Clues to Choice View Farm Letterbox:
Choice View Farm offers an unparalleled view of the upper part
of Merrymeeting Bay. The field was protected from development in
an effort led by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay and supported by the
Maine Wetland Protection Coalition. The property is now owned by
the state of Maine and managed by the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.
Please see fact sheets on the Farm for more ecological and historical
To Get There:
Take Rte. 128 in Dresden south from Rte. 197 and cross the lower
bridge over the Eastern River. About .2 beyond the bridge [or up
the rise] you can pull off the road onto the right shoulder about
40’ north of mailbox 530. Do this opposite the northerly
maple of the house on the east side of the road and abeam the clumped
birch and red maple in the field to your right. This section of
the field is quite solid so you can pull well off if you want to.
Please take care getting in and out of your vehicle and in doing
U-turns, the traffic includes many gravel trucks driving fast and
can be quite busy.
Cross the field towards the middle of the river view [210 degrees
magnetic heading]. Walk down onto the point that sits on the south
side of a prominent swale bisecting the field. This swale was known
as Hay Landing. As you will notice, but for this gradual descent
to the river, the banks in the area are quite steep and Hay Landing
provided a place for wagons full of hay to access the winter ice
and be transported to where it was most needed for feed. Much hay
on the north side of the Bay was sold to Bath in winter and also
to support the many horses used in the ice industry.
Enjoy the view from the point! One of the finest concentrations
of rare wetland plants in the Bay lies below you. Looking southwest,
you are seeing from left to right: the mouth of the Eastern River
bending around Cork Cove and emptying into the Kennebec by the
end of a long jetty known as the Training Wall. The Wall was built
in the late 1800s to “train” the channel to stay in
the Kennebec instead of meandering more and causing the river to
shoal at the mouth of the Eastern. This was the heyday of schooner
traffic on the rivers. At the mouth of the Eastern is where the
endangered shortnose sturgeon have been found to winter. In the
far distance across the Kennebec lie Pork Pt. and the north side
of Abbagadassett Pt. in Bowdoinham. Between the Eastern channel
in your foreground and the Training Wall, the extensive tidal wetland
is prime waterfowl habitat and called the “Middle Ground.” In
the background across the main channel of the Kennebec is Swan
Island and the large high stand of pines across the Eastern channel
to your right is Green Point, part of a large farm by the same
name purchased and protected by the state through the Land for
Maine’s Future program.
Standing on top of the point, turn and face up the hill about
120 degrees magnetic at the old white Choice View Farm buildings.
There is a tall birch tree near the field edge in line with the
two-storey section of house. At the base of this tree on private
land you will find the Choice View letterbox. Other than accessing
the box, please stay in the field on public land and remember,
hunting is allowed.