Great Pond Mountain Wildlands, Orland

Great Pond Mountain, protected by the area’s eponymous land trust, offers spectacular views for a relatively small mountain (1,030 feet) and a fairly easy, gradual hike with well-maintained trails. The summit is exposed, which makes for expansive views of three nearby mountain areas—Acadia, Camden’s hills, and even as far, I believe, as Schoodic Mountain—but it can be slick in the winter! Also, the trails in the immediate vicinity around the mountain in the Wildlands are wonderful and well-marked, with occasional views. The two lakes, Craig Pond and Alamoosook Lake, that buttress the trail system here are fabulous for swimming.

There are several access paths to the mountain, and two different trailheads .4 miles apart on the access road (Don Fish Trail on Google maps. It’s plowed in the winter). At Mountain Trailhead, which is the second one farther along the access road, there is parking for four or five cars. From here, the summit is about 1.5 miles along the Stuart Gross Trail and the elevation gained is 850 feet.

The other trailhead, at Dead River Gate, is the first one you reach on the access road. It has parking for five or so cars. From this point, the hike to the summit is a bit more than 2 miles. You’ll begin on the wide Dead River Trail—which, incidentally, is great for skiing and biking. At .5 miles, you’ll come to the intersection with the ~.6-mile Hay Ledges Trail, which includes a nice overlook and bench off to the right about 2/3 of the way along.

The Hay Ledges Trail deposits you at the .9-mile Stuart Gross Trail, which brings you along a gradual ridge to both the mountain’s wooded summit and to its overlook with gorgeous views. Be sure to wear snowshoes or spikes on your boots in the winter! Also, it can be hard to find the trails (there are two loops up here) if snow is covering the blazes—but the hike is popular enough that you will likely be treading upon others’ footprints.

If you have time, I highly suggest checking out the picnic spot on the Dead River, off Dead River Trail. A steepish .3-mile path takes you from Dead River Road to the lakeside, where there is a secluded spot for a swim and snack. The trail begins wide and gradually narrows, with firs enclosing the trail on either side as you get closer to the lake. Or, you can end your hike in the clear aquamarine waters of Craig Pond, a most amazing place for a swim.

The Dead River Road, which includes a looong hill, is good for skiing and biking. There is also a 1.4-mile (and growing) bike trail — the Capstone Trail — woven into the hiking trail system. We hiked along Capstone from Hay Ledges Trail to the Dead River Road, as it served as a connector path.

Directions: Dead River Gate: On the Don Fish Road .5 mi. past Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery, this gate accesses the west side of the Wildlands. Turn off Route 1 in Orland onto Hatchery Road. Go 1.4 miles to the Hatchery and continue another .6 miles. Mountain Trailhead: This trailhead is .4 miles past the Dead River Gate, with parking for about four cars on the right.

Branch Lake Public Forest, Ellsworth

You can do two great loops in this 240-acre public forest on paths that wander to marshes and through old forests to the quiet shores of Branch Lake, Ellsworth’s main drinking water supply. The preserve connects to thousands of acres of adjacent conserved land.

After driving to the trailhead along a 1-mile gravel access road, you’ll continue your walk past a gate and down a tote road. When I visited in January, 2019, I found that the main trails, which branch off the tote road, to be well marked and easy to follow. Maps have been set up at all major intersections. Future trails, which are marked in green on the map, hadn’t yet been constructed.

If you only have time for one of the two beautiful loops, I slightly preferred the Brookside Trail, as the path is lovely, and when you get to the lakeside, there is a picnic table and what appeared to be, under the snow and ice, a little beach?

From the preserve gate, it’s .5 miles to the Pine Trail along the tote road. The Pine Trail (a lovely stretch through a pine forest) is .3 miles. The Lake Loop is 1 mile long — that is, it’s .3 miles to the .7-mile loop.

It’s about .6 miles along the tote road to the junction with Brookside Trail, which is 1 mile long (~.6 miles to the .4-mile lakeside loop).

Directions:  From the corner of Main Street and Route 1A in downtown Ellsworth, drive north 6.5 miles to the Branch Lake Public Forest sign on your left. Turn left and drive 1 mile to the gravel trail parking lot. I don’t believe it’s plowed in the winter?

Cosima’s Preserve, Bristol

The trail map to this 44.5-acre preserve promises a “ledge,” without more explanation. But despite its unprepossessing name, the ledge is one of the more delightful I’ve come across — and a seemingly great perch for swimming in the summer. It is flat, relatively big, and looks out over a pretty spot of the Pemaquid River.

