After work today I hiked the West Branch Dead Stream section of the Alder Stream Wilderness Preserve in Atkinson. The preserve is administered by the Northeast Wilderness Trust and consists of multiple parcels of conservation land bordering Alder Stream and the Piscataquis River. More information on the preserve and it's history can be found on the Trust's website http://www.newildernesstrust.org/projects/maine/greater-alder-stream-piscataquis-river-project.
The West Branch section was purchased in 2014 from a forest and real estate company. There are a number of grass and gravel roads running throughout the preserve that make hiking the area relatively easy. The path I used today led me past and over several scenic wetlands, including the West Branch Dead Stream. The path had a number of downed trees along it that appear to have fallen during the recent storm a few weeks ago but it was still passable.
I spotted a number of birds on my hike, including hawks and woodpeckers. Although I didn't see any mammals, there were several piles of recent coyote and bear scat as well as coyote tracks.
Allowable activities on the preserve include quiet recreation (hiking, walking, snowshoeing, etc.) and limited hunting (permit required). Dogs, bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed.
Here is a map of my hike. I had limited time today and was just interested in getting out and exploring this area. I plan on returning in the near future and spending significantly more time checking out the extensive road network.
Overall the hike today was very enjoyable. The preserve was extremely quiet and offers a remote feel.
The preserve is approximately 40 minutes from Bangor. There is limited road signage for the preserve, so to find the access road that I used today, use GPS coordinates Latitude: 45.11643948, Longitude: -69.04495037 or click on this Google Maps link.
I apologize for the quality of the pictures as it was cloudy and late in the day.