QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: Varied
- Trail Mileage: Less than a mile
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy
- Sights: Lake Auburn, forested shoreline
While you’re not allowed to swim in Lake Auburn, the municipal drinking water supply, you can walk along public trails that bring you to lovely views of the lake. The Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission welcomes people to explore short paths at different points around the lake, including Whitman Spring Road, Pope Conservation Area (protected by the Androscoggin Land Trust), and the two trails of this post: Salmon Point and Parcel 4.
The trail along Parcel 4 begins off fast Route 4. The best place to park is close to the public boat launch and then you can walk along the wide shoulder to the trailhead 0.25 miles north. What’s slightly confusing about this trail is that as you make your way along Route 4 to the official trailhead, you’ll pass a No Trespassing sign hanging from a metal chain across what looks like it could be a path into the conservation land. I ignored this, and tried to stick to the official trail, as the commission urges visitors to stick to marked trails. But besides the trailhead sign, the trail wasn’t obviously marked. Since I visited in winter, it also wasn’t too obvious where to go, but I did my best! The short trail runs along the edge of the lake, including to some open ledgy areas, and is beautiful.
Salmon Point feels like a bit more of a substantial walk. From the trailhead it’s a bit longer than 0.4 miles to the second view. Again, you can stand on exposed rock and check out the expansive views of the large lake (no swimming, though!).
Both trails are flat and easy.
The Watershed Protection Commission asks trail users to be stewards of the land: “The importance of these trails cannot be overstated. They provide access to Lake Auburn, allowing all of us to be physically connected to the watershed and shores of our lake and experience the natural beauty and scenic setting that our water is sourced from. This is our responsibility and our privilege. Picking up that piece of litter that ended up on LAWPC lands transforms a passive witness to an active defender of our natural environment. Reporting trail concerns, improper usage and invasive [plants] is part and parcel of responsible use and stewardship of these lands and trails.”
Directions: To reach Salmon Point, drive to the intersection of Maple Hill Road and Lake Shore Drive. There is a small area to park across the street from the gated trail. To access Parcel 4, park in the wide parking area off Route 4 next to the public boat launch, and then walk up Route 4 a quarter of mile. You’ll see a gated path and signs for allowed trail uses.