2022 Facilities of Merit Award Winner – Riverwoods Preserve, Yarmouth

Riverfront Woods Preserve is a 50-acre nature preserve with walking trails to the Royal River, a beaver meadow, and vernal pools with breeding populations of wood frogs and spotted salamanders. The property currently has a single-track walking loop trail with relatively unimproved surfacing, a viewing platform with interpretive signs at an open beaver meadow, approximately 500 feet of bridges and boardwalks, and a hardened gravel Universally Accessible out and back trail to views of an abandoned beaver bog.

The effort started with a 2017 collaboration between the Town, Royal River Conservation Trust, volunteers, and the Land for Maine’s Future Program to raise the funds needed to purchase and protect the property through conservation easements. Trail development on the property began in 2019 with Town funds and donations from individuals, the local and district Rotary Clubs, and Royal River Conservation Trust. Trails were built almost entirely by volunteers and non-profit groups lead by Yarmouth Community Services staff. Boardwalk and bridge designs were modified from the innovative work done by a large group of volunteers on the volunteer run West Side Trail Project. Future planned development includes an extension of the current hardened Universally Accessible trail to provide users with mobility devices access to views of the Royal River.