Posted on July 16, 2018 and last updated on July 22, 2018

Perley Mills Community Forest, Denmark and Bridgton

QUICK TRAIL FACTS

  • Preserve Size: 1666 acres
  • Trail Mileage: Several miles of wide track
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: Pickerel Pond, wetlands, brooks

This map is incomplete.

While there are no footpaths here (yet?), I think one of the best ways for hikers to enjoy this large tract of community land is to walk the southern section of the old narrow gauge railroad between Hancock Pond and Pickerel Pond. The 1.2-mile track is wide, often sandy, and easy, and passes some pretty brooks and wetlands. When I visited, I interrupted a deer grazing in one of these wet areas. It made high leaps through the marshy vegetation. Other than for the sand, the path is easily passable by wheelchair. 

If you start at Hancock Pond, it might be easiest to park at the public boat launch off Hancock Pond Road. There is also plenty of parking at Pickerel Pond. Both places look like decent swimming spots.

In total, the narrow gauge track runs for three miles through the community forest from end to end. Snowmobile paths continue on at either end for miles, I believe. Some multi-use tracks also branch off the narrow gauge trail. I haven’t explored the whole area — I’ll come back with my skis this winter.

Directions: From Portland, follow Rt. 302 west.to Rt. 117 south to Rt. 107 south. Follow Rt. 107 to the Sebago town line. Turn right onto Swamp Road. Turn right onto Hancock Pond Road. The unmarked entrance to Pickerel Pond (also known as Perely Pond) is located a short distance on the right.

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

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