Davidson Nature Preserve
Location and Description:
Location: Vassalboro, Maine
Visitors to the 97 acre Davidson Nature Preserve will find winding paths that feature ten acres of blueberry fields, wetlands, and woodlands supporting a diversity of wildlife and plant species. Over seventy species of birds have been identified, so bring your binoculars! Hikers marvel at the view of an active heron rookery, with large stick nests high in the limbs of dead trees. KLT maintains three fields which would revert to forest in a short time if they were not mowed. Many area residents and summer visitors gather at the preserve in mid-summer to pick a quart or two of delicious native low-bush blueberries.
Usage and Trails:
Trails: A KLT sign marks a small parking lot on the west side of Taber Hill Road. An easy half-mile mowed path leads from the KLT sign-in box through two blueberry fields to a view of the fen and the rookery. Along the way, two side loop trails feature the Family Field to the right/north, or take the blazed wooded Tanager Trail to view old farm stone walls.
Directions: From Augusta or Waterville take Route 201 to Vassalboro. Turn east on Bog Road for approximately 2.2 miles to the intersection with Taber Hill Road. Turn north (left) on Taber Hill Road for approximately 1 mile. Look for the KLT sign, parking lot, and sign-in box on the left (west) side of Taber Hill Road, just before Hussey Hill Road.
Note: During April through June visitors to the rookery viewing area should approach the wetland quietly, in small groups so as not to disturb mating and nesting herons. Check www.tklt.org or the Davidson registration box for information about the blueberry-picking season. Dogs are not allowed.
The Davidson Nature Preserve has noteworthy connections to Maine’s settlement and agricultural history. About twenty years after the Town of Vassalboro was incorporated in 1771, early settlers moved to one of the highest points in the town, Hussey Hill Road, which is adjacent to today’s KLT Preserve.
For 200 years this land has stayed undeveloped, as landowners have raised sheep, apples, and blueberries and harvested trees for lumber and firewood. KLT land donor Elizabeth Davidson purchased the property in two parcels in 1991 and 1994 and deeded 97 acres to KLT in 2005.