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Howard Hill Conservation Area

Photo by Norm Rodrigue

Photo by Norm Rodrigue

Location and Description:

Location: Augusta, Maine

Property Description: Howard Hill, the wooded backdrop to the Maine State House, is a large and diverse natural area in the middle of Augusta.  Its 164 acres includes a cascading stream, steep ravines, large boulders, an expansive ridgeline with sheer cliffs, and diverse wildlife habitat. The property is crisscrossed by an informal network of old carriage roads and woods roads that provide expansive views over the State House and the Kennebec River valley.

Usage and Directions

Allowable Uses: hiking, nature observation, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and bow hunting by permission only. No motorized vehicles. 

Trails: At this time the public can access the property at their own risk, trail construction is in progress. Please contact KLT if you have an interest in volunteering.




Late 1700’s – Captain James Howard purchases land on the east side of the Kennebec River, including Fort Western. His brother, Samuel Howard, owns the southern part of Howard Hill.

1890s – William Howard Gannett and his wife, Sarah Neil Hill Gannett, reside on 500 acres with extensive gardens on “Betsy Howard Hill”. 

1930-1969 – Howard Hill, also know as Gannett’s Woods and Ganeston Park, is designated as a state game preserve. This is the time period in which the memories shared here take place.

2009 KLT, in partnership with the City of Augusta, begins actively pursuing conservation options for 164 acres on Howard Hill. 

2015 - KLT purchases Howard Hill with support from members, business partners, and foundations. Partial funding was provided by the Land for Maine’s Future program.

2017- KLT transfers fee ownership of Howard Hill to the City of Augusta with a conservation easement held by KLT.