If you are interested in visiting the Conservation Area, please consider checking this website to see if our parking lot is full. We use the parking lot as a management tool and once full, we turn additional vehicles away. Letting cars in as cars leave is up to the discretion of our stewards on staff.

The Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area comprises some 600 acres of permanently protected salt marshes and coastal uplands, extending from the Sprague River to the Morse River and to the upland edge of Seawall Beach. It is private property owned by the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area Corporation, a non-profit corporation with members from the St. John Family (which originally conserved the area), Bates College, and the general public. The Nature Conservancy holds conservation easements on the property. Bates College manages the area for research and educational purposes.

Seawall Beach and a portion of the Sprague River back dune area are the property of the Small Point Association, whose mission is to preserve the wild, unspoiled character of the beach, its ecology, and its endangered species habitat.

Click here for a PDF version of the map.

Conservation and Preservation

Bates College and the Small Point Association cooperate with The Nature Conservancy and Maine Audubon to preserve the natural communities within the area. These include the nesting sites of the endangered piping plover and the least tern as well as numerous rare and fragile plants, mosses, and lichens.

Education and Research

Each year, over 1,000 students from regional grade schools and colleges utilize Bates-Morse Mountain for environmental studies, leadership development, athletics, and school picnics. In addition, Bates College and affiliated institutions conduct ongoing environmental research throughout the area.

Public Use

Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area is a popular site for hiking and beach-going. During the 8- month gate-keeping season, nearly 20,000 people hike to Seawall Beach. The area is open all year, from dawn until dusk. Visitors must park in the designated parking lot and enter on foot only. Dogs are not allowed in any season. Click here for more information about visiting BMMCA.