Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson

A spectacular outdoor mecca — plus so much more — created by founders David “Tracy” Moskovitz and Bambi Jones. Hidden Valley Nature Center offers over 20 miles of trails on 1000 acres of forest and bog, and it includes one mile of shoreline along a quiet lake. Plus, you can rent overnight cabins here. My map just shows some of the trails — there’s lots more to explore! The Center does a good job marking easy, moderate, and difficult trails, and there are some fun downhills and climbs on this rolling preserve.

The trails are groomed for skiing.

About its mission, Hidden Valley says it best, so I’ll quote its website here: “The trail network connects the pond with one of the most ecologically diverse and undeveloped roadless tracts of forestland in the region — making it a gem of wilderness in the midst of the rapidly developing Mid-Coast region. Hidden Valley Nature Center’s mission has three parts: (1) To offer premier opportunities for outdoor, non-motorized recreation; (2) To offer educational opportunities related to the natural world, ecological literacy, and sustainable communities; and (3) To model innovative and sustainable forestry practices.”

Directions: The address for the center, which has several of plowed parking lots, is 131 Egypt Rd. in Jefferson. There is a daily fee.