Walking Trails of Western Maine
MOUNT APATITE PARK
This 325-acre wooded park is best known by rock hounds for yielding crystals of tourmaline and quartz. An extensive network of forested trails link abandoned quarries, gleaming slag piles, steep ledges and giant boulders. Rock hounds have known about this area for over 150 years, when the first discoveries of gem quality tourmaline were found. Today amateurs may still search the mine tilling for Apatite, Tourmaline, and Quartz specimens (special rules apply).
The park is open year-round from dawn until dusk. Park brochures, which include a trail map, park rules, and other park information, are available at the Auburn Parks & Recreation Department office. Open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. The park is located on Stevens Mills Road, Auburn.
THORNCRAG BIRD SANCTUARY
The largest bird sanctuary in New England, this 310-acre wildlife preserve is located within the city limits of Lewiston. Throughout the year, groups can sign up for guided nature walks on 11 different topics. The sanctuary is open from dawn until dusk for bird watching, walking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, picnicking, and many other activities. Various programs are available, including guided nature walks, cookouts and nature crafts. The sanctuary is located on the corner of Highland Spring Road and Montello Street in Lewiston. Contact 207-782-5238.
ANDROSCOGGIN RIVER RECREATION TRAIL
The river is a great natural resource for all to enjoy the beauty of wildlife in its natural habitat. A sampling of some of the wildlife that has been spotted along the river trail; bald eagle, great blue heron, various species of wild ducks, cormorants, osprey, hawks, Canadian geese, many species of birds, muskrat, whitetail deer, moose, groundhog, fox, coyote, otter, mink, and many others.
Access to the trail can be obtained from behind the River View Resort or the D.O.T. Rest Area on U.S. Route #22 about 3 miles east of Bethel. If access is made from the River View Resort, please check in at the office. Do your part to keep the trail clean and natural – please keep your pets on a leash and no motorized vehicles.
MOOSE CAVE GORGE_
Located less than a mile beyond Mother Walker Falls in Grafton Notch State Park, Moose Cave Gorge offers a 1/4 mile nature walk mixed with flora and legend. The cave consists of a 45 foot deep gorge in granite bedrock that appears to have formed in a fault zone. The 200 foot long gorge has, at its upstream, a comparable length of huge boulders in the river channel, over and around which the river flows. The Bureau of Parks and Recreation maintains excellent trails throughout the area.
MOTHER WALKER FALLS GORGE
This nature walk and geological exhibit is a V-shaped gorge about 980 feet long and upwards of 43.6 feet deep. Located 3/4 mile beyond Screw Auger Falls in Grafton Notch State Park, the gorge also has a series of cascades with a total drop of 98 feet. Like Screw Auger Falls, this gorge has a natural bridge composed of granite bedrock, the only two in Maine.
WIGHT BROOK NATURE PRESERVE (STEP FALLS)
A long series of steep cascades and chutes with a total drop of 135 feet. There is a short hike up the right side of the falls (Wight Brook), which tumbles down a series of boulders and step-like ledges. Take along a bathing suit or cut-off jeans to slide and swim in the pools. Located approximately 8 miles north of Bethel off Route 26, look for a dirt road that crosses a small grassy area with parking under the pine trees. Its approximately 1/2 to 3/4 miles up to the brook. Please take in plastic drinking containers, and please carry out all that you carry in.
Experience timeless beauty and a feeling of peace uncommon in today's busy world. Take a leisurely walk on the boardwalks across the wetlands. Enjoy the view of Bald Pate Mountain and the surrounding hills. You may park your car at Lake Region High School on Route 302 in Naples and walk through the woods to Holt Pond. For more information on this one-way, 6 mile walk through the forest and wetlands, call 207-647-8580.
STEVENS BROOK TRAIL
This walking trail is located at Highland Lake Beach in Bridgton, and leads to Long Lake. This trail may also be accessed next to the Magic Lantern Movie Theater in downtown Bridgton.
This popular, easy 40 minute hike follows a well-worn path cross Wilson Stream through mixed hardwoods to a rounded ledge summit. The vast open peak affords excellent views in all directions including Webb Lake, Sister Mountain Ranges and the Wilson Pond Region in Wilton. One mile south of Hills Pond, off Route 156 in Weld, Maine, this is a great hike for families with picnic tables located on the trails.
This North Street forested haven is located at the edge of downtown Farmington and is complete with easy walking trails, benches and an old fenced in cemetery. For more information, call 207-778-4215.
Enjoy a peaceful _ mile hike through native woods and wildflowers to an impressive natural gorge and waterfall. Follow Route 43 out of Farmington toward Allen's Mills. About 3 1/2 miles along Route 43, turn left on to the Mosher Hill Road and drive approximately 3 miles to a parking lot on the left hand side of the road.
One of the world's largest glacier deposits, this 40 foot rock is now split into three pieces. Take Route 4 north out of Farmington to Route 142 in Phillips toward Salem. Cross the river at the old woolen mill. Take the second right on to Wheeler Hill Road, drive two miles and look for a sign to Daggett Rock on your right. This is a 1/3 mile hike.
