Since 1989, the Kennebunk plains have been co-owned by The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy. This is a 1,600 acre site comprised mostly of open grasslands with about 600 acres of woodlands. It is home to 90% of the worlds population of Northern Blazing Star. The Kennebunk Plains turn purple-pinkish in late-August/early-September when the Northern Blazing Star comes into bloom.
There are many dirt roads throughout the plains to explore. Remember to stay on the dirt roads. There are rare plant and bird species that need to be protected. Click on Jen’s Journal to read about recent sitings.
On the Northern side of the plains, just back inside the woods there is a small pond that is fun to explore. Last time we visited the plains, we were there at dusk and heard frogs at the edge of the pond, a Whip-poor-will in the woods, and saw a muskrat fishing!
Don’t forget to pick blueberries where it is posted. They are yummy and unsprayed!
At the intersection of Route 9A and Route 1 in Kennebunk, go West on Route 9A(High Street)for about 0.3 mile. Then take a right onto Route 99 , in about 4 miles the sides of the road will open up on both sides, evidence that you have arrived at the plains. There is a small MDIFW (Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife), parking lot on the right, this is the Northern side of the plains. To explore the Southern part of the plains, continue on Route 99 West, in about 1 mile take a sharp left onto McGuire Road. There is a small parking lot on the right side.
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife: (207)287-8000
The Nature Conservancy, Maine Chapter: (207)729-5181
Image used with permission, Copyright Eric Holsinger.