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Thorne Head

Guidelines for Use of LMF Properties

Walking/Hiking Wildlife Observation/Study Cross-country skiing/Snow-shoeing Dog-Walking Mountain Biking Fishing Hunting/Trapping 

Project Description

Residents of Bath, one of Maine’s most densely populated communities, are now within walking distance of a 96-acre preserve with dramatic 100-foot cliffs, spectacular water views in three directions, and a half-a-mile of shore frontage on Merrymeeting Bay and the Kennebec River. Thorne Head provides much-needed open space in a region that has traditionally scored low in statewide measures of publicly accessible recreational land. Local residents have enjoyed walking on this site with landowner permission, but a change of ownership might have closed off access or led to development of this prime waterfront property.

To protect this community resource, the local Lower Kennebec Regional Land Trust (LKRLT) set out to raise the $425,000 needed for its purchase and stewardship. Despite having fewer than 100 members and less than $1,000 in annual dues at the outset, the Trust succeeded in its ambitious campaign--drawing support from many valued partners and securing contributions from more than 200 donors (including local residents, private foundations, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund and the Land for Maine’s Future Program). In addition to monetary gifts, the land trust received in-kind legal and money management services, and help from Maine Coast Heritage Trust in drafting two easements (now held by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. LKRLT now holds title to Thorne Head.

The protection of Thorne Head benefits an ongoing effort to preserve the ecological values and abundant wildlife populations in the Lower Kennebec River Estuary–an initiative also supported by the Land for Maine’s Future Program and other members of the Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition. Thorne Head includes high-quality salt marsh critical to the significant waterfowl and numerous endangered and threatened species that frequent Merrymeeting Bay and the Lower Kennebec.

Please note: camping is only allowed for supervised groups with prior permission from LKRLT.