SEARSPORT — Coastal Mountains Land Trust has acquired a 25-acre property along Mill Brook, just minutes away from town off the Mount Ephraim Road, thanks to a generous donation from Jim and Linda Babb.
The new Mill Brook Preserve permanently conserves land on a beautiful mile long stretch of stream, just north of Route 1 and town, according to CMLT, in a news release. The Mill Brook Preserve is the Land Trust’s second preserve in Searsport. A 10-minute walk from town leads to a heavily forested section of brook that is natural, secluded, and quiet. Additionally, the preserve will be accessible to students and classes at the Searsport Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, via an old woods road from behind the schools’ ball fields that leads to Mount Ephraim Road, right by the entrance to the preserve.
The Land Trust is currently building a high-quality hiking trail, rebuilding a bridge, and adding signage to the preserve, according to the release. Once finished, the trail will allow for quick access for hikers, birders, fishermen, and hunters, to the banks of Mill Brook. A public trail opening will be held once it is completed this fall.
Jim and Linda Babb have lived by Mill Brook since 1976.
“Thanks to their generosity and foresight, this amazing portion of Mill Brook will be permanently preserved for those who come after,” said CMLT.
Jim, who is the Editor Emeritus of Gray’s Sporting Journal, wrote about Mill Brook in his 1999 book Crosscurrents: A Fly Fisher’s Progress (The Lyons Press):
“Over the past 30 years I’ve fished from the Arctic to Patagonia, from Scotland to Midway Island. But my true love is fishing for herring-size brook trout on nameless little streams. Dozens are within a short drive of my house, but my favorite is only a two-minute walk from the back door.”
Coastal Mountains Land Trust has worked since 1986 to permanently conserve land to benefit the natural and human communities of the western Penobscot Bay. The Land Trust has protected over 12,000 acres, offering 50 miles of trails for public recreation.