Named for the short stretch of Royal River that flows north from the Fairgrounds until the river drops south toward the ocean in Auburn, this wooded property straddles the Royal River, which can be crossed a low water levels on fallen logs, or knee deep wading. Much of the property is either steep slopes or floodplain.
This quiet property has been enjoyed by local fishermen and hunters for generations and offers a quiet place to enjoy the upper reaches of the Royal River or to harvest fiddleheads in season. (The river simply is not suitable for boats on this stretch.) Known locally as “Hell Hole,” the vast floodplain with mature trails hosts a rich variety of flora and fauna, easily explored after descending down steep banks.
Access requires walking down a steep slope, with no marked trail but various old roads. Visitors may park at the very end of Sawyer Road (road maintenance is a concern in spring and winter) and walk straight ahead onto the old road toward the river banks. This is not a good parcel for a casual stroll, due to lack of trials. But there are delightful adventures, especially walking up the river banks toward rips, water falls, streams, and floodplains. Or crossing the river on a log to wander aimlessly. Please respect any private property postings from neighbors.
The Preserve is part of a now-abandoned subdivision which is reverting to large-lot rural residences; road access to the end of Sawyer Road depends upon seasonal maintenance. The preserve has very limited signs or kiosks. Because the Preserve is remote and infrequently monitored, please report to RRCT any observations after your visit. RRCT does not object to respectful primitive overnight use of the parcel, but asks that you notify us in advance of plans.
Size: 23 acres
Location: The very end of Sawyer Road, New Gloucester (off Bald Hill Road)
Owner: Royal River Conservation Trust