Dows Woods Nature Preserve
Managed by the South Portland Land Trust
Dows Woods Nature Preserve is a 9.3-acre property across Highland Avenue from the South Portland High School complex. It is behind a new 15-unit condominium complex being constructed in 2017-2018 at 950 Highland Avenue. The preserve consists of undeveloped dense woodland and a 2-acre pond which is part of the Kimball Brook system. The natural state of the area provides a critical habitat for many living creatures and plants, including hundreds of mature trees.
The preserve is intended for passive recreation, nature observation, education, and research. Though not yet blazed, narrow paths will provide access on foot only. Pets, bicycles, and motorized vehicles are prohibited in order to preserve the environment as best as possible.
Dows Woods was established when the Dow family transferred land to H.W. Land Company for a residential development upon the condition that over 9 acres of that land be set aside as a nature preserve. The City of South Portland Land Bank provided funds to purchase the easement in 2016, which is held by the South Portland Land Trust.