Shaker Village & Bog

Located in the towns of New Gloucester and Poland, the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village and the Shaker Bog are protected by a vast conservation easement covering 1700 acres of working forest, orchards, barns, pastures, one mile of Sabbathday Lake shoreline, the headwater source and outlet of the Royal River, and the iconic Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village. Today, the village hosts its religious community, library, museum, events, guided nature tours, a working farm, outdoor classrooms, and more.

Funds received by the Shakers from the sale of the conservation easement allowed the Shakers to invest in the future of their community, while the easement also allowed continued farming and forestry.

In July 2021 the Shakers unveiled plans for expanded trail networks and restored wildlife refuges, alongside a capital campaign for historic restoration. Read the Press Herald article here.

Maps

Downloadable PDF map. See next tab for more detailed directions to the Shaker Bog public access point.

Shaker Bog: Access Points & Video

The Shaker Bog (elevation 446 feet above sea level) is one of the highest-elevation bodies of water in the Royal River watershed’s headwaters. The bog provides quiet paddling, skating, fishing, and remarkable ecology. A half-mile trail (one mile round-trip) follows the shoreline with frequent spots for quiet access. Bog plants such as pitcher plants as well as eagles, osprey, loons and beaver are all easily viewed from the water. The trail is lush with blueberries, ephemerals, wintergreen, and forest plants with frequent shoreline access and views of the bog, beaver lodges, and sunsets. Highway noise disappears after a thousand feet of hiking or paddling.

The public hand-carry boat access point and hiking trailhead is just off Route 26 in Poland at the site of the historic granite dam that elevates the water levels of the bog, and once provided water for the Shaker Village. If heading north on busy Route 26, look for a steep uphill driveway off Route 26 on the left just north of the five-way intersection of Outlet Rd, Shaker Rd, Quarry Rd, and Route 26.  Parking is best on the shoulder of Route 26 southbound, though one or two vehicles can use the steep driveway (park underneath the large directional sign that faces north). The bog (boat access) is 200 feet beyond the end of the driveway on the old berm (dam). The trail begins by crossing the dam on foot, and continuing into the woods along the shoreline. Public access is guaranteed due to funding from the Land for Maine’s Future program. You’ll see a small Land for Maine’s future sign at the end of the steep uphill driveway, but no sign is visible from or on the highway itself.

The video below narrates the Shaker Bog Trail with great aerial photography.

Natural and Historical Walks & Tours

The rich ecological and cultural heritage of the village is interpreted by professionals through guided walks and tours. For more information visit: The Shaker Village facebook page. Free unguided walks are available at the Shaker Bog (above)

Working Farmland

Vast conserved orchards and farmland are operated by commercial lease and other tools, providing agricultural product for commercial markets and sustaining the Shaker Village’s herb markets and more. Please respect all landowner postings restricting public access to commercial orchards, and other lands.

Shaker Village Conservation Easement and Conservation History

The partnership that led to the conservation of the Shaker Village landscape in 2006 included scores of partners including the Shakers, the Royal River Conservation Trust, the Trust for Public Land, New England Forestry Foundation, Maine Preservation, Land for Maine’s Future program, and more. The conservation easement is held by the New England Forestry Foundation. While some of the acreage has deeded rights of public access (Shaker Bog, Royal River shoreline, more), public access rights of other acreage is limited due to active farming and agriculture. Consult with the Shakers or other sources for specific questions about public access.

In July 2021 the Shakers unveiled plans for expanded trail networks and restored wildlife refuges, alongside a capital campaign for historic restoration. Read the Press Herald article here.

For more information visit: The Shaker Village website