QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 27,080 acres
- Trail Mileage: 5-mile loop
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy to moderate
- Sights: West Grand Lake, Little Mayberry Cove
For a quiet, solitary walk, I highly recommend this Downeast Lake Land Trust trail! It follows the shore of West Grand Lake for about 2.8 miles, ending at a bench overlooking a part of Little Mayberry Cove. You can retrace your steps or walk back along dirt roads for a 5-mile loop.
The trail is part of the Downeast Lakes Community Forest’s more than 57,000 acres, which includes several large lakes.
While the forest terrain along the lake shore is uneven and there are roots and rocks to navigate, the trail is mostly flat and easy. You’ll pass through luminous mossy patches and cross four private driveways.
You can access the water at Hammon Point, the first overlook at about 1.5 miles from the Shaw Street parking lot. It’s swimmable but rocky. The second and third overlooks offer slightly easier access to the water, but they’re still rocky. Swimming did look tempting in the clear water, though. Bring a suit!
The trail along the lake shore is well marked and easy to follow. But that ease ended, unfortunately, when I tried to make my way back along the logging roads, which the land trust suggests and marks on its map. I kept inadvertently turning down people’s driveways! Here are what I think are decent directions: When the shore path emerges onto the dirt road, at about 3.3 miles, go straight. (The road on your left is a driveway.) Continue on the road as it bends to the left. In half a mile, you’ll see another driveway on your left; continue straight. The road continues another 1.4 miles (passing another driveway) to the Daugherty Ridge Road parking area on your right. The trailhead is just ahead on the left, marked with a sign. It brings you down through woods for 0.3 miles where it intersects with the shore trail. Take a right to return to the parking area on Shaw Street, another half mile.
Directions: There are two parking areas for this trail: One is at the end of Shaw Street, by the Grand Lake Stream dam, and the other is on Daugherty Ridge Road, a dirt road that can be a bit rough on low-clearance cars. The Shaw Street lot is paved, but you’ll have an extra 0.5 mile to walk along camp roads to reach the trail head.
If you start from Shaw Road, look for the Shaw Street Extension road by the dam; it’ll bend away from the lake. At the next intersection, look for a hiking sign indicating the fire lane on your right. Continue along this lane until you reach another intersection, and another hiking sign, and go left. Continue up the private drive for a short ways (only hikers allowed) and you’ll see the trail on your left; it will be well marked.