Photo credit Jodi Federle Photography

Littlejohn Island Preserve


Click here for a printer-friendly 8.5 x 11 preserve map.

This Preserve is frequently at capacity, any time of day, any time of year, requiring visitors arriving by car to turn around and go elsewhere. Parking rules are simple: Four cars only. Only in the parking lot. Sunrise to sunset. Never on the shoulders. Never at the end of the lane. More parking details below.

Please carry out all waste, especially pet waste, including waste left by those before you. Pet waste has very real impacts on clam flats and water quality in Casco Bay. We do in fact notice the bags and piles folks toss into the woods and bushes; we appreciate pet owners who work to create a culture of responsibility.

Preserve overview:  This 23 acre quiet coastal property provides views of Casco Bay, rocky beaches, and stately red oaks that offer perches to bald eagles and great horned owls.  Daytime visitors are welcome to walk the 1.3 mile loop trail along the road then hugging the coast. The trail is largely dry and well maintained, but contains some parallel plank bridges which require balance and shoes with traction. The beginning of the trail, and the southerly-easterly part of the loop, is suitable for baby carriages and better (put not perfect) for those with mobility impairments, with benches for resting; the northerly-westerly part of the loop is not suitable for carriages or mobility impairments.  The trails are popular for trail running.

Dogs are also welcome, but on leash when on the road and on leash or voice control always and with strict attention to waste removal. Please help us educate all pet owners toward a good community culture as you meet on the path.

Launching kayaks is not suitable or allowed; we invite boats or paddlers to launch elsewhere and paddle to the property for daytime picnics, beaching on the property.  Approaching from the water, all docks are private and off the preserve.  The preserve offers only natural landing spots, beaches and ledges.

The parking lot is strictly closed from dusk to dawn. Police take notice.

Bicycles: Bikes are not allowed on the trails, but are allowed on Pemasong Lane and Pemasong Lane Extension.  Bike parking is at the waystation, where the trail leaves the lane.  Bikes are a great way to get to the Preserve without worrying about vehicle parking.

Hunting: Hunting is not allowed on the preserve, but might take place on adjacent private land and in the subtidal zone. Hikers should always wear orange during hunting season, on all hikes.

Location: The Preserve is in Yarmouth at the northeastern end of Littlejohn Island, toward the end of Pemasong Lane. Please read the “Directions” below carefully, since the island’s network of narrow roads can be unsafe when drivers take a wrong turn.

Parking is typically at capacity during both summer and winter weekends; please plan on weekday use, or visit our other preserves, or plan to walk or bicycle from your home, or from head-of-island parking spots. Please continue reading to understand parking constraints.

Directions:  GPS address or Preserve parking — 244 Pemasong Lane, Yarmouth

  • From Route 88 or Route 1 in Yarmouth, find your way to Gilman Road, to the bridge to Cousins Island.
  • After the Cousins Island bridge, proceed one mile on Cousins Street.
  • Turn left off Cousins Street onto Talbot Road, immediately after the Community House.
  • Proceed on Talbot Road for less than half a mile, crossing onto the causeway onto Littlejohn Island.
  • Once on Littlejohn Island, after just a few hundred feet, take the second left onto Littlejohn Road (it’s a loop, this left turn on Littlejohn Road departs from Littlejohn Road which also continues straight.)
  • In another few hundred feet, turn left off Littlejohn Road onto Pemasong Lane.
  • Follow Pemasong Lane (please strictly respect posted speed limit of 15 mph) roughly 4/10 mile until you reach Preserve signs and a Preserve parking area on the left, just before the stone gate with the “private” sign on it. Park in this area only. The GPS address of this parking area is 244 Pemasong Lane.  The trail from the Preserve’s parking lot begins by walking back onto Pemasong Lane from the parking lot, turning left walking along Pemasong Lane through the stone gates marked “Private.”  After 2/10 mile walking on Pemasong Lane, the trail leaves the lane on the right, just before the end of the lane.  All driveways off Pemasong Lane are private.  Please do not walk or drive down any private driveways.   (But please walk through the stone gates labeled “private way”.)   Please refer to the map on this page for clarification.

