The Preserve is temporarily closed to the public due to COVID 19. See our Visit page for more information and to check for updates.
The Cathance River Nature Preserve is located in the Highland Green Village located off the Route 196 Coastal Connector bypass in Topsham.
Please read these directions carefully- visitors often get lost!
To Highland Green:
Traveling on Maine I-295 North or South, take the Topsham Exit 31. Turn east toward Brunswick, onto Rt. 196 East. (An overhead sign will indicate: Rt. 196/Cooks Corner/ Bath/ Rt. 1) Continue straight ahead. Travel 1.2 miles – straight through the Lee Toyota intersection. Travel approx. .5 m. On your left, you will see white fencing and flags. Turn left at the traffic light, into the Highland Green entrance.
To the Cathance River Nature Preserve Visitor and Ecology Center Parking:
After you have entered Highland Green, stay straight for 1.5 miles. You will see the golf club on your left. Stay on Evergreen Circle, the winding main village road of Highland Green, for approximately 1 more mile.
Look for Junco Drive on your left. The parking area for the Ecology Center and for hiking is straight ahead, on the left. Please park at a slight angle with the nose of your car toward the woods. To the left of the lot, you’ll see a white and green sign above a park bench that says: Cathance River Ecology Center Visitor Entrance. (The center is not visible from the parking lot.)
The Heath Trail starts on the opposite side of the road from the park bench (look for the boulders marking the trail entrance).
To reach the Ecology Center or access the rest of the trail network, head down the wooden stairs next to the park bench (next to a large animal-shaped rock). At the bottom of the steps, head right on the dirt road to reach the Ecology Center (approximately 2-3 minute walk).
Important Note: We ask that you do not park on the streets of Highland Green if our Ecology Center lot is full.
Trails in Construction Area and Parking Changes
Due to construction, the intersection of the Highland Trail, River Access Trail, and Cathance River Trail (West and East) is flagged and off limits in some areas (see trail map). Please proceed through the openings in the flagging as indicated by the arrows below to continue to the Preserve trails, avoid areas where access is flagged off, and use caution while passing through this area.
During this time hikers are directed to park at the Ecology Center parking instead of Hiker Parking. Please park thoughtfully to ensure that you are far enough off the road and to accommodate as many cars as possible. If the Ecology Center parking area is full, additional parking can be found at the Community Center.
Please contact the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust at 729-7694 if you have any questions and thank you for your patience during this time!
Highland Green is a private Active Adult Community that has both public and private areas. Though the trails and golf course are public – the roads are private, and courtesy and safety should rule the day when one is traveling through the community.