Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park Conditions & Activities
Park Hours: Open all year; 9:00 a.m. to sunset daily unless otherwise posted at the gate.
Fee collected year-round at entry booth by staff or self-service station.
Park Entrance Coordinates: 43.825823, -70.085570
Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park is a 250-acre natural gem ten minutes from the bustling shopping district of downtown Freeport. The land was given to the State, by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence M.C. Smith of Freeport in 1969, to foster environmental education and preserve the park's ecosystems that include rocky shorelines on Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River, a salt marsh estuary, climax white pine and hemlock forests, and the associated plants and animals. Trail-side interpretive panels provide information about the natural communities of the park.
Osprey are the wildlife mascots of the park; they return each year during April from South America to nest on nearby Googins Island. During the nesting season park naturalists lead programs and provide viewing opportunities with spotting scopes. The osprey and other birds are celebrated through the annual Feathers over Freeport each April. And, nature programs are offered year-round.
Trail Overview & Activities Listing
Seven interlooping trails offer several miles of easy to moderate hiking through a variety of habitats. Suggested walks are listed below.
From the first parking lot:
- Fastest Way to the Water - (0.1 mile, easy, 5 minutes): Follow the path marked “To Shore & Casco Bay”. In 5 minutes you will be enjoying the beauty of the bay.
- Harraseeket Hike (1.8 mile loop, moderate, 1.5 to 2 hours): Includes some steep
and uneven terrain. Enter the woods on the trail to the right of the kiosk at the end of the 1st parking lot. Take your first right onto the Harraseeket Trail, and follow it through the woods across the Old Woods Road Trail, Power Line Trail, and Wolf Neck Road (dirt). After a gradual descent, the trail runs along the cliffs above the Harraseeket River with views of South Freeport before turning uphill and re-crossing Wolf Neck Road (tar). Passing the southern ends of the Hemlock Ridge, Old Woods Road, and Ledge Trails, the Harraseeket Trail goes over two small hills and ends at the shore, where the Casco Bay Trail, to the left, leads back to the parking lot. Natural Heritage Hike for this trail.
- Woods and Water, Your Way - (1.0 to 1.5-mile loop, easy to moderate, 1 to 1.5 hours): Includes some uneven terrain. Enter the woods on the trail of your choice: Ledge Trail (shortest loop), Old Woods Road Trail (most level), or Hemlock Ridge Trail (longest loop). When your trail ends, turn left and follow the Harraseeket Trail to the rocky shore and tidal beach on Casco Bay. Then return on the Casco Bay Trail.
From the second parking lot:
- Osprey Tour - (0.2 miles one way, easy,15 minutes): Pass the accessible bathrooms, fountain, and picnic sites, as your path curves through the field to the White Pines Trail along the shore. Turn right and watch for birds in the woods and on the bay until you reach panel #4 about the estuary that supports the ospreys. Continue along the shore to the sign and benches opposite Googins Island, where you are likely to see osprey activity from April through August. (Walkers can take the stone steps to the rocky shore below.)
- Forest and Shore Tour - (0.75 mile loop, easy ): Benches for resting and enjoying the forest and shore are placed along this trail. From the second parking lot, take the White Pines Trail into the shady woods with wildflowers and bird song in season. At the 4-way junction with the North Loop Trail, turn right to stay on the accessible path toward the bay. Look for woodpecker holes in the trees and chipmunk holes near the trail. Along the bay, watch for ducks, gulls, and wading birds. At panel #5, watch for ospreys from April through August.(Steps lead walkers to the rocky shore and Casco Bay Trail.) To return to the parking lot, backtrack and take the path across the field.
- Casco Bay Walk (1.25 miles round trip, easy, 1.5 hours): From the second parking lot, take the White Pines Trail to the 4-way junction with the North Loop Trail. Turn right and stay on the accessible path toward the bay. Follow the trail to panel #3 and down the stairs to see who lives in the salt marsh and mud flat. Continue along the White Pines Trail to panel #4, and to panel #5 to look for ospreys. To observe the tide pools during low tide you may walk down the stone steps. Walk along the rocks to the right. At the rocky shore panel (#6) take the rocky steps up to the junction with the Casco Bay Trail. Turn left and follow the Casco Bay Trail about 0.25 mile to panel #7. Go another 0.25 mile to panel #8, island views, and for access to the rocky shore and the tidal beach during low tide. Return on the same trail or by a trail through the forest.
Handicap Accessible Trail
- White Pines Trail - (0.3 miles, easy, 15 minutes): Visitors in wheelchairs, with strollers, or wanting more level footing will find this an accessible trail that provides access to the osprey overlook and interpretive panels #1 and 3-5. A looping hike can be made by taking the trail from the end of the 2nd parking lot and following it northward before looping eastward toward the shoreline.