Carter Nature Preserve

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Carter Nature Preserve with NEW Loop Trail

Location and Parking

Limited parking is available at the bridge on Cross Road, Surry, at the head of Morgan Bay.  A larger parking area is further down Cross Road, across from the Furth/Talalay trailhead.  Click here for the Google Map link.


**Citizen Science Opportunity! Carter Nature Preserve is a part of the Downeast Phenology Trail, a research project with the Schoodic Institute. To participate in this fun Citizen Science project through the Nature’s Notebook App which can be downloaded onto your smart phone or device. Please click here for instructions: Nature’s Notebook Instructions.

Use Guidelines

  • Dogs on leash are welcome on the Shore Trail and Loop Trail. We ask that you not take dogs through the “Woods Trail” section.
  • Hunting is not allowed at Carter Nature Preserve. For a list of properties where hunting is welcome, please contact our office.

A Partnership with the Friends of Morgan Bay

The cove at Carter Nature PreserveCarter Nature Preserve was acquired in 1995 through the diligent efforts of Friends of Morgan Bay and Blue Hill Heritage Trust. The diverse shoreline offers panoramic view of Morgan Bay and is comprised of ledges interspersed with some large tidal pools and cobble beach. The mixed wood inland forest has likely not been logged for 70 or 80 years and includes some very large white pines and birch.

Friends of Morgan Bay member, and Blue Hill Heritage Trust volunteer, Susan Shetterly wrote a wonderful piece about how Carter Nature Preserve came to be in Yankee Magazine. To read the essay please click here.

BHHT Volunteer and Maine Master Naturalist, Susan Guilford, has created an inventory of plant and animal life at the Carter Nature Preserve. This wonderful resource was Susan’s capstone project for the MMN program, and she continues to add to it. To access the information or to add your own observations, go to iNaturalist OR eBird. 

**Susan has also shared with us a fun scavenger hunt for Carter Nature Preserve which can be accessed on the following website:



We are excited to introduce the latest development of this trail system- it now includes 3 unique sections of trail! Starting at the small parking area at the bridge where Morgan Bay begins, the original Shore Trail begins in an open field before it takes a few steps down to the rocky shoreline. Grass leads to rocky shore at Carter Nature Preserve

Identified by a few items and a small sign, the trail then makes a turn and enters the forest where the Woods Trail* begins.    **Please note that the Woods Trail is part of the Preserve and therefore dogs are not permitted within this wooded section. Heather growing on the beach at Carter Nature PreserveIf you wish to continue the hike with your dog, you are welcome to continue along the shoreline (may be difficult at high tide) where it eventually reconnects with the rest of the trail, at a cove.  Hikers along the shore at Carter Nature Preserve

The 26-step staircase on the new section of the Loop Trail

To continue along the newest addition of our trail system, re-enter the woods and take a right at the Y-junction to explore the new Loop Trail for a distance of 0.8 miles. Be aware that a portion of this trail, starting from the bridge and up the 26-step staircase, takes you along privately owned trail, and please respect the land and this generous opportunity to explore it. It will lead you to the parking area at the head of the Furth-Talalay trails. You may choose to add these trails to extend your hiking enjoyment of this Morgan Bay area!