About Merryspring

Merryspring’s mission is “to practice, teach and advocate sound principles of ecology, conservation and horticulture in order to protect our natural environment, and to provide natural landscapes and cultivated areas for public enjoyment.”

About Merryspring

Merryspring is open to the public every day during daylight hours, free of charge. To preserve the park and the numerous bird species, dogs are not allowed. Merryspring is conveniently located 3/10th of a mile off route 1, just behind Camden Hannaford at the end of Conway Rd.

Office hours:
Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Street Address
Merrryspring Nature Center
30 Conway Road
Camden, Maine 04843

Mailing Address
Merryspring Nature Center
P.O. Box 893
Camden, ME 04843

207-230-0663 (fax)

Exciting News! 2024 marks Merryspring’s 50th year with many special events. Visit our 50th Anniversary page for details and schedules.

Outdoor activities abound including hiking & strolling the grounds, bird watching, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Merryspring’s 66 acres span a diverse ecosystem of meadows, pine, and hardwood forests.

Merryspring relies on volunteers in the gardens, trails, and office. Please contact education@merryspring.org to introduce yourself.

Your membership and contributions count

While open for free, Merryspring is a member supported 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. Membership offers many benefits and dues are an important source of income needed to keep Merryspring running each year. Grants and your tax deductible donations keep programs affordable for all. Thank you for your support!

Park History

Merryspring was founded in 1974 by Mary Ellen Ross, a local horticulturist who had attained national recognition through her mail-order plant business, Merry Gardens. She envisioned creating a sanctuary where horticulture and nature could be studied firsthand. When the 66 acres that make up the Nature Center came on the market, Mrs. Ross enlisted the help of many friends in the horticultural community and bought an option on the land. Merryspring, Inc., a nonprofit, member-supported corporation, was formed to develop, maintain and operate the property as a nature park and horticultural center and to provide nature-based educational programs.

Since then, the Park has enjoyed steady growth under the guidance of many dedicated volunteers, trustees, and staff. New attractions have been added regularly: Hiking Trails throughout the 1970s, the Kitty Todd Arboretum in 1980, the Herb Garden in 1984, the Hexagon in 1987, the Rose Garden and Cottage in 1990, the Perennial Border in 1992, and assorted Memorials to individuals located throughout the park.

Another burst of activity began in 1995 when Merryspring embarked on building a visitor’s center. Completed in 1996, the Ross Center houses Merryspring’s administrative office, meeting room, Nature Library, and basement workspace for volunteers and staff. This project was a catalyst for other additions: the Hosta Garden in 1997, the Birds and Bees/Winter Color Garden in 1999, the Aileen Lubin Greenhouse in 1999, and the American Chestnut Breeding Orchard in 1999. Newer additions at Merryspring include the Daylily Garden in 2008, the Interpretive Trail in 2013, and a renewed Children’s Garden in 2015.

Today, 50 years after its founding, Merryspring is thriving with about 500 members and thousands of visitors each year.

Merryspring ariel view 2005
Merryspring as a lumber yard 1956

What our visitors are saying

Thank you to those who has visited Merryspring and left such wonderful comments. We welcome your feedback.

A lovely spot to take a stroll through the many paths and trails or enjoy the beautiful gardens. I attended an informative talk about pollinators given remotely by a State official. The center is a gem that local residents can enjoy. I certainly plan to visit again when I visit Camden again.


A most beautiful park, with rambling trails through magical woods, open meadows, and beautifully tended flower gardens. There is so much to see, and the trails are well marked. The visitor center has an extensive library on nature and environmental books, as well as a lovely gift shop, and there is a well kept bathroom. Very family friendly. Do visit, you won’t regret it.


Very nice park. Lots of flowers, and they have a gazebo for special occasions . A nice afternoon for a family outing! Also, have benches scattered about to rest and take in the scenery. A little clubhouse for children. Very nice!!!


Really super way to spend an hour. The actual garden is the jackpot/destination of what can be an hour-long walk through the surrounding woods of this enchanting public-private partership. There’s no admission fee (and no personnel on duty when we toured), but there are maps and well marked trails around the property which make for a very nice hour walking through the woods. The highlight, however, is definitely the main gardens which comprise about a dozen separate, distinct garden areas (roses, rock garden, irises, lillies, peonies, etc.) which is just beneath the main visitor center and parking area. So – if you just want to visit the gardens, you can do so very easily. However, if you want to make it an excursion through the woods and some wild meadows (and hedgehogs, rabbits and squirrels), it’s a really fun walk.