The loop trail is easy, but you do walk down a fairly long hill from the trailhead to reach the ledge (and future boat landing site). The distance from parking area to ledge is .4 miles.

Directions: Cosima’s Preserve is located at 460 Benner Road in Bristol. From Damariscotta, travel 2.7 miles east on Biscay Road. Take a right onto Lessner Road. After 2.1 miles, look for a small wooded parking area on the right.

The Basin Preserve trails, Vinalhaven

Map shows four trail systems in the Basin Preserve: Granite Island trail is blue; Wharf Quarry Road trail is red; Folly Pond trail is green; and Platform trail is yellow.

At Vinalhaven’s Basin Preserve, you have a choice of several trails, exploring different parts of the beautiful 789-acre protected area. The Basin itself is a 360-acre tidal bay. All together there’s about six miles of trails in the network.

Ralph and Peggy Williams Preserve trail (off Wharf Quarry Road): My map showed the loop to be 1.8 miles, which includes a couple of nice spots on the shore, accessible via short side paths. (This number doesn’t include the .3-mile access road, which some will be able to drive.) If you do the trail loop clockwise, you’ll come to a fantastically high and open rocky area close to the end of your walk. The trail first takes you underneath the cliff to its northern end, but then it turns right, and after a short scramble up, you’ll come out onto open ledge spotted with pitch pine, where you can look down on the area you just came from and see the bay between the treetops. Directions: Wharf Quarry Road, which is about three miles from town, can be very rough, so drive carefully with a high-clearance car. (Google maps doesn’t seem to know where Wharf Quarry Road is.) After reaching the road, turn left and go 3/10 of a mile where you’ll see a place to park and the trail to the left. A goat farm on Wharf Quarry Road asks you to keep your dog on a leash.

Watershed Preserve (off Folly Pond Road): A 1.5-mile trail takes you through forest, including Maritime Spruce-Fir, to a high pitch-pine woodland on rock ledge, and back again. (When we visited, the private access road continuing on straight ahead was well trampled, making us wonder whether the views at the end were a local attraction?) Directions: Turn onto Folly Pond Road and go .3 miles. The kiosk will be on your left when the road bends to the right and turns into a driveway. Continue straight up the rough track ahead for 500 feet until it splits. Bear left and follow an old woods road until you reach the footpath, and the start of the loop. This point is .4 miles from the trailhead. The footpath will head uphill to your right, and is marked with a sign.

Granite Island Trail Loop: Perhaps this is the most popular of the four trails in the Basin Preserve? It seemed to have the most foot traffic. Two short loops include spots to enjoy views of The Basin. It’s just .3 miles from the parking lot to the shore, and there are roughly 1.2 mile of trails in the network. When we visited, we saw at least nine or ten juvenile bald eagles hanging out, seemingly together, with a few more mature ones nearby. Directions: Take Old Harbor Road out of town for 2.25 miles to the parking area on the right.

Platform Loop Trail: This trail is the longest of the four, with a roughly 2.1-mile loop. It includes diverse habitat and a platform with a view through trees of the basin, recommended at sunset. A .4-mile side trail takes you to a .3-mile loop to views of Old Harbor Pond and a sweet stream and little waterfall. Directions: Take Old Harbor Road out of town and look for the trailhead on your right in 1.5 miles. There is a small pullover area lined with rocks where you can leave your car.

(Side note: As a West Bath resident who lives close to another magnificent Basin Preserve in Phippsburg, I am beginning to think people should perk up at the mention of a basin in the context of walking trails.)

Lane’s Island Preserve, Vinalhaven

I haven’t yet explored the whole of Vinalhaven, but this 45-acre preserve on a small island bluff is exceptionally beautiful! After leaving the parking area, the trail quickly come out on a bright open area, with picnic tables and views of a protected cove. From here, you can venture off on a walk around the island tip. On my visit, the trails were not blazed and there were no posted maps on the preserve. But the trails are obvious and easy to follow.

We started off by heading out along the rounded bend of the beach to access the perimeter loop trail, which is roughly one mile long. This trail rounds the bluff, with spectacular views the whole way. Or, you can make your way more directly and quickly to the far seaside by crossing the interior paths through the shrubland. These are less rocky and easier to navigate, although they do have a few minor ups and downs. There is a small cemetery in the heart of the preserve, as well, with a monument to the man, Captain Lane, for whom the island is named.

