Carsethorn lies within the Nith Estuary National Scenic Area - an area that is recognised as being one of the most scenic landscapes in Scotland. The area has a long and rich history of occupation and use, much of it connected to the Solway Firth. An oak ''boat'' bench has been installed in Carsethorn as a remainder of the important role of the village played in history and development of Dumfries. During the late 17th and 18th century, as agricultural improvements were taking place thousands of people who had work on the land were displaced and choose to leave the Scottish lowlands for America and Australia.
The first mention of Carsethorn being used as a Harbour is in 1562 with a ship loading for a Voyage to La Rochelle and Bordeaux in France. The importance of Carsethorn as a trading Harbour declined after 1747 when Glencaple, on the opposite shore, was developed. Some ships still used to Harbour however, and in the 1790's large ships sailing from the Baltic off-loaded their cargoes of timber here, as the higher reaches of the Nith were inaccessible to them. In the 1840's the Wooden Pier was built to serve the Steam Ships trading with Liverpool and Glasgow.