4. The Bonyun Preserve
The Bonyun Preserve is located on the south end of West Shore Road, just to the west of Junction Road. Look for the parking area and kiosk on your left, just after you pass Junction Road. The 68-acre preserve is owned and managed by the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT). The trail to Thomas Point - the Mill Cove Trail, is about one mile long. For great views of the Back River and a two-mile round-trip, return by way of the Thomas Point Trail.
Located near the end of the Mill Cove Trail are the remains of the historic Heal’s Lower Mill, a tidal saw and grist mill. A display along the trail describes the site and its history. Walk down to the old dam built in 1830.
Bill and Gene Bonyun’s sons Archie, Paul and Steve, generously donated the Bonyun Preserve to KELT in 2001. Bill and Gene were beloved folklorists and folk singers who purchased the land from the Thomas family in 1940. The Thomas family, and their ancestors before them, farmed on Thomas Point since the island was first settled.