You can read a bit more about The Nature Conservancy preserve on its Maine website.

Directions: Lane’s Island is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Drive down Lane’s Island Road and take your second right down a narrow lane that dead ends at the trailhead.

Blackcap Mountain and Fitts Pond, Eddington

Blackcap Mountain is a 1,018-foot mountain with a long ridgeline. The elevation gain is about 800 feet. I recommend walking beyond the summit towers, which you reach at roughly 1.2 miles, for another .7 miles or so to the far southern end of the ridge. At the roughly 1.9-mile mark, look for a very short trail to the left that takes you to a clifftop with a beautiful view. If you start steeply descending an open ledge, you’ve gone a touch too far.

You can pick up the trailhead in Camp Roosevelt, next to Fitts Pond. During the summer when the camp is in session, you should check in with the camp staff before starting your hike. A kiosk (that was bare when we visited) marks the trailhead. Very soon after starting you walk across a small bridge and continue .4 miles around the pond until you get to an intersection and the trail system’s first sign. The sign indicates you can continue straight on the trail to circumnavigate the pond, or head right to start the ascent up Blackcap Mountain. It’s .8 miles from this point to the summit and tower equipment.

After turning right at this intersection, you continue to follow the old painted blazes up the mountain. At about .25 miles, you’ll cross a dirt road (you should turn left on the road and walk a few feet to the footpath that continues on the right). Then the way gets quite steep for about ~.4 miles before mellowing out. Close to the summit, you’ll reach another wide track, which you follow left to the tower equipment. There’s a nice view here to the east.

But don’t turn back here! If you can, continue following the path—marked intermittently with blazes and tags—along the relatively flat ridge of the mountain. At 2 miles, skirt left to a very steep cliff—be very careful—for beautiful northern and northeastern views.

After this point, we found the remainder of the loop trail difficult to follow in winter. It curves around the cliff and makes its way underneath the ledge and back through the woods to the pond. Thank goodness a solo hiker had hiked here just an hour or so before us who seemed to have a good sense of the lay of the land. We followed her footsteps faithfully back to the pond, every once in a while spotting a blaze on a tree.

When you get back to Fitts Pond, you can go either direction around the lake to return to the trailhead. I highly recommend in the warmer months going right and skirting the pond’s eastern shore, since I saw some great spots from which to launch your tired, hot self into the water. (But I didn’t do the full circuit around the lake so can’t vouch for the western side. I assume there are swimming spots there, as well? There is a campsite.) The thing about swimming after you hike on the eastern side of the pond is you have the sun on your side….

Note: The Blackcap Mountain and Fitts Pond trail is blazed with old blue blazes, which could use a bit of updating. As it was winter, with snow disguising the path, we often had to search for a few minutes to locate the next blaze.

Directions: The trailhead is on Camp Roosevelt Road. Park at Roosevelt Scout Camp’s large parking area, next to Fitts Pond. You’ll see a small kiosk to the right of a small boat ramp; the trail begins behind it. The trail skirts the western shore of the pond for .4 miles to an intersection for Blackcap Mountain summit.

Woodchuck Hill, Eddington

Woodchuck Hill is a small mountain—815 feet—but it packs a fairly big adventure because one of the routes to the summit goes up a rather craggy and steep mountain face. (Plus, it looks like Snowshoe Pond would make a lovely place to swim at the end of the hike, increasing the adventure factor.) The elevation gained is a bit more than 500 feet. The summit is wooded, but you can catch some views to the east through a small clearing.

The path between Fitts Pond, where you start your walk, to Snowshoe Pond is fairly level, and roughly .8 miles. When the trails comes out shortly after Snowshow Pond onto Bangor Waterworks Road, continue straight across the road if you want to attempt the steeper ascent, which is another .5 miles to the summit. This path goes up a scraggly cliffside that involves a bit of ledge scrambling and the scaling of two short wooden ladders—one has rope handrails. But this climb is not technical at all, and it’s really not scary, either—I think most children should have no problem, and indeed, should find it very fun. Dogs might have trouble with the ladders, however. And I’m sure it’s dicey when there’s snow and ice.

If you want to avoid the steep section—either going up or down—take a right on Bangor Waterworks Road after Snowshoe Pond and walk about .4 miles on the road until you reach a locked gate. You’ll see a blue-and-yellow blazed trail on your left. This trail is steepish but requires no climbing of rocks. This path, from the summit to Fitts Pond, is about 1.8 miles.

