Curtis Homestead Conservation Area, Leeds

From the parking area, you can choose one of three grassy trails that lead through pretty fields before heading into the woods. You can do either (or both) a shorter stroll on the Lower Fields Loop Trail, or a longer walk around the Woodlot Trail. Both are mostly forested. The preserve, once the childhood home of former Maine Governor Kenneth M. Curtis, is good for birding, and includes fields, mature and less mature woodlands, and wetlands. It is well cared for by the Kennebec Land Trust.

Directions: From Route 202 in Monmouth, go west on the Bog Rd. for about 1.5 miles. The parking area on the right is about .25 miles from the junction with Route 106.

Monument Hill, Leeds

This loop trail offers a short, brisk climb to an open ledge, looking west, and a Civil War monument erected in 1895 by Major General Oliver Otis Howard. Howard, who was from Leeds, was an interesting fellow who graduated from Bowdoin College in 1850. Among his career highlights was his appointment by President Lincoln to commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau, where he oversaw the integration of former slaves into American society. The college has digitized his letters, photographs and diaries.

Soon after the trailhead kiosk, you’ll have a choice of going left or right. I think both routes are equally steep, but thankfully short! The trail is well marked, but there do appear to be other, unofficial trails heading off into the woods close to the top.

Directions: There is a narrow pull-off for several cars on North Road, where the trailhead is located. From Route 106, turn onto Church Hill Road. The turn to North Road on the right will be approximately a mile. Go another mile on North Road, and the trailhead will be on the right.