The 10 Best Nature Centers in Maine!

Maine is one big nature center. With acres of forests, fields, marshland, and stunning coastline, everywhere you look in Maine you’ll see nature at its best. But, if you’re looking for land specifically set aside to protect Maine’s incredible natural ecosystem, we have those too. 

1. Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Freeport, ME

Located on the coast not far from the L.L. Bean headquarters, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park is a popular spot to watch wild osprey and other Maine native wildlife. Sign up for a guided one-hour-long tour with a park ranger or relax by the ocean with a picnic.

2. Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, Wells, ME

Named after the pioneering environmentalist, Rachel Carson, the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge is headquartered in Wells, but has 11 different land parcels along the coast between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth. The Carson Trail in the Wells location is a beautiful one-mile trail with views of one of southern Maine’s most valuable ecosystems.

3. Viles Arboretum, Augusta, ME

Open seven days from dawn to dusk, this 224-acre nature park has six miles of trails with loads of flower and tock gardens. The park is a great place to spot birds, dragonflies, and frogs. Check the website for fun events throughout the park.

4. Maine Wildlife Park, Gray, ME

Want to get up close to native Maine wildlife? Head to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. For a small fee, you can see rescued moose, black bears, mountain lions, bald eagles, deer, and more. The park is open to the public from mid-April to November.     

5. Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth, ME

Situated along the Presumpscot River estuary just over the bridge from Portland, this 65-acre sanctuary is home to the Maine Audubon Society. With more than two miles of trails, a salt marsh, meadows, and even an orchard, Gilsland Farm is a peaceful place to spend an afternoon. 

6. Moxie Falls, The Forks, ME

Moxie Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Maine. Tourists and locals come from afar to see the thundering falls and swim at the waterhole at the falls’ bottom. Have picnic or enjoy a relaxing walk around the water’s edge.

7. Holbrook Island Sanctuary, Brooksville, ME

Holbrook Island Sanctuary is a remote coastal nature reserve that offers lots of opportunity to explore and observe a variety of Maine ecosystems from hardwood forests to colorful wildflowers to coastal tidal pools.

8. Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, Old Town, ME

Located just 10 miles from the University of Maine campus in Orono, this 2,400-acre nature preserve spans the Pushaw and Dead Streams, Lac d’Or lake, and vast wetlands and forests. It’s not uncommon to see river otters, ducks, bald eagles, and moose.

9. Wells Reserve at Laudholm, Wells, ME

The Wells Reserve at Laudholm is a National Estuarine Research Reserve in Wells. Established in 1990, the Wells Reserve protects over 2,200 acres of salt water marsh, freshwater wetlands, beach, dunes, forest, and meadows along the coast of Maine. 

10. Aroostook National Wildlife Reserve, Limestone, ME

The Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1998 after the Loring Air Force Base in Limestone closed. The refuge is home to 4,900 acres and wonderful hiking trails to enjoy Mother Nature. 

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5600 Mayflower Hill Drive, Waterville, ME
One hundred twenty-eight acres of Colby’s 714-acre campus are designated as the Perkins Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary. The arboretum is used f... Read More
South Belfast Ave. (Route 105) and Cony Street Ext., Augusta, ME
The Augusta Nature Education Center is open every day of the year. And as each day goes by, new challenges arise.For many years, most of our visito... Read More
153 Hospital Street, Augusta, ME
The Mission of the Viles Arboretum is to promote the knowledge and appreciation of Maine's trees and other flora for people of all ages by offering... Read More
131 Egypt Road, Jefferson, ME
About Us: Hidden Valley Nature Center is a community-based and supported nonprofit organization (501c3) in Jefferson, Lincoln County, Maine. It en... Read More
30 Conway Road, Camden, ME
Mission:To practice, teach and advocate sound principles of ecology, conservation and horticulture in order to protect our natural environment and ... Read More
2699, Route 2, Hermon, ME
Ecotat Gardens and Arboretum is owned and operated by Ecotat Trust, a 501 (c) (3) formed in 1995. The mission of Ecotat Trust is to preserve and e... Read More
311 Main Street, Rockland, ME
History of Project PuffinWhy Project Puffin Was StartedThe National Audubon Society started Project Puffin in 1973 in an effort to learn how to res... Read More
12 Audubon Road, Bremen, ME
Located six miles southeast of Damariscotta on Muscongus Bay, Todd Audubon Sanctuary includes a 30-acre mainland parcel as well as 330-acre Hog Isl... Read More
12 Audubon Road, Bremen, ME
The Audubon Camp in Maine on Hog Island runs programs from May - September.  During the winter months, our office is located in Ithaca, NY. W... Read More
0.8 mile hike from the Elliotsville Road on the shore of Sunrise Pond, Guilford, ME
Encompassing more than 1,600 acres in Maine’s Hundred-Mile Wilderness region, Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary offers a spectacular array of na... Read More
Snowball Hill Rd and Pemaquid Beach Park, New Harbor, ME
In 2003, the PWA formed a partnership with the Town of Bristol Parks & Recreation Commission to open Beachcombers’ Rest, a nature center ... Read More
132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay, ME
Mission:The mission of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is to protect, preserve, and enhance the botanical heritage and natural landscapes of coasta... Read More
216 Fields Pond Road, Holden, ME
Mission Statement: - Defending the Penjajawoc Marsh from proposals to build a Wal-Mart "supercenter" adjacent to the state's largest freshwater ma... Read More
1107 West Old Town Road, Old Town, ME
Hirundo Wildlife Refuge (HWR) is a 2,400-acre preserve including a bog, floodplain forest, mixed and evergreen forests. It is open year-round 24/... Read More
Highway 127, Georgetown, ME
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 m... Read More
2 Alumni Place, Orono, ME
The Fay Hyland Arboretum is a living collection of woody plants native to Maine. The arboretum also includes many exotic species and serves as a re... Read More
682 Fosters Point Rd., Bath, ME
Encompassing 93 acres, the property is situated in West Bath on a peninsula extending between the New Meadows River and Back Cove. The sanctuary is... Read More
Grove Street Extention, Orono, ME
About Us:The Littlefield Garden was founded in the early 1960s by Lyle E. Littlefield, then Professor of Horticulture. Today the Littlefield Garden... Read More
15 Andrew Drive, Auburn, ME
The Auburn Land Lab environmental education facility uses Auburn School Department staff, community agencies, and many community volunteers to prov... Read More
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