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Sewell Woods

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Sewell Woods: Trails for Every Season

Nestled within 35 sprawling acres of woodland wonder, Sewell Woods stands as a captivating canvas teeming with wildlife. Stuart Brook gracefully winds its way through the heart of Sewell Woods, its tranquil waters intertwining with the towering branches, before merging with Cascade Brook on its journey to Dunstan River.

The tale of Sewell Woods took a pivotal turn in 1996 when ownership shifted to the Scarborough Land Trust (SLT). A heartfelt gesture by Albert Sewell, who had acquired the land in 1935, bestowed this pristine parcel to the trust. An astute sawmill owner and the driving force behind Sewell Wood Products, Albert Sewell’s legacy lives on through this verdant expanse. As the winds of progress began to sweep over Scarborough, prompting a surge in population, the SLT emerged in 1977 as a guardian of the land, committed to safeguarding its treasures. Even today, their mission endures — to preserve and nurture the natural sanctity of Scarborough while fostering a profound connection between people and the land.

Exceptionally well-kept! Wooden planks thoughtfully placed over muddy and damp stretches. The trail is a picturesque delight, offering a serene loop that’s truly charming.

Sewell Woods invites visitors to immerse themselves in a variety of engaging activities that resonate with nature’s rhythm. From observing the delicate dance of wildlife to embracing the serene beauty of winter, the woods offer a range of experiences that cater to diverse interests.

As you explore the gentle trails of Sewell Woods, keep your senses attuned to the natural world around you. The woods are alive with a symphony of creatures, from the subtle rustle of leaves underfoot to the distant call of birds. Patient observers might catch a glimpse of woodland residents like squirrels darting among the trees, or perhaps even spot deer grazing in the dappled sunlight. The tranquil setting provides an ideal backdrop for observing the nuances of nature and connecting with the rhythms of the animal kingdom.

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When winter blankets Sewell Woods in a quilt of snow, the landscape transforms into a serene playground for snowshoe enthusiasts. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and set off on the trails, each step a chance to leave your mark in the pristine powder. The hushed woods offer a sense of seclusion and tranquility as you explore the winter wonderland. Whether you’re seeking solitude or embarking on a group adventure, snowshoeing in Sewell Woods is an opportunity to experience the magic of the season.

For those who embrace the thrill of gliding through snowy landscapes, cross-country skiing at Sewell Woods is a cherished activity. The well-maintained trails provide a canvas for skiers to weave through the woods, the rhythmic motion punctuated by the whisper of skis against snow. The gently rolling terrain ensures a variety of experiences, from leisurely meanders to more exhilarating descents. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a novice, the woods offer a canvas for winter exploration.

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Visitors are welcome to bring their canine companions to share in the natural beauty of Sewell Woods. However, in consideration of the delicate balance of the ecosystem and the comfort of fellow visitors, dogs must be kept on a leash or under voice control at all times. This ensures a harmonious experience for everyone, both human and animal alike.

While Sewell Woods welcomes a range of outdoor activities, biking is not permitted within its serene confines. Additionally, in a bid to preserve the tranquility and safety of the environment, the use of drones is prohibited. This helps to maintain an atmosphere that encourages introspection and a genuine connection with the natural surroundings.

Sewell Woods stands as a sanctuary for both its visitors and the resident wildlife. As such, hunting within its boundaries is prohibited. The woods are a haven where animals can roam undisturbed and visitors can find solace. Similarly, the collection, foraging, or any commercial activity on the land requires a permit from the Scarborough Land Trust. This policy ensures the preservation of the delicate ecosystem and safeguards the integrity of the woods for generations to come.

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Sewell Woods is a realm of intricate biodiversity, a living tapestry woven from the threads of thriving wildlife, verdant plants, and diverse birds. As you set forth on your journey through this tranquil woodland, a world of natural wonders unfolds before you.

Among the shadows and dappled sunlight, a delicate ballet of creatures graces the landscape. White-tailed deer, their movements graceful and fluid, share their elegant presence as they graze amidst the trees. Eastern gray squirrels infuse the air with their playful energy, darting among branches and foraging for sustenance. The nocturnal raccoons emerge during quieter hours, venturing forth in search of nourishment, while the clever red foxes navigate the woods with an air of mystery, occasionally leaving behind their telltale tracks. Eastern cottontail rabbits, swift and elusive, contribute to the lively rhythm of life within the underbrush. And above, the woods reverberate with avian melodies – a chorus of songbirds, raptors, warblers, chickadees, and woodpeckers, each contributing a unique note to the natural symphony.

