turtle and the state-threatened spotted turtle. During the summer months these turtles migrate from the pools to lay eggs in the sandy soils of adjacent uplands. Hikers should keep an eye out for these rare reptiles during the summer.

In addition to the turtles, Tatnic Hills Preserve is home to moose, white-tailed deer, red fox, raccoon, ruffed grouse, and a multitude of songbirds and other wildlife.

Hiking

There are two fairly short trails that meander througt the preserve. Be aware that some wet areas will be encountered and, though bog bridges have been constructed by TNC staff and the Mount Agamenticus trail crew to help keep hikers dry, visitors may encounter muddy conditions.

The Red Trail, to the east of the parking lot, is a 1-mile moderate hike through white pine and mixed hardwood forest. Of particular interest are scattered shagbark hickory trees, a species at the northern limit of its range in southern Maine. This hike includes meadow openings along granitic outcroppings and nice views of the Tatnic Hills. Visitors may also see evidence of recent harvesting that has influenced forest succession in the area.

The White Trail, to the west of the parking lot, is an easy 1-mile hiking loop. This trail transits through old fields that have succeeded to pine-oak woodlands. Stone foundations predominantly stand along the trail as a reminder of the areas past farming history. The loop also travels along the edges of several vernal pools, and through hemlock-white pine woodlands.

Visiting Guidelines

• Day use only, no camping
• No fires
• Carry out all trash, leave no trace
• Bikes and motorized vehicles prohibited
• No pets
• Please stay on the trail
• No collecting of plants or animals