Parking & Neighborhood: All users of the preserve should respect property boundaries, with courtesies to island residents and neighbors, and pets under control and off private property. The Preserve has only one small parking lot, just before the stone gate, limited to four cars. If the parking lot is full, as it often is, please return to the either end of either the Cousins or Littlejohn causeways for parking, or explore other beaches and preserves.  Please never park on any road shoulders, even those shoulders that are not signed for “no parking.”  The Royal River Conservation Trust (RRCT) does not own the road or road shoulders, not even those mowed road shoulders that abut our Preserve ownership or our Preserve parking. RRCT does not invite, nor do road owners allow, any party to park on the road shoulders or the end of the lane.

Please be aware that neighbors have the authority to tow parking violators, consistent with their clearly posted signs. If you find that you were towed, call the tow company at 846-3113 or 838-7493 and plan to make payments ($75 + cab fare) at your own expense. Parking rules are simple: Four cars only. Only in the parking lot. Sunrise to sunset. Never on the shoulders. Never at the end of the lane.

Maine Island Trail & Royal River Water Trail: Our preserve is a day-use water-access picnic spot listed as part of the Maine Island Trail and also the Royal River Water Trail. Maine Island Trail staff and volunteer stewards provide important assistance to the Royal River Conservation Trust as we manage the use and capacity of this treasured island.

History:  Seventeen acres of the 23 acre preserve was protected in 1990 by a conservation easement with no guaranteed public access. In November of 2006, the entire 23 acres was acquired by the Royal River Conservation Trust.  Stone stairs to the ocean were installed in 2012 and 2016, each time with the assistance of the Maine Conservation Corps.  A new expanded parking lot was built in 2015 by neighbors and deeded to RRCT.  Linear board walks were installed in 2011.  Horizontal boardwalks were installed in 2016, to enhance accessibility.

Posted Rules: The following rules are posted on kiosks, and apply to the preserve.

  • Preserve open daylight hours only. Police take notice.
  • Parking is strictly limited to four vehicles in designated spaces in the parking lot, daylight hours only. No parking on road shoulders. No parking beyond the stone gates.  No parking at the end of the lane. Parking violators on private land or private road shoulders will be towed at owners’ own expense by private landowners or private road owners.
  • Dogs shall be on leash while on roads.
  • Dogs on trails shall be under strict voice control; do not allow dogs to chase wildlife or waterfowl.
  • Carry out all waste, especially pet waste, including waste left by those before you.
  • No bicycles are allowed on trails after the way station (see map); bicycles are welcome on Pemasong Lane and Pemasong Lane Extension.
  • The way station (see map) serves as a disability pick up/drop off vehicular access point only for vehicles with disability plates or placards. No parking is available at the waystation (see map) or anywhere beyond the stone gates regardless of plates or placards.
  • While the Preserve is closed to hunting, Preserve users might encounter hunters on abutting private lands, or duck hunters in the intertidal zone. RRCT allows duck hunters to access the intertidal zone by crossing Preserve land, though most arrive by boat. All hikers should wear orange during hunting season on all trails and parks.
  • No smoking.
  • No metal detectors.
  • No boat launching. Access by water welcome.
  • Please only access shoreline on established paths to reduce erosion.
  • Please respect private property, private shorelines, and private trails.
  • Due to high demand for parking, geo-cache installations or other promotions are prohibited.
  • Please contact RRCT for specific permissions for commercial use, school group use, or other unusual requests.
  • Spring mud season postings: the entirety of Pemasong Lane and the Preserve parking lot is typically closed to all Preserve vehicle traffic during mud season (parts of March or April) to protect the condition of the road.  Please respect seasonal postings.
  • Please report public safety observations to the Yarmouth Police Department (911) or to the Royal River Conservation Trust (207) 847-9399 |

Your comments, observations, and suggestions are helpful to maintain strong relationships and best-possible land stewardship.  Please contact the Royal River Conservation Trust for any reason.