Posted on October 18, 2022 and last updated on October 30, 2022

Horseshoe, Pearl, Grassy Pond Trails, AMC Maine Woods Initiative


  • Preserve Size: 100,000 acres
  • Trail Mileage: 4.3 miles in network
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: ponds, mountain views

At the end of the passable roads in this part of the AMC North Woods, you’ll come across a small cluster of ponds with a network of trails linking them. You can do a fairly lengthy walk if you’re determined to see all of them. The trails are also connected to those around Little Lyford Lodge. Check out the map below or at the AMC summer map on its website.

Additionally, there are four first-come-first-served campsites along the access road, maintained by the AMC, and a reservable lean-to at Horseshoe Pond, according to the Little Lyford Lodge staff. Call the AMC for more info!

If you time to only visit one pond, I recommend taking Horseshoe Pond Trail down to the small beach and boat launch near the Norkin Shelter. The 0.4-mile trail (one way) is crushed gravel and gently graded, so seems wheelchair accessible. The swimming possibilities looks enticing at the pond. Actually at both Horseshoe Pond access points, the swimming looks good, better than at the other ponds.

If you want to check out other ponds, you can follow old woods roads to the small Pearl Ponds and to another nice point on Horseshoe Pond, as well as to Mountain Brook Pond. The AMC keeps canoes at all the pond edges — you can borrow paddles and life jackets at Little Lyford Lodge (and they might only be available to guests? I’m not sure what the policy is).

The trails go up and down and can be overgrown in parts, so are a touch more rugged than you would expect for a pond hop! We saw two beautiful moose near Horseshoe Pond.

Directions: From Greenville, take KI Road all the way past the gatehouse. When it hits the T-junction, you’ll see a sign to Little Lyford Lodge. Go left. Continue on this road; it turns left and becomes Upper Valley Road after the parking area for Gulf Hagas. Drive past the driveway to Little Lyford Lodge on your right, and continue as the road takes a sharp bend to the left and becomes Baker Pond Road. Follow this, past all four campsites, until it dead-ends at a parking area for Horseshoe Pond.


Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!