Directions: The trailhead is on Camp Roosevelt Road. Park at Roosevelt Scout Camp’s large parking area, next to Fitts Pond. The road into the camp is gated off season. (Camp Roosevelt asks hikers to check in when the camp is in session.) To find the trailhead, walk .2 miles up Camp Roosevelt Road into the camp and bear left onto Tonini Road, right before a sign with a camp map. Continue walking straight up this road—it is blazed yellow and blue. Stay straight when you see a sign for Pamola. When you come to an intersecting wide track just ahead turn right and look for the footpath that continues on the other side into the forest.

Houston Brook Falls, Bingham

Houston Brook Falls makes for lovely photos in the fall, when it’s framed by colorful leaves, but it also must make for great swimming in the summer The falls are high (40 feet or so), the pools are deep, the rocks seem to be perfectly placed for kids to jump from pool to pool above the big falls. Below the falls, the stream enters Wyman Lake. The .2-mile trail is easy, but does head downhill and has many exposed roots.

I climbed a little way above the falls, and the pools and small cascades seemed to go on and on. Since it was getting dark, we turned around without exploring too far.

Directions: From Route 201 in Bingham, turn onto Route 16 and cross the bridge over Kennebec River. Turn right immediately after crossing the bridge, onto Pleasant Ridge Road. Go 3.5 miles to the transfer station. The trail will be on the right side of the road, immediately after the transfer station. It has a sign. You can park in front of the transfer station fence, I think. The trail has a sign at the trailhead. The rest of the way is not marked, but it is well worn and you can just follow the hill down to the stream and then to the falls. On the return, you want to stick close to the stream before veering left and back up to the road.

Pleasant Pond Mountain, The Forks and Caratunk

If you have a choice of mountains in this area, I really recommend Mosquito or Moxie Bald or even Coburn over Pleasant. But to not be too disparaging: the 2,447-foot Pleasant Pond is a fine mountain on the AT with really great views.

There are two ways to summit Pleasant Pond Mountain. The eastern route (also called northern side since the AT goes north) is longer (almost 5 miles one way) and more gradual, through old spruce and fir forests. The western route is 1.6 miles and steeper, with some great ledges around 1.5 miles. Because it’s the AT, the trail is well maintained and well blazed. There is a side trail near the bottom that goes to the shores of Pleasant Pond (take a dip if you’re hot!) and the Pleasant Pond lean-to and tent sites.

While the official summit has nice views, I think the best place to eat your sandwich is on the trail a couple hundred feet north or south of the summit.

Directions: To hike the mountain from the north: From Route 201 in West Forks, drive 5.2 miles on Lake Moxie Road to where it splits in a T-intersection. Go right on Troutdale Road, a narrow dirt road that can have potholes. In roughly 7.8 miles, you’ll see the AT sign on your right for Pleasant Pond Mountain. In another .2 miles, you’ll come to the AT trail sign for Moxie Bald Mountain. A small parking area is farther up on your right. You can also reach the trailhead from Bingham. Here are the AMC directions for this route (I can’t vouch for these): From Route 201, turn right (east) on Route 16 and drive 5.5 miles. Turn left on Townline Road. At 2.8 miles from this intersection, bear right at a fork onto Dead Water Road. At 4.4 miles, cross a bridge onto the road, now called Troutdale road, which you can follow until, at mile 11.2 (from Route 16), you reach the AT parking area on your left.

Moxie Bald Mountain, near The Forks

There is much to love about this heavenly mountain! Except maybe for the long (about 4.5 miles) hike to the 2,630-ft. summit. But those miles are for the most part gradual and easy through pretty forest. (For those with 4-wheel drive vehicles, there is an alternative place to park that sheds several miles from the hike: see directions below).

If you start your hike from Troutdale Road on the shores of Moxie Pond, you first have to jump some rocks across a narrow section of the pond. Then in about 2.4 miles, you’ll reach a short side trail to the Bald Mountain Brook Lean-to. I recommend checking it out to see the miniature gorge. A couple hundred feet farther on, you’ll cross a gravel road (which is where some park to to begin their hike). Continue through the forest for another 1.2 miles—the path begins to get a bit steeper on this section—to an intersection, which is the start of the 1.3-mile loop around and to the summit. I recommend going right, up the steeper .5-mile trail to the summit, passing massive slabs of boulders that form caves and narrow passageways, like tunnels through ancient pyramids. Once you get to the top, you’ll have 360-degree views. Beautiful.

