QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: +400 acres
- Trail Mileage: ~4.5 miles
- Pets: no
- Difficulty: easy
- Sights: red maple swamp, Muddy River, boardwalk, Holt Pond
Bald Pate trails in blue; Five Fields Farm X-C trails in green; Holt Pond trails in red
My biggest piece of advice for this walk is do not try to access the trail head via the west along Grist Mill Road. The going is very rough on a little car. Instead, get to the parking lot via Perley Road from Route 302. My second bit of advice is to wear good shoes because the going can be wet here, even though there are a lot of planks and boards laid out on the trail.
The roughly 4.5-mile main trail takes you around Holt Pond — although there are a couple other trails to explore here. I at one point wandered off the path…keep to the blazes! I also couldn’t find the connector trail to Town Farm Brook Trail, although you should, theoretically, be able to walk from Bald Pate Mountain to Holt Pond preserve along the Town Farm Brook Trail.
You can also head off the loop trail to a rougher trail that crosses Grist Mill Road and climbs up Byron’s Hill (no views, at least not in summer). The trails here don’t get much foot traffic — they’re pretty overgrown. I followed a blazed trail that branched off right from the Byron Hill trail for a ways but eventually lost it. It likely continues climbing a nearby hill.
Finally, it is easy to miss the trail when you are walking on the brief stretch of road (Chaplain Mill Road). The narrow, hard-to-see trail crosses a meadow. You’ll probably only notice it if you first spot the trail sign at the forest edge across the field. The more than 400 acres at Holt Pond Preserve are protected by the Lakes Environmental Association. No dogs allowed here.
Here is an interpretive guide.
Directions: From Route 302, turn onto Perley Road. After 1.5 miles, turn right onto the dirt road of Grist Mill Road. Go straight for .3 miles and turn left into parking area, which has a small sign.