Bell’s Mountain, Crane Mountain, Edmunds Township

These trails form two short loops (each is just about .6 miles) within the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. It was rather tricky finding the trailhead for the 213-foot Bell’s Mountain. While the parking lot was easy to find, off Bell Mountain Road, the trailhead was so overgrown it was impossible at first to detect. Look to the left of the overgrown drive behind a gate (the driveway goes to a little cabin). Behind the hedges and bushes will be a trail sign. An orange tag might be visible from the road. The Bell’s Mountain trail is a little steeper than the Crane Mountain loop. The gravel access road to both is pretty good, quite passable. While there are views, they are not stop-dead-in-your-tracks caliber. You can find more information here.

Directions: From Route 1, turn onto Bell Mountain Road, roughly 2.5 miles after the intersection of Route 1 and Route 189. Go about 1,200 feet to the Bell’s Mountain trailhead on left. The trail is to the left of the parking lot, if you’re facing away from the access road. To reach Crane Mountain trailhead, continue on the gravel road for .7 miles. Bear right at fork in the road and follow to the end of a short road for trailhead parking.

Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Edmunds Township

I might call this trail a hidden gem, or at least a pretty stone! While it is hard to voluntarily opt to hike an inland trail in this part of Maine when there are so many gorgeous coastal paths, I am so glad I walked this trail. The Moosehorn Wildlife Refuge has two large sections — one in Edmunds Township and one slightly north in Baring.

In the Edmunds Township refuge, there is just one walking path. Other paths marked on this Cobscook Trails map appear to have been discontinued. If you drive into the refuge on South Trail Road, you’ll first pass a very short paved trail to a wooden platform lookout. It is wheelchair accessible, and the view appears to be of forest and bog. Being sort of a naturalist nincompoop, I wasn’t sure what was exciting about the view.

If you keep driving down the road, you’ll find the Wilderness Trail trailhead and small parking area. This trail is about four miles, and takes you through some forests and past a couple of wetlands. It is peaceful. You’ll end up at a creek (Hobart Stream) and another small parking lot, and if you only have one car, should walk back along the gravel road (about two miles).

I also recommend another section of this refuge, especially perhaps for people interested in birds. If you continue driving north on Route 1 from this area about 2.6 miles or so, you’ll pass a little pull-over place along the road and an old overgrown track blocked by a gate. Walk past the gate and along the faint track to a little bridge to see some nice views.

Directions: From Route 1, turn onto South Trail Road, close to Cobscook Bay State Park. This is a one-way road. You will find the trailhead for the Wilderness Trail at about .9 miles (you’ll pass a little parking lot for the paved, wheelchair-accessible path on your left at about .5 miles). You must leave the refuge from North Trail Road.

Cobscook Bay State Park Nature Trails, Edmunds Township

Probably campers in the state park will enjoy these trails the most. They’re short, and take you to the summits of tiny Cunningham Mountain (150 ft.) and Littles Mountain (210 ft.). But there are so many other beautiful spots around here that if you have limited time, you might want to skip these little ones. That being said, they’re short and easy.

The Nature Trail, near the ranger’s station at the park entrance, is 1.2 miles. And the Shore Trail is .75 miles. You can pick up the Shore Trail by campsite 17. It comes out between campsites 18 and 20. To summit Littles Mountain, which has a fire tower you’re not allowed to climb, you can also park along South Edmunds Street outside of the park. The trail, across the street, takes you up the .2-mile trail to the summit. The last bit is a bit steep.

Directions: Take US Route 1 to Edmunds and look for park signs marking the turnoff onto South Edmunds Road. The main park entrance is on the right 0.5 miles from the turnoff.  Stop at the park entrance to obtain a trail map and pay the day-use fee.