Bald Pate Mountain Preserve and Five Fields Farm, Bridgton
Bald Pate trails in blue; Five Fields Farm X-C trails in green; Holt Pond trails in red
This 486-acre preserve, protected by the Loon Echo Land Trust, offers a quick and easy climb to a beautiful open summit with an ancient pitch pine forest and lovely views all around. The easiest way to summit, and the path with the most views along the way, is the .8 mile Bob Chase Trail. The South Face Loop is a bit tougher and longer. You can also walk from this preserve to the Holt Pond Preserve or close to it via the Town Farm Brook Trail (which is blazed with purple tags. I haven’t done this yet and am not sure what condition the trail is in). Cross-country ski trails from Five Fields Farm (in green) also intersect the mountain trail network.
Five Fields Farm grooms their trails in the winter, but call ahead before you head out to check on this (when I visited in late December, they hadn’t gotten around to it yet). The trails are pretty, weaving through the apple orchards and forests. They are also on a fairly significant slop, so expect long up- and downhills. The farm rents snowshoes and skis. (When I returned later in the winter, the trails were groomed and beautiful!)
Directions: From US Route 302 in Bridgton, follow ME Route 117 south. In 1 mile, turn left onto ME Route 107 heading south and drive approximately 4 miles. The Bald Pate Mountain main parking area is located at the crest of the hill, on the left side of the road, just past Five Fields Farm apple orchard and cross country ski area. A short driveway leads to a big parking lot and the kiosk.
Photos below are of the farm’s x-c trails