From the summit, you can continue on the AT trail north. In .4 lovely miles, on a thin ledge that a fellow hiker says “was perfectly made to be walked on,” you’ll reach another intersection. You can go straight here to circle around the summit on the bypass trail and return, in .5 mile, to the AT path you came in on. But if you have the time and the stamina, I highly recommend turning right and walking another 1.4 miles to the North Peak. You don’t lose too much elevation, and the last .5 mile, across open ledges, is thrillingly beautiful.

Directions: From Route 201 in West Forks, drive 5.2 miles on Lake Moxie Road to where it splits in a T-intersection. Go right on Troutdale Road, a narrow dirt road that can have potholes. In roughly 8 miles, you’ll see the AT sign on your left for Moxie Bald (earlier on the road, you might have seen the AT sign for Pleasant Pond Mountain on your right). A small parking area is farther on your right. You can also reach the trailhead from Bingham. Here are the AMC directions for this route (I can’t vouch for these!): From Route 201, turn right (east) on Route 16 and drive 5.5 miles. Turn left on Town Line Road. At 2.8 miles from this intersection, bear right at a fork onto Deadwater Road. At 4.4 miles, cross a bridge onto the road, now called Troutdale road, which you can follow until, at mile 11.2 (from Route 16). you reach the AT parking area on your left. Along the way, at 9.7 miles, you will reach a four-way junction. An unnamed road leaves to the right (Baker Dimmock Road departs on your left across a bridge.) Take this unnamed road if you want to do a shorter hike. At some point, you’ll see the AT trail cross it (a bit above the Brook Lean-to). Find a place to park off-road.

Mosquito Mountain, The Forks

This little mountain (2,215 ft.) stands up from the surrounding countryside like a small insect bite. Regardless of the less than positive connotations derived from its name, this mountain is wonderful—with great views of the deep valleys, distant mountains, and ponds surrounding it.

After leaving the trailhead and crossing the powerlines, the trail quickly becomes steep. At 1.1 miles, you’ll come to an intersection, immediately after you’ve walked by a long moss-covered rock wall on your left (a natural wall). You should be able to see a faded yellow bear paw print on a tree here. Take the short side trail to the left to some extravagantly beautiful views. The summit trail continues on your right up some jumbled boulders.

When you return to the intersection, continue climbing steeply up the main trail (you’ll see a few faded yellow bear paw prints on the boulders). The summit and its views are .3 miles away.

Directions: From Route 201 in The Forks, turn onto Lake Moxie Road. Go 5.2 miles to the T-intersection. Take a right onto Troutdale Road. In 1.9 miles, after driving along an open section of road next to power lines, you’ll come to the small cleared area (there’s room for two or three cars) with a boulder on the right with a red bear paw print. The trailhead is at the upper left hand corner of the clearing.

Cold Stream Falls, near West Forks

Another beautiful Western Maine waterfall! The 1.2-mile path to the falls, too, is a joy. It follows the stream much of the way and is wide, flat, and even — with helpful stones and boards over some wet patches. But there are some rockier, rootier sections, too, so it’s not all easy footing. Once you get to the falls, you can follow a little path to the top.

To reach the footpath, you can drive the dirt logging roads, but slowly. They’re in decent shape but have a few biggish rocks and potholes. If you choose to park at the main dirt road (Capital Road), the 1.2 miles in to the trailhead is actually quite nice. Once you reach the trailhead, you’ll see an open clearing for parking and a hiking sign on your left.

Directions: From the junction of Route 201 and Route 15 in Jackman, drive south 17.5 miles to the gravel Capital Road on your left. Drive approximately 1 mile down the road (when it splits early on, take the road on the right…the two roads rejoin shortly, but the left road goes into a lumber yard). Right after you cross a small bridge, you’ll see a narrow road on your left. We parked here and walked the 1.2 miles in. But good vehicles can make it all the way down the track, staying right when it makes a sharp turn and continuing along the road until it comes upon a cleared area for parking and a hiking sign on the left. There’s also another good place to park at about .7 miles in, at a grassy area by the stream.

Slidedown Falls, near Jackman

Slidedown is a pretty oasis among acres of logged land, a cascading waterfall with cool deep pools and boulders smoothed into museum-worthy sculpture. The ~.35-mile trail down to the falls, built and maintained by Jarvis Forest Management, is steep, particularly when you get closer to the river. To get to this footpath to the falls, you must first walk .7 miles along a dirt logging road, Dumas South Road.

