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Carter Nature Preserve, Surry

Photograph by Susan Guilford


Winter is the perfect time to try some family hiking. Get out and explore Carter Nature Preserve, a Blue Hill Heritage Trust Property.  This property has a little bit of everything for everyone.  There are wooded paths and shore trails that feature rocky ledges, tidal pools, and cobble beaches with views of Morgan Bay and a loop trail.  You can bring your furry four legged friends but they are not permitted on the wooded paths, so be sure to check the tides if you choose to hike the coastline.

 Depending on your interests you will find that The Maine Geological Survey has created a guide to the geologic history and features of the Preserve’s shore that can be best experienced at low tide. Get a notebook and create a hiking journal to write down the types of plants and animal life at the preserve. You can add your own observations to the database along with the many hikers who have enjoyed the beauty of the Carter Nature Preserve by clicking either of these websites, iNaturalist or eBird.  

Guided Hike with Blue Hill Heritage Trust

Why not sign up for a guided hike of the property? An added bonus is that the Blue Hill Heritage Trust is offering a guided hike at the preserve on January 16th at 10:00 AM. Your hiking guides that morning are Merrie Eley and Barbara Kourajian, who will share their naturalist knowledge with you. Register by clicking here

Books and Tools 

Books can enhance your hiking experience whether it is a field guide or a story told in the wilderness or a picture book about the joy of winter. For a picture book you might enjoy Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre or Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. A few children’s novels with winter settings come to mind, Greenglass House by Kate Milford or Brian’s Winter, the follow up to Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. For a complete listing of books for children on the subject please go to our Catalog tab and search using one of the words winter, hiking or survival. You might also consider borrowing one of the library’s adventure packs: seashore, hiking and/or birding depending on your hike’s focus.


  • Look at the tide table so you don’t miss the tide pools.
  •  Bring your children and dogs on a leash. Great for all ages!
  • Print the preserve’s map by going to the Blue Hill Heritage Site. A map always helps and is a great tool for children to learn how to use.  
  • Take binoculars if you have them. You will see some amazing birds even in the winter.
  • There is limited parking available at the pull-off at the bridge on Cross Road, at the head of Morgan Bay near the Shore Trail.  A larger parking area is further down Cross Road, across from the Furth/Talalay trailhead near the Loop Trail.