Friday, December 31, 2021

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Snowshoeing Baxter State Park, Foss and Knowlton Trail (Abol to Foss and Knowlton Pond)

The Foss and Knowlton Trail is located in the southwest corner of Baxter State Park, branching off from the Appalachian Trail shortly after Abol Bridge.   

We snowshoed 6.4 miles round-trip to Foss Knowlton Pond from Abol Bridge.  The hike started mostly flat, mildly undulating for the first half of the hike, then gradually ascended to the pond, gaining 400 feet of elevation over the final 1.5 miles.  

This was a great hike through Baxter's forested landscape.  The trail had been hard-packed from previous travelers, making hiking relatively easy.   On a clear day the shoreline of Foss and Knowlton Pond provides excellent views of Mt. Katahdin.  Today was cloudy, however, and it started snowing as we approached the pond.  We enjoyed the limited views anyway, stopping to heat up lunch and relax before journeying back.  

Our trail guide (the excellent Katahdin: A Guide to Baxter State Park) noted that we would cross two streams during our hike, including one requiring a ford.  A deep layer of snow and ice covered the portion that would have required fording, and a bridge crossed the second stream.  

A 45 acre area near the trail had burned in a May 2020 wildfire, and it was interesting to observe the impact of the fire and the regenerative growth that has occurred since.    

Here is a map of our hike. 


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Reynolds Forest (Sidney)

Reynolds Forest is a 35 acre preserve managed by the Kennebec Land Trust.  The preserve features a short lollipop hiking trail leading through woods to a waterfall and historic foundation.  More information on the property can be found at the Trust's website.

We had an appointment in August this morning so made a brief stop and hiked the preserve's 3/4 mile trail.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Reeds Brook Trails & ITS 82 (Hampden)

I did a quick pre-work 2.5 mile hike at dawn today, starting at the Reeds Brook trails and then exploring the ITS 82 snowmobile trail.  ITS 82 runs through scenic woodlands in this section, feeling remote despite it's proximity to residential areas.   

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Richardson Tract (Orrington)

We went for a nice 1.9 mile hike today at the Richardson Tract in Orrington.  The 160 acre town-owned property has trails leading through forested areas in different stages of growth.  Here is a map of our hike. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Lake George Regional Park (Canaan)

We hiked the Pinnacle Trail at Lake George Regional Park today.  The 2.7 mile (roundtrip) trail gradually ascends Jewett Hill to it's forested summit.   The hike was fun and not overly taxing as the snow was packed down firmly and there was little ice.   

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Snowshoeing Lily Bay State Park

The Greenville area received around 6 inches of fresh snow yesterday so we decided to go snowshoeing at Lily Bay State Park, despite strong winds and single digit temperatures.   

State Park Road was plowed through the middle of the park.   We started our snowshoe hike there and made a lollipop loop to Turtle Point, breaking trail the entire way as no one had been there since the snowfall.  

This was a beautiful 1.5 mile hike through a pine forest with views of distant mountains from the lake shore.   

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Snowshoeing at Sunrise, Bangor Municipal Golf Course

Did a quick one hour snowshoe trek this morning at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course and was treated to a beautiful sunrise.   Great way to start the day!

Monday, December 20, 2021

HRS Meadow Farm Wildlife Sanctuary (Stockton Springs)

While researching the Sandy Point WMA in Stockton Springs I noticed an adjacent property called HRS Meadow Farm Wildlife Sanctuary.   There was little information on the Internet regarding the property other than its Facebook page.

The road leading into the preserve was not plowed so I snowshoed up to what I think may be the visitor center.   There was a sign reading Trails but no indication where the trails were.  

I trekked counterclockwise around the perimeter of the property as there appeared to be a trail leading across the field.  I explored a number of what appeared to be trails, none of which led anywhere.   Finally, on the way back and after snowshoeing 1.5 miles already I came across a trail leading into the woods over a small bridge.   I followed the trail around 4/10 of a mile until it appeared to abruptly end (afterwards I noticed it would have connected to one of the trails I had explored earlier).  It was a pretty trail nonetheless, leading through a pine forest.

