It’s “Official”: DRA Rutherford Island Preserve Trail Open to All


Photo 4 - Rutherford Island Trail - New preserve signThe Damariscotta River Association’s newest trail has become “official” in that it has acquired a sign and a small parking area.

The 15 acre preserve, on Rutherford Island, is located between Atlantic and Roderick Roads with the trailhead off of West Side Road. It was acquired several years ago through a DRA fundraising effort. Last year the organization’s volunteer “Trail Tamers” built a trail within the preserve, creating the only public-access trail on the island.

This year, 14 bog bridges were constructed and laid in trail areas that tended to become muddy following wet weather. The trail passes near an osprey nest, along or over several stone walls, through patches of ferns, and adjacent to moss-covered rocks and forest.

The trail is well-marked with orange arrows. In addition, this summer a bench was placed at the trail’s terminus which overlooks the mouth of the Damariscotta River. Neighbors, whose property is adjacent to it, have commented that people were walking the trail nearly every day this summer, even though it did not have a sign or parking area until last week.

Damariscotta River Association’s executive director, Steven Hufnagel, has commented that connecting people with the river and nature is a major part of the DRA’s mission. He notes, “We’re grateful to the many community members who have helped to conserve this land and made this trail possible through their gifts of time and funding. It is gratifying to see it being used and appreciated already. And what a view to the river!”