Josephine Newman Audubon Sanctuary is a 119-acre preserve in the heart of midcoast Maine in Georgetown. A hidden gem bounded on two sides by salt marsh, the sanctuary features over two and a half miles of trails that traverse meadows, coastline, forest, and rocky ridges. Stonewalls of yesteryear still cross this charming, tree-covered property, where bedrock has been twisted by the passage of time.
Visitors can usually expect a private hike around the rugged, wooded peninsula. They can walk on bluffs rising above the ocean, or stand on a cliff and watch reversing falls caused by tidal water tumbling over ledges.
The most rigorous hike in the sanctuary, the extremely varied and steep Geology Trail begins in the meadow just north of the cellar hole, winds through coniferous woods to Robinhood Cove, parallels the eastern shore of the cattail marsh, and returns to the meadow.
Branching off from the Geology Trail near the cattail marsh and featuring beautiful views of marshes, mud flats, and the cove’s rocky shore, the Rocky End Trail takes you through the deciduous forest in the center of the property to the highest point on the sanctuary and then winds back along the East Branch of Robinhood Cove to rejoin with the Geology Trail not far from the meadow.
Beginning at the southern end of the meadow, the Horseshoe Trail joins the Rocky End Trail after a half mile, at which point you can either cut back on the interior portion of the Rocky End Trail (an old haul road), follow its coastal leg back to the meadow, or continue to follow the Horseshoe Trail to the ruins of a small cabin high on a ledge. Combined with the interior leg of the Rocky End Trail, this trail provides the easiest walking on the sanctuary.
From the junction of U.S. Route 1 and Route 127 in Woolwich, just east of the Woolwich-Bath bridge, head south on 127 for 9.1 miles to Georgetown. Turn right at the sanctuary sign and follow the entrance road to the parking area.
This 119-acre preserve in the heart of midcoast Maine was willed to Maine Audubon in 1968 by Josephine Oliver Newman. Over her 90 years, Josephine Oliver Newman grew quite fond of the land her father, Sewall Parker Oliver, had purchased for the family farm. An avid and respected naturalist, known for her expertise on mosses, lichens, and liverworts, Josephine had an intimate knowledge of the site’s marsh, meadow, and coastline habitats. Called “Aunt Jo” by those who admired her, she shared this love for the family property and its diverse plant life with many visitors. Bequeathing 119 acres of the land to Maine Audubon in 1968, she continues to do so decades after her passing.