Posted on August 17, 2023 and last updated on August 17, 2023

Musquash Esker Trail, Grand Lake Stream


  • Preserve Size: 21,870 acres
  • Trail Mileage: 1.4 miles one way
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: fen, forested esker, peaceful views

If you look at this trail on Google maps, you can see that it follows an esker out into a fen (which very informative panels along the trail will enlighten you is different than a bog!). Another panel explains how glaciers made eskers, those long, narrow raised mounds you encounter on many Maine walks. Musquash Esker was created 12,500 years ago.

I was initially not excited by this one-way, flat trail when I looked at it on the map, but very soon after I began walking along the ADA-accessible path, I realized I was in an amazing place. It is part of the Downeast Lakes Community Forest’s 55,678 acres, which includes several large lakes.

The peatland around the esker is beautiful (and includes a domed bog hidden out of sight). There is a unique, sweet smell to the place, which I thought must be emanating from the peatland vegetation? There are places along the trail you can check out the fen, including from a bench on a platform at the end, set so you can take in the sight of Amazon Mountain rising behind Big Musquash Stream. The wooded trail along the esker is charming, too, and on the day I visited, lined with mushrooms.

The trail, protected by Downeast Lakes Land Trust, also early on passes quarry ponds and a small meadow. The panels placed along the trail length are filled with interesting information. And the trail is very easy, smooth, and flat. Expect a great sense of peace when you get to the end of the path.

Directions: The trailhead parking area is marked with a sign on the north side of Milford Road, about 5.5 miles east of Grand Lake Stream. The trail begins behind a gate on the old “Talmadge Road.”

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