The Granite Falls Preserve in North Yarmouth, owned and managed by the Royal River Conservation Trust, includes a small ledge waterfall with a picnic table on Pratt’s Brook. The short trails, small ledge waterfall, and largely undeveloped 36-acre preserve are scaled to the small neighborhood.
Nearby trails managed by the Town of Yarmouth provide longer trails and better access to both Pratt’s Brook and the Royal River. On the map, note the Town of Yarmouth’s Pratt’s Brook Park (North Road), and the Town of Yarmouth’s Sweetsir Farm Preserve (Old Field Road off Concord Circle off North Road.)
Trails, Trailheads, and Accessibility
The preserve can be accessed by a small paved parking area at 2 Goldenrod Lane in North Yarmouth, off North Road. A short trail (1000 feet) to the small ledge waterfall leaves Goldenrod Lane on the opposite side of the road from the parking lot. Trail conditions are variable, depending largely upon the schedule of trail mowing by neighbors. Other trails on the preserve are poorly maintained, used primarily as snowmobile connectors or neighborhood loops.
Nearby trails managed by the Town of Yarmouth provide longer trails and better access to both Pratt’s Brook and the Royal River. Especially, plan to visit the Town of Yarmouth’s Pratt’s Brook Park (North Road), and the Town of Yarmouth’s Sweetsir Farm Preserve (Old Field Road off Concord Circle off North Road) with quiet trails to the Royal River. See the map in the tab above.
Rule and Regulations and Hunting
While open for hunting, most of the preserve is not legal for hunting due to proximity of residences. Similarly, control of dogs is important due to proximity of residences; dogs on leash please at all times at this preserve. While neighbors occasionally use bikes, none of the short trails are maintained to a bicycle standard. Snowmobiles are allowed.
RRCT & You: Updates, Alerts, & Cautions
- RRCT & You: RRCT relies heavily on volunteers and help from trail users like you. You may know more recent information about trail and preserve conditions than we do – please consider filling out a Conditions Report. We invite you to be a thoughtful steward by acting as a respectful visitor, adhering to posted rules, and following Leave No Trace practices. RRCT’s small staff and volunteer Trail Crew is able to inspect and maintain RRCT preserves infrequently; we ask you to report to us any issues you observe that you cannot address yourself, and especially to update us on any safety or public safety issues. Please help us on your visits with litter, pet waste, and minor trail issues. We also invite any information on needed or suggested updates to this webpage. Reach out in any way, most simply with an email to Stewardship@RRCT.org.
- DANGEROUS BRIDGES: Bridges on the preserve are in various stages of maintenance. (There are no bridges on the trail segment between the parking area and the waterfall.) Use caution.
- SAFE HUNTING: Safe and responsible hunting on the preserve is difficult, due to residential proximity. Hikers should always wear orange during all hunting seasons, on all hikes.
- RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP: Our preserves provide valuable access for pets and pet owners. We are always concerned by pet waste left behind, and by dogs not leashed by their owners. Please help us create a culture of respect and responsibility.
- NEIGHBORS’ POSTINGS: Please respect various postings on private abutting land.
Stewardshp and Conservation History
RRCT accepted the acreage in 2005, as part of the Planning Board’s approval of the Granite Falls development. Adjacent acreage and trails became owned by the private homeowners’ association. Future developments on abutting parcels may expand the conservation and recreation potential of this neighborhood.
Natural Resources, Habitat, and Historic Interpretation
Protection of stream shorelines — known as riparian zones — are key strategies to protect habitat, and clean water. Several conservation projects both upstream and downstream on Pratt’s Brook help maintain the viability of the Pratt’s Brook ecosystem, and the downstream water quality of the Cousins River marshes and estuary, and Casco Bay. Despite inventories, no trout have been found in Pratt’s Brook likely due to its relative warmth and muddy nature due to marine clays in the sub-watershed.