Overall I hiked 2.4 miles and am glad that I explored this preserve.  

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Snowshoeing Hermon/Bangor Snowmobile Trails

I recently purchased a Pro subscription to OnX Hunt, an app that displays property ownership information overlaid on a map.   The app has allowed me to identify areas to hike and snowshoe that I wouldn't have otherwise thought of.  

We received around 4 inches of snow last night so I decided to explore an area owned by Versant Power which is crisscrossed by snowmobile trails.   We haven't had any significant snowfall yet, so I had the trails to myself.   This turned out to be a beautiful three mile hike close to home.  

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Acadia Mountain (Acadia National Park)

We went hiking today on Acadia Mountain in Acadia National Park. This is a great 2 mile round trip hike that is moderate due to elevation gain.  

Sunday, December 12, 2021

West Side Park and Glenburn Snowmobile Trails (Glenburn)

I was looking for a local hike to do at sunrise this morning and found a great trail system in Glenburn.  The Town's website mentions simply that there are trails and includes an aerial photo of West Side Park without delineating the trails (although they are somewhat visible in the photo).  

Starting at the Park's parking lot off Ohio drive, the park itself has a small looping trail system with wide trails.  The trails connect to a linear snowmobile trail running east to west parallel to Ohio Drive. The snowmobile trail is mostly flat and in good condition.  I hiked west until I saw a house, then hiked east until I came to a flooded section (due to yesterday's rains and snow melt).   Had I continued west, the trail would have linked with a longer snowmobile trail system. 

Overall this was a nice 3 mile hike through woods.  Here is a map of my hike.   

Friday, December 10, 2021

Quick morning hike at Ecotat (Hermon)

I haven't done anything outside all week so did a quick pre-work one mile hike at Ecotat this morning in the single digit weather.  The only footprints and tracks were those left by animals.   

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Trenton Community Trail (Trenton)

The Trenton Community Trail is a 2.4 mile mostly flat and wooded trail located behind the Acadia Gateway Center off Route 3 in Trenton. The 8 year old property is owned by the Town of Trenton and is maintained with assistance from the non-profit group Friends of Acadia.

Friends and I hiked the trail this very cold morning.  The well maintained trail travels through a variety of forest communities and includes a boardwalk and interpretive signs. The short boardwalk leads to a view of a bog with an informative sign detailing the history of the bog.   

Friday, December 3, 2021

LL Bean Parcel (Hampden)

I had use-or-lose leave at work so I took the day off to run some errands.  I did a short local hike in the morning, exploring the 234 acre LL Bean Parcel in Hampden.

The Town of Hampden lists the Parcel on its website on a map of town-owned hunting lands.  The town's map shows several "walking trails" on the property.  The town's 2007 Forest Management Plan provides a detailed history of the property: 

The parcel was owned by the US Government and served as a military installation until 1981. During that time, the primary management objective at that time was to support military training. Clearcutting was used to keep trees and brush from obscuring radar visibility from the training facility. In 1981, the parcel was granted to Ernest Sprowl and Salvatore Messina, who then transferred it to L.L. Bean, Inc. in 1989. In 2004, L.L. Bean granted the property to the Town of Hampden.

In a number of documents on the Town's website, it appears that a formal trail system was being considered for the property for several years.  In its 2014 annual report, the Town notes that a local resident had constructed a parking lot to access the trails.

In spite of the attention that the property has received over the years, there is no signage and  no formal trail markings.  I initially entered the property from Route 202, walking along a dirt path and trying to following the trail map provided by the town.  The initial section of trail was rough, overgrown and flooded at parts and felt more like being off-trail.  I was able to find a more developed trail system further into the parcel, and at one point came across an old paved road from the military complex (see topo map from 1946 below).  There was still an ammo bunker located on the property.  

I spotted a few deer from a distance and spent some time watching a pileated woodpecker.   I hiked a total distance of 2.5 miles.