Canoe through the state’s largest marsh on your own or on a tour led by the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center. Contributed / Maine Audubon

Maine Audubon offers myriad activities this season at both its Gilsland Farm in Falmouth and its Scarborough Marsh Center on Pine Point Road in Scarborough.

“We have more than 100 programs this summer,” Maine Audubon spokesperson Melissa Kim said.

With activities ranging from guided hikes for families to edible plant walks and a full moon canoe adventure, Audubon is ready to roll again after program restrictions during the pandemic, Kim said.

Maine Audubon offers free bird walks at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth and at its Scarborough Marsh Center. Contributed / Maine Audubon

At the 65-acre Falmouth sanctuary at 20 Gilsland Farm Road off Route 1, 2.5 miles of trails wind through fields and forest. The trails are open from dawn to dusk, and Kim said the variety of wildlife to be seen along the trails changes with times of the day.

Special events at Gilsland Farm this summer include the edible plant walks from 4 to 6 p.m. July 7 and Aug. 4, at a cost of $10 for members and $12 for non-members. Free summer plant walks are scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon July 8 and Aug. 5, and a free bird walk for beginners will be held from 10 a.m. to noon July 9 and Aug. 6. Participants in the guided walks and those walking the trails on their own should wear sensible footwear and sun protection and remember to check themselves for ticks, Kim said.

The farm also hosts birthday parties and weddings, and its nature store at the visitor center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with bird feeders, gifts, books, stationery, toys, T-shirts and hats.


Dogs are not allowed at Gilsland Farm, but they are welcome at the Audubon Center at Scarborough Marsh, a 3,100-acre estuary owned by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The salt marsh, the state’s largest, is a habitat for a variety of waterfowl and song birds and the Audubon Center offers free Wednesday bird walks at 8 a.m. A family nature walk will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays through Aug. 23 for $10, and is appropriate for children of all ages.

Canoe and kayak rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis at a rate of $22 for one hour, $30 for 1 1/2 hours and $38 for two hours. People with their own canoes and kayaks can launch them from the Audubon Center for free.

“Just come and put in,” Kim said.

The water is tidal and she stressed the importance of checking tides before arriving because low tide mud does not lend itself to smooth paddling.

Guided canoe tours through the marsh are available every day from 10 to 11:30 a.m. June 28 to Aug. 25 at a cost of $16 for adults and $11 for children (no children under age 4). Those who bring their own canoe can deduct $1.50 from the tour price.

Full moon canoe tours from 8 to 9:30 p.m. July 1-3 may afford opportunities to see night herons, snowy egrets and harbor seals. Those tours will cost $14 for Audubon members and $16 for non-members.

Gilsland Farm can be contacted at 781-2330 and For a complete listing of events,

The Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center can be contacted through September at 883-5100 or For a complete listing of events, visit

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