This easy walking trail is located behind the Franklin Memorial Hospital on the Wilton Road in Farmington. Featuring well-maintained nature and fitness trails through hard pine plantings there are fitness stations located at spaced intervals with suggested and illustrated exercises at each stop. For more information, call 207-778-4215
Features a nature trail with maintained hiking trails through trees and lowlands, offering many opportunities to spot wildlife. The trail is located on Anson Street in Farmington. For more information, call 207-778-4215.
Located in Wilton on Wilson Lake, this park offers easy nature trails with small beaches.
MT. BLUE STATE PARK
This park offers scenic picnic spots and nature trails of varying degrees. A naturalist leads scheduled hikes and programs during the summer months. Located about 14 miles northwest of Wilton, off Route 156 in Weld on Webb Lake. For more information, call 207-585-2347.
TROLL VALLEY CAMPGROUND
Located on the Red School House Road in Farmington, this campground offers maintained, scenic hiking trails on site. For more information, call 207-778-3656.
WASHBURN-NORLANDS LIVING HISTORY CENTER
Offering 1 1/2 miles of restored carriage trails that meander through the woods to spring-fed reflecting pools and scenic views of Mt. Washington. Ready for use in Fall 2002. Please call for information on times and uses. Non-motorized use only. Located on 290 Norlands Road, Livermore, ME 04253, (207) 897-4366, www.norlands.org.
An easy hike with rewarding views. From Route 118, take Route 37 toward Waterford and continue on Routes 35 & 37. Turn left at the church on to Mill Hill Road, take the first right on to Fire Lane 95. The trailhead is located at a logging road on the right, just at the end of the paving.
This easy hike takes only an hour to reach the summit, where you will be rewarded with views of Bear Pond and Long Lake. On a clear day, you can also see Sebago Lake. From Norway follow Route 118 to Route 37 toward Waterford and after Keoka Lake, turn left on to Plummer Hill Road. The trail is on the left, a hundred yards or so past the Wilkins Community House. There are no blazes, but the trail is well-worn and easy to follow.
Hanging falls with the largest drop in Maine (90 ft). Located 17.6 miles south of Oquossoc, turn west off Route 17, cross the bridge, turn right on to the old railroad line (Bemis Track). Approximately 3.8 miles after leaving Route 17, take the gravel road on the left, stay left, through small gravel pits. Follow the marked trail, approximately one mile from this point.
BALD MOUNTAIN TRAIL
Nice views, gentle climb, good family hike with picnic tables and tower. Enter the trail .8 miles south of Oquossoc off Route 4, on Bald Mountain Road (opposite Bald Mountain Camps). The trail is 1.75 miles to the summit.
CASCADE STREAM GORGE TRAIL
Multiple short spur trails to view gorge and waterfalls. Follow Route 4 south of Rangeley for 3 1/2 miles, turn east on Town Hall Road, take a second left, drive 100 feet and take right at trail sign, parking lot at top. Follow trail markers through forested area, trail opens before streamside trail, picnic tables. Follow cairn formations to streamside trail. Easy, but steep terrain taking approximately 30 minutes.
HATCHERY BROOK TRAIL
Easy one-mile loop through the woods with three lakeshore picnic sites. Located 1/10 mile on Manor Road off Route 4, just west of Rangeley Village.
MOUNTAIN POND TRAIL
This 1.5 mile trail (one-way) is through wooded hillsides and forest that lead to the edge of a pond. The trailhead is next to Pole #13 on Edelheid Road on the backside of Beaver Mountain Lake. Follow red blazes.
A nice hike for children with interesting rock formations. Enter Appalachian Trail northbound on Route 4, nine miles south of Rangeley. The walk is 1.8 miles one-way.
ROUND TOP TRAIL
The trailhead is located 2 miles on Dodge Pond Road from Route 4, look for a parking lot. This trail offers an easy family hike marked with red blaze. It is approximately 1.2 miles one way to the Quimby Pond area.
SPENCER POND TRAIL
A short walk, one mile each way, on an old gravel road, great for children. The trail is on the left off of Route 17, approximately 12.7 miles south of Oquossoc.
A popular roadside picnic area with several scenic neighboring waterfalls surrounded by sculptured cliffs on the Sandy River and Chandler Mill Stream. The falls drop 54 feet with swimming and wading pools at the bottom. Cross the footbridge and follow the walking trail along the stream to the other falls. Located 12 miles south of Rangeley on Route 4. Picnic tables, grills and restroom facilities.
WILHELM REICH MUSEUM WALKING TRAILS
Trails are a series of interconnecting loops. Self-Guided Trail: 30 discovery posts, corresponding guidebook, .5 miles. Trail of Thoughts: marked by thought-provoking quotations on nature, .25 miles. Original Trail: easy loop hike, 1 mile. Quimby Brook Trail: great terrain, 2.2 miles. A bird blind to watch wildlife, and picnic tables are also available. Located on Dodge Pond Road, open Wednesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
BLACK MOUNTAIN OF MAINE
Offering many trails for walking and hiking with gorgeous views from the summit. Take a left from the Rumford Information Center on to Route 2 and a quick right on to Spruce Street. Follow this road to the end, which is at the top of a hill, and take a right on to the Isthmus Road. There will be a sign on the left for Black Mountain approximately 2.5 miles. Turn left on Glover Road and follow it until you reach the mountain. Parking is available.
