Carson Trail

Located in the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, this 1-mile interpretive trail and greenway traverses three natural habitats and offers numerous opportunities to view wildlife.

Type: Greenway
Length: 1.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

See more details.

Become an NRT Ambassador

Join a cadre of volunteers to help improve the data on this trail.


Location: At Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge just outside Wells, ME
States: Maine
Counties: York
Latitude: 43.34743   Longitude: -70.54843

Driving directions are not available for this trail. Can you provide this missing data?


The Carson Trail was built by volunteers, Maine Conservation Corps, Youth Conservation Corps, and staff in 1988 after 3 years of hard work. Trail design takes advantage of a natural isthmus and the confluence of Branch Brook and the Merriland River to form the Little River. The compacted crushed-stone tread is outlined with 1x6 planks, bent to the undulations of the trail. Hand rails, where present, are mounted on taper-cut 4x4 timbers and interior-fastened, overlapping 1x2 stock. Framing and handrails on the older sections of the trail are pressure treated yellow pine. Sections rebuilt after a dramatic landslide use plastic lumber.

The trail is set back from the river banks by the width of three to six trees. The red maples, birches, alders, oaks and black cherry are mature allowing excellent views without direct disturbance. Eleven interpreted stops provide overlooks, benches and information on area wildlife. Most of the stops offer views of salt marsh pools and pannes with the Gulf of Maine in the distance. Newer uplands are dominated by eastern white pine, balsam fir and red spruce.

An interpretative brochure covers the coastal wetlands and wildlife habitat, as well as the author, Rachel Carson. The trail transverses three habitats, upland hardwoods, shrub-scrub and salt marsh. The varied structures and edges provide excellent wildlife habitat. Migratory birds are the most prevalent species present, but otter, deer, moose, coyote, bear, and turkey have all been seen from the trail.

Additional Details

Width: 60 inches.
Primary Surface: Crushed Rock
Secondary Surface: Boardwalk

Average Grade: 0%
Elevation Low Point: 5
Elevation High Point: 20
Year Designated: 2006

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Website: Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Ward Feurt
US Fish and Wildlife Service
321 Port Road
Wells , ME 4090
(207) 646-9226



No additional photos are available.


No reviews are available. Be the first to leave one!


Enter our contest

We're giving away one Trail Boss mug per month through the end of 2018. Leave a review of this or any trail to be entered into the drawing.

Suggest an Edit

Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact us below: