QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 209,644 acres
- Trail Mileage: Varies
- Pets: no
- Difficulty: easy to difficult
- Sights: Remote ponds, views
Map shows trails near South Branch Pond and Trout Brook Farm campgrounds. Barrel Ridge Mountain (via Middle Fowler Pond trail) in dark green; Five Ponds Trail in olive green; Horse Mountain trail in purple; Trout Brook Mountain in magenta; Fowler Brook Trail (drawn by me, not a GPS, in black). See more about South Branch Pond Campground trails.
Trout Brook Mountain — A relatively small but quite steep mountain with beautiful southerly views from the ridge near the summit.
Horse Mountain — A rare find in Baxter State Park: a relatively easy hike to glorious views. It’s about 1.6 miles to the Eastern Spur Overlook if you leave from the trail head off Park Tote Road; it’s roughly 5 miles to the view from the parking area closer to Trout Brook Farm Campground. Both ways are moderate climbs.
Middle Fowler Pond Trail to Barrel (Barrell?) Ridge — From Trout Brook Farm Campground, it’s roughly 5 miles to ridge’s summit. (Broken down, that’s 3.8 relatively flat miles to Middle Fowler Pond and to the steep 1.2 mile-path up to the peak.) Middle Fowler Pond, on the northern end, is a particularly good place to swim, with sunny ledges edging the clear waters of the pond.
Five Ponds Trail — This trail forms a 6.1-mile loop from the trail head near Trout Brook Farm Campground. While it is mostly flat, the trial is rough and rocky at times. The 0.2-mile section bisecting Long Pond is the high point. If they are unoccupied, check out the remote camping sites on Long Pond.
Fowler Brook Trail — I’ve got this drawn on my map but I ran out of time to hike it on my recent trip to this section of the park. It looks like it takes you to another lovely remote pond, Lower Fowler, with two camping sites.
Directions: Most of these trails leave from the parking area near Trout Brook Campground, about 2.5 miles from Matagamon Gate. Horse Mountain can also be accessed from a trail head about a half mile from Matagamon Gate, on the left.