Need a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life? Escape to The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve and spend a day surrounded by nothing but the best of Maine’s tranquil landscape. Also called The Wells Reserve at Laudholm, this research center is open every day from 7 a.m. to sunset and has miles of walking trails for visitors to explore. In addition to its trails, the reserve on Laudholm Farms road also offers special programming and exhibitions for visitors to discover. A roster member on the National Register of Historic Places, The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve is a great place to spend the day. Here are the top 5 things you can do on your visit:
The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
1. Go on a Walk
Without a doubt, going for a walk is the best thing you can do at the reserve. The seven miles of trails are easy, mostly level paths that visitors of all ages can enjoy. Along the way, walkers are exposed to a number of different terrains including, tidal marshes, rocky beaches, open fields, and old growth forests. Whether you decide to go-it-alone, follow a recommended route, or take a guided tour, the walking trails at the reserve cover a variety of habitats and introduce visitors to the beauty of south coastal Maine.
2. Pack for a Picnic
One of the best things to accompany your walk through The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve is a picnic! Deep in the forest, or across the open fields, it is not hard to find a place to stop along the way to sit, relax, and enjoy a meal. A picnic in the Reserve allows visitors the chance to pause and truly take in the peace and quiet that the area has to offer. During your undisturbed meal, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery and nothing but your travel companions, birds overhead, and the wind blowing in the breeze.
3. Tour an Exhibit
In addition to going for a walk, there are opportunities for visitors to learn more about The Wells Reserve and the research that is conducted on the property.The Maine Coastal Ecology Center houses a number of exhibitions that introduce visitors to everything from the history of the reserve to the landscape of southern Maine. The exhibits, which are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day in the summer, explain how researchers study estuarine environments and why they are important.
4. Learn More at the Library
Another great place to visit on The Wells Reserve is the library. Here, scientists find the tools they need for their research and visitors supplement what they’ve learned on their walks and in the exhibits. The Dorothy Fish Coastal Resource Library includes a collection of more than 3,500 volumes on coastal environments, estuarine issues, and watershed conservation. But, it also includes books and audiovisual materials that are more accessible to the public. If you decide to visit the library on your visit, it is open to the public on Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesdays 1 to 4 p.m., and by appointment.
5. Catch Seasonal Programming
Before you plan a visit to the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, take a look at the calendar of events online. Special programs for visitors change each day, and there are often several different things to do on any given day. Guided nature walks, kayaking on the Little River estuary, and bird banding demonstrations are just a few of the activities on the calendar this month. In the morning, yoga classes are sometimes offered, and at night, live music is scheduled. A trip to the reserve isn’t complete without participating in at least one seasonal program. Find one that interests you.
Plan Your Trip to the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve!
Just 30 minutes south of the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Dockside Guest Quarters and Restaurant is a southern Maine bed & breakfast that offers unparalleled views of York Harbor and the great Atlantic. Appealing accommodations, bountiful breakfasts and creative cuisine offer guests in search of the best Maine coast bed and breakfast for a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway. Experience the best of York and the surrounding area when you stay with us.