Thurston Wildlife Marsh

Irving F. Thurston Wildlife Marsh is a 96-acre wildlife management area located on Meadow Brook off Woodman Road in New Gloucester. Owned by Maine DIFW (90 acres) and the Royal River Conservation Trust (8 acres), these properties are primarily managed for habitat and ecology and sporting access.

DIFW’s website includes more information. From that site:

Exploring the marsh on foot is best done with knee boots or waders and perhaps some ski poles for balance. Walking the wetland perimeter or the road will provide a good opportunity for viewing birds such as bobolinks, savannah and swamp sparrows, yellow warblers and common yellowthroats and in the winter, snow buntings. In the early summer, deer and their young fawns seek cover and good browse in the high grasses of the marsh and adjacent meadow. During fall and winter, there is opportunity for mink and muskrat trapping. Meadow Brook is very attractive to mammals, so walking carefully along the brook (remember knee boots) is a good way to observe mammal tracks.

More Information

Trails, Trailheads, and Accessibility

The Irving F. Thurston Wildlife Marsh is accessible at the location of a welcoming sign on the shoulder of Woodman Road. Mostly wet, the property has no trails. Meadow Brook is small and not easily navigated by most boats. The parcel is popular for trapping and bird-watching. Travel along the stream is enjoyable in winter on snowshoes. Please respect all abutters’ postings.

Rules, Regulations, and Hunting

  • The preserve is primarily used for access for hunting and trapping. Please contact Maine DIFW for any needed permissions or questions. This parcel is managed by the wildlife division, based in DIFW’s Gray offices. Region A – Gray; 15 Game Farm Road; Gray, ME 04039; (207) 287-2345
  • Please respect various postings on private abutting land.

Stewardship & Conservation History

Royal River Conservation Trust (RRCT) acquired eight acres in 2019 and 2020 thanks to donations or releases from Don Chandler, Mary Alice Clark, Hancock Lands, and the Selectmen of New Gloucester. RRCT has offered these parcels to Maine DIFW as a donation as an addition to their adjacent Wildlife Management Area, pending title review and survey.

Maine DIFW’s current ownership was donated by Ducks Unlimited in 1990, after having been acquired by Ducks Unlimited from Frederick R. Thurston earlier that year.