Little Ossipee River Trail (and the Limington, Hollis and Waterboro Sanctuary and Killick Pond WMA), Limington
(Footpaths in blue, wider ATV tracks in orange.)
The Little Ossipee River Tract, Limington, Hollis, and Waterboro Sanctuary, and Killick Pond state wildlife refuge (or Maynard Marsh WMA) includes over 2,200 acres — which includes a sizable stretch along the pretty river. Parts of the river are languid, parts have rapids. There are some popular fishing spots near here.
There are a few little footpaths (marked in blue on my map) that follow the river. At the north section, you can make a loop by following the fairly pleasant ATV trails (marked in orange) back to the trailhead (if you don’t mind four-wheelers zooming by occasionally).
When I walked this trail, I found an obvious trailhead (for the most northern trails of this preserve) on the side of Hardscrabble Road right after the bridge, and across from Chase Mills Road. The path is not marked but very easy to follow — and it mostly sticks close to the river, except when the riverside areas get too wet or the banks too steep. Then you have to scramble up this tall banks (and the pitch is very steep in places, with loose soil and rocks).
The path meanders by the river for about three miles before turning in and joining an ATV path. You’ll see a couple of old cemeteries. If you follow the snowmobile path to the right, it leads out onto Hardscrabble Road. If you go left, you can take the ATV track back to where you started. You can see on the google map a big sand pit popular with four-wheelers. Stick to the perimeter around the sand pit to keep on a walkable trail.
On the other side of the river, from the gravel Beaver Berry Road, you can make a loop on ATV trails if you walk back along the road, which isn’t heavily traveled. Make sure to check out a cool spot (a sign for “river, dead end”) will be at the junction. Follow this a short ways to what seems like a suitable place for a swim.
Finally, there are some nice wide ATV tracks on the southern side of Sand Pond Road. The pullover is very obvious, just before the bridge if you’re driving west along Sand Pond Road. You can also park at the junction of Sand Pond Road and Beaver Berry Road.
If you head off on these trails, you’ll go .2 miles, then hit a power line. Turn up the power line and look for the trail continuing into the woods on your right, less than .1 mile up. Then you’ll not hit another junction for about a mile, when you come to a four-way intersection. (You’ll pass “NO TRESPASSING, MILITARY INSTALLATION” signs on your way, however.) Once you get to the four-way intersection, to your left will be a track that leads to some scenic spots along Killick Pond, as well as to another entrance to the sanctuary off of Brick Tavern Road. If you go straight or right at this intersection, you’ll cross a little sand pit and head down a long stretch of track before finally coming out on a paved road (the other end of Hardscrabble, according to Google maps). Again, you’ll pass the military land and lots no trespassing signs. There are a few unmarked walking paths that meander along the pond — I’ve marked these in blue. I didn’t explore all of them when I visited last, so there are likely more than my map shows.
Directions: From Route 25 in Limington, turn on Hardscrabble Road. Go a little over .25 mile. Once you cross the bridge, you’ll see a small pullover by the road and the trail. You can also pick up trail heads from Sand Pond Road, close to the intersection with Beaver Berry Road. People tend to park near the bridge over the Little Ossipee River.