Green Point Wildlife Management Area, Dresden

This is an idyllic walk in many ways — it’s easy, charming, and includes an old orchard, small ponds, meadows, and views over the Kennebec River. It’s very popular with birders. As far I could tell when I visited in the spring of 2017, the best place to walk is along an old road which wanders down to an outlook over the river, about .6 miles from the start. There’s two benches and a picnic table here. And I think it must be possible to go swimming?

There is also a slightly fainter old road that veers off to the right, taking you to a large meadow. There might be more trails in this preserve but on the day I went, people were out training their hunting dogs in the field so I didn’t dare explore over there!

Natural Resources Council of Maine has more info.

Directions: From Route 197 in Dresden, turn onto Route 128 (or the River Road) in Dresden. The management area is about two miles south of the intersection with Rte. 197. There is a large sight for the area and a big parking lot on the right. You can also drive 50-100 more feet or so and park at a little gravel lot in front of the gated road. This is the road to the picnic area.

Earle Kelley Wildlife Management Area, Dresden

Wildlife management areas tend to be hit or miss in terms of having nice walking trails. This is a good one. You follow an old dirt road, or at least a wide, clear path, for about one mile before coming to a lovely pond, or bog — the Dresden Bog. The grassy bank makes for a good stick throwing perch. The trail does split into two before the bog. When it branches here, go left. The trail on the right continues into the woods.

Directions: The easiest way to Dresden is to head north or south on Rte. 295 and to get off at the Richmond exit, exit 43. Head toward town, east, on Rte. 197 (which means you take a right if you’re coming from the south, left if you’re coming from the north). Go through town and at the T-junction facing the river, turn left (you’ll be continuing on Rte. 197). When the road bears rights 1/4 mile later, bear right and cross the bridge. Continue on 197 for a couple miles — you’ll cross another river — until it ends at Rte 127. Take a left and follow this road to the T-junction with Rte 27. Take a right, and then a quick left right after the gas station onto Blinn Hill Rd. Follow Blinn Hill Rd for a couple of miles or so until you see Bog Rd on your right. Go about 1/2 mile and park at the small parking lot on your right, which should have a chain blocking the road. The trail is straight ahead.

View Earle Kelley Wildlife Management Area in a larger map

Pownalborough Court House Trails, Dresden

The Lincoln County Historical Association received a grant from the state to build miles of trails through the 75 acres of woods across from its old court house (where you can check out real stocks!). There are lots of sweet surprises in the forest, particularly in the springtime when the wildflowers begin to peek out. “A stream runs through a steep, densely wooded ravine containing several small dells,” according to the association. “As a result the terrain is sheltered and the trees have grown to great height.”

Also, a new wheelchair-accessible trail has been added to the trail system, too, which is wonderful. 

Be warned though: as soon as you head off the universally accessible trail, it gets very steep as you head away from the courthouse. The trail signage is abundant and helpful.

Directions: If you’re coming from Richmond on Rte. 197, turn left at the intersection with the blinking lights onto Rte.128. Go 1.3 miles to the court house on your left. Parking is possible in two places: down the driveway and to your left a bit, or at the side of a field across from the driveway.