Flowing North Preserve

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. Visitors can cross the river at low water levels on fallen logs, or by wading knee-deep. Much of the property is either steep slopes or floodplain. The quiet Flowing North Preserve 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. 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. This preserve is owned by the Royal River Conservation Trust.

More Information

Explorations and Maps

Access requires walking down a steep slope to explore old roads, but no marked trails. This is not a good parcel for a casual stroll due to the lack of trails. But there are delightful adventures like walking up the river banks toward rips, water falls, streams, and floodplains. Or crossing the river on a log to wander aimlessly up a small meandering floodplain tributary. The river is not suitable for boats on this stretch. 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. Please respect any private property postings from neighbors. See the section below on road postings.

Map of the Flowing North Preserve – Downloadable PDF

Trailhead and Road Access

Flowing North Preserve is located at the very end of Sawyer Road, off Bald Hill Road in New Glouvester. Visitors may park at the very end of Sawyer Road and walk straight ahead onto the old road toward the river banks. Road access to the end of Sawyer Road depends upon seasonal maintenance; it may not be regularly maintained in spring and winter.  Even in summer, the road has very soft sand.   The preserve has very limited signs or kiosks.

In 2018 neighbors installed a road sign implying that the there is no public vehicular access on the road.  RRCT does have the right to invite the public to drive to its land.  However, please respect the very poor condition of the road and please give all courtesies to neighbors.

GPS Address: 60 Sawyer Rd, New Gloucester, ME 04260

Conservation History

This 23 acre parcel is owned by the Royal River Conservation Trust. The Preserve is part of a now-abandoned subdivision which is reverting to large-lot rural residences or undeveloped wood lots.  Adjacent parcels owned today by Chandler Brothers are emerging as part of a larger conservation vision, with likely better long-term recreational access to RRCT’s parcel coming from the Fairgrounds neighborhood.

Flowing North Preserve Preserve Photo Gallery