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The towering white pines command attention, their majestic presence an emblem of the woods. Balsam firs stand shoulder to shoulder with their pine companions, their distinct fragrance mingling with the forest’s essence. The autumnal transformation of maple trees paints the landscape in fiery hues of red, orange, and yellow, a vibrant tribute to the changing seasons. Beech trees, adorned with smooth gray bark, offer a touch of understated elegance to the forest tapestry. Delicate ferns sprawl across the forest floor, their fronds unfolding in a delicate dance that speaks of growth and renewal.

The skies above Sewell Woods become a theater of avian artistry. Eastern bluebirds, resplendent in vibrant blue plumage, become living brushstrokes against the verdant backdrop of the woods. The cheerful calls and acrobatic foraging of black-capped chickadees paint an animated portrait of life in motion. American robins, with their distinct hopping gait, herald the arrival of spring as they search for insects across the forest floor. Pileated woodpeckers, their distinctive calls echoing through the woods, leave their mark on tree trunks as they seek out hidden insects. And then there are the male northern cardinals, a study in contrasts with their brilliant red plumage set against the muted palette of the forest.

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These glimpses are but a fraction of the vibrant tapestry that Sewell Woods nurtures. The woods’ intricate blend of woodlands, streams, and open spaces provides the nurturing ground for a myriad of species, each playing their part in the enchanting natural symphony that resonates through this cherished sanctuary.

Though not expansive in size, Sewell Woods stands as a meticulously tended haven, with its labyrinth of well-marked trails beckoning intrepid souls. Whether it’s observing wildlife in their natural habitat or embracing the thrill of winter sports, this park delivers a tranquil respite in the heart of Scarborough, a mere 7-mile journey from Portland, Maine.

Sewell Woods Trails

A glance at the park’s map reveals a tapestry of trails, each one an invitation to explore this natural sanctuary. For those seeking an unhurried amble, the majority of the trails meander alongside Stuart Brook, offering an easy stroll with minimal elevation. One of these trails, spanning 1.1 miles, embarks from Frith Farm, a fertile ground where organic products are nurtured, leading its wanderers towards Ash Swamp Road. Here, a moment of reprieve awaits near the farm, inviting weary souls to rest upon a beloved wooden bench that has etched its name onto the woods’ very map. The Sewell Woods Loop Trail, another gentle path with a modest 5-meter elevation gain, unveils the beauty of a cascading waterfall along its course. Meanwhile, a shorter trail pays homage to Bruce Lincoln, the biologist whose dedication contributed to the conservation of Scarborough. This trail, too, accompanies the murmur of Stuart Brook, guiding adventurers across its glistening waters via a series of rustic bridges.

What’s Nearby Sewell Woods

Sewell Woods finds itself nestled in the embrace of a region abundant in natural treasures and serene landscapes. Nearby, the Saco Heath Preserve beckons with its unique and captivating peatland ecosystem, a testament to the diverse habitats that grace this area. Just beyond, Horton Woods unfolds as a hidden gem, inviting explorers to wander through its enchanting woodlands. The allure of Warren Woods lies in its majestic pine groves and tranquil ponds, offering a peaceful retreat in nature’s embrace. Fuller Farm invites visitors to step back in time and discover a working farmstead, while Libby River Farm Preserve promises picturesque vistas and waterside serenity. Each of these nearby locations adds to the rich tapestry of outdoor experiences that await, forming a harmonious symphony of nature’s wonders for all to savor.

Sewell Woods Parking Information

To embark on your Sewell Woods adventure, follow these directions from US Route 1 in Scarborough. Travel along Broadturn Road for approximately 1 mile, then make a left turn onto Ash Swamp Road. Continue your journey straight through the intersection at Hearn Road. As you navigate the winding path, keep an eye out for the distinctive Sewell Woods sign and a gravel parking lot on your left. This designated parking area marks the gateway to your exploration of the woods’ captivating trails, where nature’s tranquility and vibrant beauty await your discovery.

Further Reading

Sewell Woods Photos

Check out Carefree Creative’s photos of Sewell Woods

Sewell Woods Address & Directions

Sewell Woods, 58 Ash Swamp Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074


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