A beautiful scenic gorge carved into bedrock by the Swift River located in Byron. Walking trails, viewpoints and picnic tables are available. In addition, you can swim or pan for gold in the river. From Route 2 in Mexico take Route 17 west 13 miles to Coos Canyon, parking will be on the right.
MOUNT ZIRCON ACCESS
From the Rumford Information Center parking lot, turn left and proceed to the top of the hill. At the top of the hill, turn left on to the South Rumford Road crossing the river on the high bridge and proceed 0.9 mile to a fork. Bear right at the fork and continue for 2.2 miles to the now closed Mount Zircon Spring Water Company plant. Access to the mountain is approximately 100 yards beyond this point. A gravel road between two residences is marked by a pipe gate and a sign proclaiming Rumford Water District. There is parking for a few cars.
Pass under the gate and follow the gravel road. At approximately 1.5 miles, there is a white building on the left covering the well known Moontide Spring – take an opportunity to sample the water from the overflow pipe that empties on the right side of the road. Continue for another 0.5 mile to where the trail to the summit bears left (there is a sign) and continues for another 0.5 mile to a nearly treeless summit.
RUMFORD WHITECAP ACCESS
The summit area is an excellent place to pick blueberries and is also a favorite place for observing birds. Starting at the parking lot of the Rumford Information Center, turn left on to US Route 2 and follow approximately 5 miles to Rumford Center. In Rumford Center, turn right on to Route 5 on Andover Road and follow for 1.6 miles to a right turn on to the Coburn Brook Road. It is 0.8 mile to the trailhead.
There is no sign at the trailhead, but it can be identified by a small hillside field on the right side of the road that serves as a parking area. It is also indicated by a narrow parking spot on the left side adjacent to Coburn Brook. The trail starts as an old logging road for 0.5 mile, at which point it bears left for a short distance (less than 0.25 mile) before arriving at the base of a ledge. The ledge is negotiated best on the left side and is not especially steep or long (about 100 feet). Once at the top of the ledge, the path is nearly level with only occasional rises for approximately 0.75 mile on mostly bare ledge interspersed with stunted softwoods to the bare summit.
SWIFT RIVER WALKING TRAIL
Walking trails and picnic tables run along the Swift River in Rumford. Take a right from the Rumford Information Center on to Route 2 and follow to the traffic light. Go straight through the light, you are now on Hancock Street/Route 120. Drive approximately 1/2 mile on Hancock Street and turn right into the recreation area to park. The right is just before a blue house with a fence, if you get to the high school you have gone too far.
CROCKER MOUTAIN CIRQUE
A nice reflecting pool surrounded by the towering walls of the North and South Crocker mountains. This trail offers a nice variety of settings for lunch or an overnight stay at the small campsite. For this short, easy hike, take the Caribou Pond Road 1 mile north of the Sugarloaf Access Road on the left, off Route 27.
POPULAR STREAM FALLS
Consists of two scenic waterfalls on two streams, with drops of 24 and 51 feet, and a great swimming hole. The falls are an easy 1 1/2 mile walk in a gorge on the right. To get to the falls, turn off Route 27 in Carrabassett Valley at the Valley Crossing building. Cross the bridge over the Carrabassett River and go straight past the ski camps and homes. Continue up the old discontinued county road marked by a snowmobile sign.
WEST MOUNTAIN FALLS
This nature trail begins at the Sugarloaf/USA Golf Course and entails a short, easy hike to a quiet, scenic area on the south branch of the Carrabassett River (.3 mile). A great place to relax, swim or picnic.
Located off Route 9 in Pownal. A short ascent up wooded ledges to bald lookout to the South and a branch trail to the North lookout. A good family hike offering additional hiking trails and cross-country skiing on site. The hike is 3/4 mile to both summits and back with an elevation of 200 feet.
DOUGLAS MOUNTAIN PRESERVE
This 169 acre preserve located in Sebago offers wooded mountain exploration with spectacular views from the summit. Waking trails, picnic area and parking.
Located off Route 302 in Fryeburg. An easy 1/3 mile climb (200 feet) to the summit of a naked gray granite outcrop resembling its namesake. The 360° views at the summit are identified on a monument erected by Fryeburg resident and Artic explorer Robert E. Peary.
MAINE WILDLIFE PARK
This State-run home for injured or orphaned animals – bear, deer, moose, coyote, raccoon and pheasant – is also a Wildlife Education Center offering self-guided nature trails and picnic facilities. The park is located next to the Dry Mills Fish Hatchery, where brook, brown and lake trout are raised. There is an admission fee.