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.

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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.

Map of the Flowing North Preserve – Downloadable PDF

Trails, Trailhead and Access

Flowing North Preserve is located at the very end of Sawyer Road, off Bald Hill Road in New Gloustester. 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

Rules, Regulations and Hunting
  • This Preserve is great for primitive off trail hiking and hunting.
  • Safe and responsible  hunting on the Preserve is encouraged.  As a courtesy pleases call RRCT to inform us if you plan any trapping on the parcel.  Hikers should always wear blaze orange during hunting season, on all hikes.
  • Tenting and camping  is allowed, please notify us in advance of your camping plans. There are a few good sources of water on the Preserves, and no privies. Give us a call if you plan to camp and abide by strict adherence to “leave no trace” principles.
  • Please respect various postings on private abutting land.
  • Smoking is prohibited on all RRCT Preserves.
  • Dogs are welcome, but on least or voice control with strict attention to pet waste removal.
Conservation History and Stewardship

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.