Salt Bay Heritage Trail

Newcastle, Maine 4553

Salt Bay Heritage Trail

Salt Bay Heritage Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Follow the shoreline of Great Salt Bay, a tidal estuary rich with marine, bird, and animal life, to the Glidden Midden, an ancient oyster shell heap on the Damariscotta River.

The watershed of the Upper Damariscotta River is one of immense natural beauty, a scenic landscape of bays and islands, salt marshes and mud flats, and rivers and streams. Bordered by hills, fields, and forests, the nutrient-rich tidal estuary is home to a diverse array of marine life, birds, and animal life.

The Damariscotta River Association (DRA), established in 1973, has worked to protect more than 2,900 acres of land and 23 miles of shoreline here. The majority of the area around shallow, warm, and brackish Great Salt Bay was designated the state’s first Marine Shellfish Preserve by the Maine legislature in 2002 “because of its undisturbed nature, its support of common and uncommon biodiversity, and its rich prehistoric and historic record,” according to the DRA. Take advantage of numerous opportunities to explore this special area, starting with Salt Bay Heritage Trail."

More Salt Bay Heritage Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Take a walk to one of the oldest archaeological sites in Maine—the Glidden Shell Midden on the banks of the Damariscotta River. Here prehistoric tribes piled oyster shells along the shore after consuming their meats.

Your hike starts along boardwalks astride Great Salt Bay. Wind through pine and hardwood forests, gaining views of the estuarine waters. View an old sheep tunnel and then reach the Glidden Midden. View the shells and complete your loop, passing a tidal marsh and a freshwater pond."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
105 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
2 hours
Year-round from dawn to dusk
Additional Use
Damariscotta River Association (; 207-563-1393)
Local Contacts
USGS Damariscotta; Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 7 (DeLorme);
Local Maps