Directions: The gravel Dumas South Road is about eight miles north of the town of Jackman off Route 201. If you’re driving north, it’ll be on your left. When you turn onto Dumas Road, you’ll see a sugarhouse on your left. Go up the hill and continue on Dumas Road until you reach a yellow gate with a sign for Slidedown Falls. Park in the small grassy area on the side of the road. The roads fork in front of you; Dumas Road bends to the right. Follow it .7 miles or so to the footpath to the falls on your left. This will be marked with a sign and is well marked.

Sally Mountain, near Jackman

While you can walk down the railroad tracks to reach the trailhead of this 2,221-foot mountain, some people recommend canoeing to the trailhead! You can put in your canoe at the end of Attean Road, at the boat launch. This is also the start of the splendid 34-mile Moose River Bow canoe loop. You paddle along the north shore of the lake until you get to a sandy beach and campsite—it’ll be the second campsite you see. There you’ll find a trail sign for Sally Mountain and a couple other trails I don’t know much about. The Forest Society of Maine protects this land.

If you’re stuck, however, with just your hiking shoes, you can park in a clearing dedicated to Sally Mountain hikers, about a quarter mile before the boat launch on Attean Road. Walk 200 feet down the road, back toward town, and you’ll see a gated drive on your left. Pass through the gate and down the short drive. It’ll emerge in .1 mile on the train tracks, in front of a lake house. Take a left on the tracks and walk over the trestle. You’ll then follow the tracks for about 1.8 miles. When you come to the railroad’s mile 76 sign, start to look for the path to the summit on your right. It is not signed, but it is easy to see and is tagged and blazed. The trail directly opposite goes to a small, beautiful beach and campsite.

The trail up Sally Mountain is quite steep! In 1.1 miles, it’ll come out onto a more level ridge. Follow the well-marked path along this pretty stretch for .4 miles, past the old fire tower (now just four pieces of metal bolted into the rock and a good place to check out views) to the summit with even more stunning views. From this point, you can continue to follow the blue-blazed trail down the other side of the mountain for a more gradual ascent. In just under 2 miles, it emerges onto the train tracks, a bit past mile 79. Directly opposite from where it comes out on the tracks is a short path to another beautiful sandy beach. Then you can return to your car along the train tracks. It’s rather a slog! If you want to ascend the latter trail first and need to find it from the tracks, start looking for it after you pass the Mile 79 sign. You’ll find the trail a few feet after you walk by a ledge on your right spray-painted with the letter C. The full loop hike is bit more than 10 miles.

Directions: From Route 201 in Jackman, soon after its junction with Route 15/6, turn left down Attean Drive. Go 1.4 miles, and park in a large cleared area on the right. The trail begins 200 feet back the way you came on the left side of the road.

Marie H. Reed Breakwater Park, Rockland

The walk along the stony breakwater, from the small, sandy beach to the charming, very cute lighthouse perched the end, offers a different kind of experience than the usual seaside trails in Maine! First off, as my sister says, “It’s tick free!” Second, the views of the bay are really wonderful from the vantage of being nearly a mile out to sea.

While the granite blocks are mostly flat, there are cracks in between, so you need to watch your step. If you’re lucky, you’ll see some seals sunning on the rocks.

Directions: There are roughly 35 or so parking spots along Samoset Road, which dead-ends at the park. Park in the gravel pull-offs on the left-side of the road, in front of the golf course, and continue down Samoset Road to where it ends and turns into a gravel, wheelchair-accessible path. The runs along the beach and takes you to the beginning of the breakwater.

Bloomfield Park, Lamoine

Named after the donor of the land, Bloomfield Smith, this little town park includes a small open waterfront area. Pleasant enough, it’s not the most enticing swimming hole I’ve come across, perhaps because I visited later in the afternoon when the sandy area was in shade. You can walk a short trail that makes a .25-mile loop around the western side of the park. The best way to find the trail is to locate the outhouse and look for the dark blue blazes that mark the path several yards out in front of the loos.

Directions: The park is on Bloomfield Park Road in Lamoine. From coastal Route 1 heading out of Ellsworth, turn right on Route 184. Bear left when 184 becomes Lamoine Beach Road. Travel 2.2 miles and then turn left onto Asa’s Lane. Just past Lamoine Redemption on the right, turn left onto Bloomfield Park Road and bear right at the park sign to reach the parking area and beach.