The flat half-mile loop trail on a 30 acre preserve along the Royal River provides gentle walking opportunities. The forested trail provides views onto the river’s fresh water flood plain marsh and vernal pools, a popular destination for birders and hunters. The trail is largely dry and well maintained, and contains split log or parallel plank bridges which require balance and shoes with traction.
The hiking trail begins at a large kiosk on the side of the road, near the railroad tracks.
GPS Address: 642 Intervale Road, New Gloucester
(Scroll below for treasure maps.)
Royal River Water Trail Paddling Guide (Intervale segment)
The Preserve provides an undeveloped steep access point for bank fishing and boat launching for paddling, fishing, and hunting by boat on the Royal River. For river access, park at the Route 231 bridge at the small kiosk. This section of the Royal River may be suitable only for informed boaters due to variable water levels and occasional trees or beaver dams blocking passage. When paddling please respect private landowner signage along the river regarding fiddlehead harvest.
Dogs are welcome, but on leash or voice control, with strict attention to pet waste removal. Smoking is prohibited at all RRCT Preserves. Public use of the abutting active railroad properties is prohibited by Maine law, to protect public safety. The Preserve is open for daytime use only.
Safe and responsible hunting and trapping on the Preserve is encouraged. Hikers should always wear orange during hunting season, on all hikes.
Owner: Royal River Conservation Trust
The Preserve was donated for conservation by Jan Erickson and Nan Butterfield in 1991. The flat half-mile loop trail in a 30 acre preserve along the Royal River provides gentle walking with occasional plank bridges to avoid wet areas. The forested trail provides views onto the river’s fresh water flood plain marsh and vernal pools, a popular destination for birders and sports. The marsh is an outstanding vantage point for observing migrating birds especially in May of each year.
Location & Directions
The 30 acre New Gloucester Intervale Preserve is located on the Royal River on the east side of ME 231 (GPS Address 642 Intervale Road). From the intersection of Intervale Road & Cobbs Bridge Road in New Gloucester Village, proceed south on ME 231 one mile and look for a blue sign on a kiosk on the left, just after crossing the first set of railroad tracks. From the other direction, proceed north on ME 231 several miles past Pineland Farms, and look for a blue sign on a kiosk on the right, 1/4 mile north of Woodman Road, after crossing one set of railroad tracks and immediately after crossing the Royal River, but just before the second set of tracks. Ample parking is available on the wide grassy shoulder of the road.
Owned by the Royal River Conservation Trust, the Preserve was donated for conservation by Jan Erickson and Nan Butterfield in 1991. Trail work and kiosk installation funded by L.L. Bean and others was completed in 2011 under the direction of RRCT staff and many volunteers. Sculptures were installed in October, 2013, as pilot implementation of the new “Royal Treasures/Royal Treasure Maps” initiative.
Royal Treasures, Royal Treasure Maps:
Various artists installed small sculptures at this preserve, to pilot our “Royal Treasures/Royal Treasure Maps” project. Treasure maps and crayons for kids to make rubbings of the treasures on the treasure maps are in boxes at the kiosk, or just in case the box is empty bring your own crayons and print-out 8.5 x 11 versions of the treasure maps here:
The Royal Treasure Map allows kids of all ages to find unique pieces of sculpture installed in special places within the preserve. Each sculpture helps interpret the ecology, history, and natural dynamics of the preserve.
1. Bring a crayon, or many colors of crayon.
2. Find a treasure using the map and the narrative clues on the map.
3. Use the crayon to make a rubbing of the treasure, on the blank square on the Treasure Map, next to the clue that matches the treasure.
4. Find all four treasures, make four rubbings.
Soon we will have more interpretation of each treasure on www.RRCT.org, aligned with QR codes near each treasure. Stay tuned, and look for more treasure maps soon at other preserves.
The Royal Treasures project at New Gloucester’s Intervale Preserve is the work of five contributors:
Jordan Smith (Granite Bench, Royal River Oxbows): Jordan grew up in New Gloucester, spending his childhood enjoying the Intervale Preserve. His granite bench traces the path of the Royal River and its oxbows as it winds through New Gloucester. Jordan now works as Jordan Smith Sculpture and as Rocksmith in Pownal.
Mike Sproul (Carbon Footprint): Mike is an engineer for Pam Am Railways, driving trains on the tracks running along the Intervale Preserve. A passionate hunter and paddler, Mike’s footprints carved into the kiosk evoke both Leave No Trace culture, and reminders of carbon footprints from individuals and society.
Laurie Sproul (Wild Leek): Laurie is a sculptor living and working in Canton, Maine. Her floral sculpture is increasingly influenced by the struggle of nature in a warming world. Using local woods, her new works play out the drama unfolding in our ecosystems as species struggle to adapt. Native wild leek along the Royal River is largely crowded out by non-native invasive plants, including Japanese knotweed and honeysuckle.
Evan Haynes (Diatoms, Copper and Glass): Evan is a sculptor living in North Yarmouth and New Zealand. Etched into the glass block of this Royal Treasure are diatoms and other types of algae. These microscopic plants are among the largest and ecologically most significant group of organisms on the planet. They serve as the base of the aquatic food web, and through the process of photosynthesis, provide us half of the oxygen we breath. The inspiration for the etching came from images of the microscopic algae captured from Royal River samples analyzed by the FlowCAM, an imaging particle analyzer manufactured by Fluid Imaging Technologies in Scarborough.
Stephanie Goggin (Interpretation): Stephanie is an outdoor environmental educator living in Yarmouth. “My childhood was full of muddy, wet and dirty adventures. I love being able to join my son as he explores and discovers nature for the first time. I’m thrilled that my son is developing an affinity for Maine by exploring and adventuring.”