Posted on June 23, 2020 and last updated on January 19, 2023

Bog Brook, Whitten Hill and Northern Headwaters Preserves, Montville


  • Preserve Size: 1,250 acres
  • Trail Mileage: Many miles
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Sights: marshes, old-growth forests, historic dams, fields

Bog Brook, Whitten Hill, and Northern Headwaters preserve trails in orange, Hogback Mountain in blue, Frye Mountain in yellow, Dave Rock trail in dark green. Note: Hogback Mountain is on private land, and visiting rules can change. 

Along with seeing some interesting sites, including historic dams and marsh views, you can go on a long walk here—as long as 10 or 15 miles  in the Whitten Hill and Bog Brook Preserves. Or, if you’re really ambitious, you can hike the 47-mile trek on the astonishing Hills to Sea trail! (Of which these preserves are just a part.)

The trail network at the Sheepscot Headwaters, as the Midcoast Conservancy calls this region, encompasses the preserves of Bog Brook, Whitten Hill, and Northern Headwaters. It feels remote and not visited by many. The whole network  is mostly well signed and blazed.

The Bog Brook Preserve encloses a large, hidden marsh and pretty stream with several pools (at least one made by beavers). In Whitten Hill Preserve, you can go on a long loop that includes fields and hemlock forests. There are some some long ascents and descents, but it never feels too strenuous. And Northern Headwaters Preserve contains old forests and historic dams, as well the headwaters for the Sheepscot River.

From Northern Headwaters Preserve, you can head north on the Goose Ridge Trail, a roughly four-mile one-way trail between Penney Road and Freedom Pond Road, and a segment of the Hills to Sean Trail. This trail is easy to moderate, with a few views from farm fields. (There are a few unofficial trails that crisscross the main path, which is well blazed and easy to follow.)

Dave Rock Trail is a 1.5-mile (one way), there-and-back trail that follows a stream before heading up to corn fields before ending at Route 220.

The Midcoast Conservancy’s fantastic map includes some of the highlights of the trails in this area and trail distances. 

Directions: The trailhead is on Halldale Road, about .9 miles from the junction with Burnham Hill Road. You will pass two trailheads for the trail network on your way to the large parking area for Whitten Hill Preserve, which will be on your left a bit after the road turns to gravel. Unofficially, you can park at the side of Penny Road, too, or Freedom Pond Road, if you want to go far.

Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!