QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 2,675 acres
- Trail Mileage: ~23 miles in network
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy mostly
- Sights: 12 miles of river frontage, forest, meadow
This park, which opened in 2010, is about 2,700 acres huge! It contains 12 miles of frontage along the slow, wide Androscoggin River (or it looks like it’s slow), and has miles and miles of trails — a combo of walking/biking trails and ATV trails. Some of the trail loops are almost 10 miles, so you can prepare for a day’s worth of hiking if you head out here. A really good map of this park is here, although since they put it out, a new trail has been created in the northern section.
The north part of the park is more widely used, I think, and there are more walking paths on this end. The ATV trails are not always pleasant for walkers because on nice weekend days, you can feel as if you might get run down by a motorbike or other machine on wheels. The snowmobile/ATV trails intersect with the park and go for miles outside of it, if you are inclined to continue your walk!
When I visited in spring of 2016, the ATV trails were not marked, although they’re wide and easy to follow. The walking trails are blazed, but not meticulously so.
Notes from 2016: The Ledge Trail is lovely, you go fairly high up on a ridge to the Ridge Trail. But the junction between the two trail is not marked and is very easy to miss. Or, it was for me. It’s right at the top of the ridge after you finish your ascent up Ledge Trail. Also, though one end of the Ledge Trail has a sign from where it departs from the ATV trail, the other side doesn’t. Just a small cairn, easy to miss, off to the side of the trail. On the official park map I’ve included here, the Abenaki path is incorrect. That is actually the Greenleaf Trail. And no matter how hard I looked, I could not find either end of the Bradford Hill Trail. Just a little cairn on one end and then no obvious footpath!
Directions: From Auburn, head north on Route 4. Soon after crossing the town line into Turner, you’ll see Conant Road. Follow that past the golf course to the parking lot on the left.
Which trail to take with a group of 4 year olds for a scavenger hunt? We will be there for 2 hours and have a picnic!
That sounds fun! If I were you, I would take the Homestead Path (in the north end of the park) to where there is a little clearing and a picnic table and lovely views of the river, and then hike back along the Porcupine Path. I think it’s roughly a mile from the parking lot to the clearing — I hope the little ones are troopers! And remember to look for ticks! They are bad right now.
Interested in kayaking, ideas where to put in and take out?
I think you can put your boat in at the the Center Bridge, on Center Bridge Road, just beyond the main (north) entrance to the park. There should be small sign with a boat on it. Hope you have fun!
Any information about where the park passport station is located ?
When I was there, there was no station at either the north or south parking lots. The park still feels a bit wild! It’s kind of nice, though.