Our network of trails covers over 670 acres of fields, forest, and marshland with 11+ miles of trails, more than a dozen bridges that cross 5 different brooks & streams, beautiful views of the Saco River, a 20’ horsetail waterfall, a prehistoric landslide site, old-growth & rare trees, and an old slate quarry. These trails are all maintained by volunteers, there is something for everyone!
Saco Bay Trails cooperatively managed these trails with private landowners, community and commercial organizations, and government agencies. Please be a responsible trail user. Make sure to keep your dog on a lead, pack out all pet waste, and to follow Leave No Trace practices as outlined by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
This 100 acre wildlife preserve was obtained by the City of Saco in 2007 under the Land for Saco's Future program. The sanctuary comprises a diverse confluence of ecological habitats including upland softwood and hardwood forest, marsh, stream, vernal pools, bog and fields. Due to the fragility of these natural systems, please do not litter or remove any plants or flowers. The preserve is surrounded by private property. Please respect that and stay on the marked trails and other delineated public areas. Beware that porcupines are common throughout the area.
Directions to trailhead: From Main Street in Saco travel west on North Street (which becomes Route 112 or Buxton Road). Follow this for 5.9 miles. Turn left onto a dirt driveway at 464 Buxton Road. Turn right into a dirt parking lot and you'll see the trailhead kiosk.
Merritt Gay, the farmer who once owned this land, named the Sylvan Trail. The word "sylvan" is derived from the Latin word for woodland. The trail follows an old logging road through a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees until reaching a large field. The trail follows the edge of the field and re-enters the woods.
Length (round trip): 1.7 miles
Directions to the trailhead: from downtown Saco, go north for approximately 4 miles on Main Street which turns into Rt 1 North. Just past the Rt 98/Cascade Road turnoff, turn left on Flag Pond Road. Go 0.7 miles and immediately before the turnpike bridge, turn right into the parking area (approximately 150 Flag Pond Road).
Estimated walking time: 1 hour
This area consists of two parcels of land off Route 1 north of downtown Saco. During much of the 18th century this land was owned by the famous Pepperell Family of Saco, British loyalists who were on the losing side of the Revolutionary War. It was acquired by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts after the war and in the late 1790's sold to Isaac Scammon who with his family established a homestead nearby on the Portland Road. This property passed from the Scammon Family to many others over the years, and in 1935 became the home of the Brandt family.
Directions to the south trailhead: From downtown Saco travel approximately 1.5 miles north on Route 1. Just after going beneath the John Andrews ETA bridge, turn left into a small parking lot where you will see the trailhead kiosk.
Directions to the north trailhead: From Downtown Saco travel approximately 2 miles north on Route 1. Turn left into the parking lot of the Citgo station. Park near the trailhead kiosk on the far right of the parking lot.
Atlantic Way, Plymouth, and Vines Trails
These trails lead walkers into the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge from two subdivisions that surround the refuge marshland. The Atlantic Way trail provides a fairly straight path from the Wildwood Drive subdivision through a portion of the wildlife refuge to Seaside Avenue. The Plymouth and Vines trails connect two different parts of the Plymouth Settlement subdivisions with the Atlantic Way Trail.
Atlantic Way Trail
The Atlantic Way trail passes through a pleasantly mixed growth of young pine and white and gray birch eventually opening into the Goosefare Brook marsh.
Directions to the western trailhead (off Wildwood Drive): From downtown Saco go north a few blocks to the traffic light at Beach Street. Turn right on Beach (Route 9) and travel 2.4 miles. Turn left onto Wildwood Drive and turn right onto Atlantic Way. You'll see the trailhead kiosk directly ahead of you. Park on the shoulder.
Directions to the eastern trailhead (Seaside Avenue): Follow the above directions, but instead of turning on Wildwood, continue straight for another .4 miles and turn left on Bayview. Go .7 miles and turn left at the stop sign onto Seaside. Go .2 miles and look for the trailhead kiosk and a wide shoulder for parking on your left.
Estimated walking time (round trip): 40 minutes.
The Plymouth Trail extends from the trailhead on Plymouth Drive, connects with the Vines Trail, and terminates at the Atlantic Way Trail about halfway along its length.
Length: 0.45 mile
Directions to the trailhead: From downtown Saco, go north a few blocks to the traffic light at Beach Street. Travel 2.8 miles and turn left onto Bayview Drive. In 0.3 miles, turn left onto Plymouth Drive. Travel 0.4 miles and look for the parking area and trailhead kiosk on your right.
Estimated walking time: 15 minutes
The Vines trail extends from the Vines Road trailhead to the short link trail that connects it with Plymouth Trail.
Length: 0.38 mile
Directions to the trailhead: Follow the above directions, but travel for 0.4 miles on Bayview before turning left onto Vines Road. In another 0.2 miles, you will see the trail sign on your right. Park on the shoulder of Vines Road.
Estimated walking time: 10 minutes