In terms of famous coastlines in Southern Maine, the Kennebunks boast some of the best (and still public) sandy beaches for miles. But funnily enough, one of the most beautiful tucked-away natural places to visit hides just out of sight—and notice—of most visitors to our colonial port town.
Approaching Kennebunkport from the south, you’ll find yourself winding along route 1 in Wells, past well-loved ice cream shops and old clapboard antique shops proudly spilling their collections out onto their lawns.
But if you’re not paying attention, you’ll easily miss the right-hand turn for Laudholm Road, home of one of the best-kept “secrets” in the area: The Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm.
Transformed and preserved by local community efforts in 1982 from the lapsed Laudholm Farms into the non-profit Laudholm Trust, the Wells Reserve now offers its rolling hills, beautifully preserved working farm buildings, winding trails and miles of coastal estuarine habitat for public visits, events and education.
Whether it’s cross-country skiing in January, an evening lecture by a well-known author in May, a summer trail run in August, or an autumn craft fair and pumpkin festival in September, there’s beauty, education and natural splendor to be found on these 2000 acres of protected wilderness all year round.
Visiting the reserve, you can enjoy beautifully maintained trails rich with informative wildlife and ecological information that wind down to a beautiful and secluded corner of sandy beach and crashing surf. Visiting the Kennebunks for the summer? The little people in your family can enjoy summer science camps and workshops, too.
With its ongoing residential estuarine research activities, The Wells Reserve brings together an inspiring array of community events with an ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.
And what’s more, (for the soon-to-be brides who might be reading) it’s large and roomy barn offers a glamorous and down-to-earth A-list wedding and event destination that books up over a year in advance!
No matter when your next visit happens to be, be sure to bring your camera, and your sense of wonder and make sure this charming and oh-so-beautiful hidden gem is at the top of your must-visit list.