Josephine Newman Audubon Sanctuary, a 115-acre preserve in Georgetown, is a hidden gem in the heart of midcoast Maine.
Bounded on two sides by salt marsh, the sanctuary features more than 2.5 miles of trails that traverse meadows, coastline, forest, and rocky ridges. Visitors can usually expect a private hike around the rugged, wooded peninsula, and along bluffs rising above the ocean. Stonewalls of yesteryear still cross this charming property. Birdlife is diverse and varied, and the forest habitat is home to mammals including Snowshoe Hare, White-tailed Deer, coyote, and mink.
Maine Audubon sanctuaries are free and open to the public year round, dawn to dusk. Dogs, even while leashed, are not allowed in our wildlife sanctuaries, as their presence can be disruptive to wildlife.
Directions & Contact
Josephine Newman Audubon Sanctuary
Sanctuary Access Road (Off Route 127)
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.
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.
Downloadable Trail Guide/Map (pdf)
View the Josephine Newman trail map on Maine Trail Finder.
You can also download this archival “Self-Guiding Trail” map (PDF), which describes interesting environmental and historical facets of the sanctuary.
Geology Trail (Blue, 0.6 mile): The most rigorous hike in the sanctuary, the extremely varied and steep Geology Trail begins in the meadow just north of the cellar hole and, proceeding clockwise, winds through coniferous woods to Robinhood Cove, parallels the eastern shore of the cattail marsh, and returns to the meadow.
Rocky End Trail (Red, 1.25 mile): Branching off from the Geology Trail near the cattail marsh and featuring beautiful views of marshes, mud flats, and the cove’s rocky shore, proceeding counterclockwise, the Rocky End Trail takes you through the deciduous forest in the center of the property and then winds back along the East Branch of Robinhood Cove to rejoin with the Geology Trail not far from the meadow.
Horseshoe Trail and Cabin Trail (Orange, 0.75 mile): Beginning at the southern end of the meadow, the Horseshoe Trail offers a short spur to a beautiful small waterfall and brook before turning eastward and joining the Rocky End Trail after half a mile, at which point you can either cut back on the interior portion of the Rocky End Trail (an old haul road) and follow its coastal leg back to the meadow, or continue to follow the short Cabin Trail into the deciduous forested interior of the sanctuary, 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.
This 115-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 115 acres of the land to Maine Audubon in 1968, she continues to do so decades after her passing.