Click here to go to an interactive map of the Ovens Mouth West Preserve (requires a Google account and ensure no other map overlays such as Traffic are turned on)
or click here for a downloadable pamphlet (including map)
Directions for Ovens Mouth West:
See directions to Ovens Mouth East (below) but go only 1.9 miles on Dover Road and bear left onto Dover Cross Road. The parking lot is 0.2 miles on the right.
Directions for Ovens Mouth East:
From the monument at Boothbay Center, travel north on Route 27 for 1.6 miles. Take a left onto Adams Pond Road. Proceed .1 miles. Turn right onto Dover Road. Continue 2.4 miles to the dead end. Parking is on the left.
About Ovens Mouth Preserve
In 1994 the Boothbay Region Land Trust purchased 146 acres on Ovens Mouth, including both the eastern and middle peninsulas. The Ovens Mouth, bordered on the north by Edgecomb and on the south by Boothbay, is a narrow passage leading from the Sheepscot and Back Rivers to an extensive tidal basin.
Early English explorers are thought to have seen a resemblance to an oven, hence the name. This area has always been inviting for maritime activities because of its deep-water access and protected location. Settled in the mid -1700’s, one of the region’s earliest shipyards was located here and both British and American vessels hid in the coves during the Revolution. Soon after the Civil War the property came into the hands of the Tibbetts-Welsh family who owned it for more than a hundred years.
The peninsulas are heavily wooded, but this was not always so. The middle peninsula was cleared for sheep pasture early in the 19th century and was let go back to woodland by about 1850. It was cut for lumber during both of the World Wars. The top half of the east peninsula was field, while the lower half was pasture; it too grew up into woods after the 1930’s. A fine stand of pine blankets the peninsulas today. The BRLT plans to continue to manage the forest for recreational use, aesthetics, improvement of wildlife habitat, and timber production.
There are two coves on the Boothbay side of Ovens Mouth with the western one known locally as “Ice House Cove”. In 1880 in response to a growing demand for ice, it was dammed to form a fresh-water pond and an ice-house was built. The ice was shipped by schooner, mainly to Boston and New York. The remnants of the dam can be seen at low tide from the bridge which connects two peninsulas. A magnificent salt marsh has replaced the ice pond.
Both peninsulas are home to a variety of wildlife, including eagles, osprey, otters and deer Extensive trails and a handsome wooden bridge connecting the two peninsulas allow for a variety of hikes.
Ovens Mouth West white loop trail (2.4 miles) is one of the more challenging trails with several steep rocky sections that lead to rewarding views of the Ovens Mouth of the Cross River. Ovens Mouth West is connected to Ovens Mouth East by a footbridge that links the western shoreline loop and eastern shoreline loop. The blue trail is an easier, wider, fairly level old road that extends from the parking lot through the center of the preserve, finally ending at the white trail near the Ovens Mouth. There are two yellow trails; one starts a half mile from the parking lot on the blue trail and extends 0.2 miles west to the white loop, and the second yellow trail starts 3/4 of a mile from the parking lot on the blue trail and extends east to the white loop. There is another unmarked trail that forms a loop with a portion of the blue trail in the northern half of the preserve (the unmarked “other trail” connects with the white trail for about 100 feet on the west side of the preserve.)