Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and Carson Trail

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321 Port Road, Wells, Maine 04090, United States
Directions: Exit 19 on I-95. Then turn left onto Rte 9/Rte109. At stop light, turn left onto Post Rd (Rte 1 N). Just past the Maine Diner, turn right onto Port Rd (Rte 9) and follow for ¾ mile; turn right into the refuge entrance.
Phone number: (207) 646-9226

The trail is open every day from dawn to dusk and is universally accessible.


Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 500 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is a network of lands and waters managed specifically to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1966 in cooperation with the State of Maine to protect valuable salt marshes and estuaries for migratory birds. Scattered along 50 miles of coastline in York and Cumberland counties, the refuge consists of ten divisions between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth. It will contain approximately7,600 acres when land acquisition is complete.

The proximity of the refuge to the coast and its location between the eastern deciduous forest and the boreal forest creates a composition of plants and animals not found elsewhere in Maine. Major habitat types present on the refuge include forested upland, barrier beach/dune,coastal meadows, tidal salt marsh, and the distinctive rocky coast.

The Carson Trail is a one-mile loop located at refuge headquarters. It meanders through pine woods and offers views of expansive, tidal saltmarshes. The trail is open every day from dawn to dusk and is universally accessible. A free guide is available at the refuge. There are excellent opportunities for wildflower and bird enthusiasts. Stay on the trail to help us protect vital, fragile vegetation. The most rewarding times to view wildlife are at dawn and dusk. Stand at a safe distance; do not move suddenly, as this will alert the animal and cause it to flee.

Visit website or download brochure

Photo: Tidal Salt Marsh at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, Maine. Credit: By Captain-tucker (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


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