QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: NA
- Trail Mileage: 5 miles one way
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy, with some steep sections
- Sights: Georges River
In my map above, I’ve marked the four trail segments of the Gibson Preserve-to-Appleton Preserve trail with different colors. The Ridge to River segment is blue.
If you set off from Gibson Preserve, you can hike along the Georges River for about four miles to connect to the Canal Path and finally, finish at Appleton Preserve. The 5-mile Ridge-to-River trail, maintained by the Georges River Land Trust, is at its best as you walk along the Georges River, which is gorgeous. At one point, it appears you are at a dead end when the trail (coming from Gibson Preserve) butts up against a wide brook. Don’t fear! Look for the blue blazes to your right, the trail makes a wide detour around this wet area. The path eventually deposits you on the open and high Appleton Ridge, at the Appleton Ridge Road, which you cross. You cross one more road, Rt. 131. From the road, head directly down the middle of a tree farm to find the path at the other end.
Directions: The west trailhead is on a discontinued road in Searsmont. From the center of Searsmont (Fraternity Village Store), head west on Route 173 (Woodmans Mill Road). Travel 2 miles to Ripley Corner Road on the left (see map). Please park on the shoulder of Ripley Corner Road; visitors must walk in via the old woods road. Once parked, walk down the gravel road toward the river and cross the wood/concrete bridge. Take your first right onto the overgrown woods road and walk approximately ¼ mile where the Ridge to River Trail is on your left, and the Gibson Preserve entrance is on the right. The east trailhead is located at Robbins Lumber in Searsmont. From the Fraternity Village Store in Searsmont, at the intersection of Routes 131 and 173, head south on 131 for 1.7 miles to Ghent Road on the left. Travel 0.25 miles on Ghent Road to the parking area on the right, just after crossing the bridge.