Pineland Public Reserved Land

MTF

Trailhead

From the town center in Gray at the junction of ME Routes 4, 100, 202, 115, and 26, right off the I-95/Maine Turnpike Exit 63, follow ME Route 115 east for about 1.5 miles. Turn left on Depot Road and follow it for about 2.5 miles to a Public Reserve Lands sign at the trailhead on the left. Coming from New Gloucester or North Yarmouth, take Depot Road 0.5 miles west from its intersection with ME Route 231 to the parking and trailhead on the right.

Description

Located about four miles east of the center of the Town of Gray, the Pineland Public Lands includes more than 600 acres in Gray, North Yarmouth, and New Gloucester. The forests on this land, along with the nearby agricultural fields, which are now privately owned, once supplied the needs of hundreds of residents and staff at the Pineland Center. Now, this wonderful area of undeveloped forests helps to fill the growing need for open space and outdoor recreation. 

Pineland has 3.2 miles of loop trails to offer its visitors. Taking hikers through ever changing woodlands, the 1.7-mile North Loop Trail covers some steep slopes to reach the Royal River.  

On the other side of the road there is the 1.5-mile South Loop Trail taking visitors on a pleasant hike through the woods on more gentle slopes. 

Those interested in the natural treasures of this woodland can travel off trail and find rare Maine blackgum tupelo trees as well as large and impressive pines, oaks, and hemlocks. For another woodland attribute, Pineland has the claim of being home of the biggest ironwood trees in the state.

Pineland offers a wide variety of wildlife habitat, which provides opportunity to see a vast range of animals. Upland species include white-tail deer, red fox, snowshoe hare, red squirrel, gray squirrel, ruffed grouse, woodcock, and wild turkey. In addition, where the forests meet the privately owned fields there is habitat for bluebirds, meadowlarks, and kestrels.

Other Information

In winter, snowshoers and cross country skiers enjoy the South Loop Trail with its gentle slopes and beautiful forests. The North Loop Trail is for experts only under the best snow conditions. Do not attempt to ski the North Loop Trail if conditions are icy or snow cover is thin.  

In spring and summer, visitors fish the Royal River for brook trout and brown trout. In season, hunters are on the lands looking for turkey and deer. 

There is no camping allowed on this property, and as with all public lands, there is a carry in-carry out policy.

NOTE: There has been some confusion caused by a nearby snowshoe trail located off the public lands in the vicinity of the northwestern portion of the Northern Loop Trail. Public lands hiking trails on the Pineland Public Lands property are blue blazed, whereas the snowshoe trail on the far side of a small brook are marked with green wooden diamonds. Additionally, there is a small open area along the Depot Road to the west of the designated trailhead. This is not the trailhead; the trailhead for the Northern Loop is marked by a blue roadside yard-arm (hanging sign) and there is also a trailhead bulletin board on site.

Trail Manager

Visit Pineland Public Reserved Land online for more information, or contact:

Maine Division of Parks and Public Lands
Western Public Lands Office
PO Box 327
Farmington, Maine 04938
Phone: (207) 778-8231
peter.d.smith@maine.gov

Comments (4) Add Comment

avatar On the Trail AgainJune 11, 2011, 8:56 am EST

6/11/11 - Just hiked the North Loop and part of the South Loop. I had been here before but didn't even know there was a South Loop! Surprisingly, not many bugs on the North and more on the South. The South Loop also has more muddy spots which caused my dog to have a bath when we got home!

Went to the market at Pineland Farms for some yummy, local foods after the hike. They have a great trail system there but don't allow dogs. Check out the campus at: http://www.pinelandfarms.org/index.htm

avatar Dimmick08August 3, 2011, 6:24 am EST

My husband and I attempted the North Loop trail on August 2nd, 2011.

We weren't impressed with the obvious lack of maintenance on the trail. At first, it was fine. But then it got a little concerning--there were broken bridges (I think almost every bridge we came to was broken somehow), the trail markers got confusing, there were hanging broken trees ready to fall, trees laying across the trail that had fallen (and been cut by a chainsaw, but not removed). My husband mentioned that each leg of the trail should be marked with a different color marker.

We took the branch off the North Loop near the river and railroad. We came out at the tracks, but couldn't find the original trail, so we ended up following the tracks back to the main road. Once on Depot Road (thankfully there was a construction worker to ask) we followed it back to the parking area where we left our vehicle. I, for one, was SO glad to see our truck so we could leave!!

We MIGHT try the South Loop trail at another time or maybe in the winter with snow shoes, but only if we can find out what maintenance has been done recently.

avatar kek727April 28, 2012, 1:46 pm EST

OMG! First, I should say that there were places where it was beautiful once we got in by Royal River. That said, we too thought we were following the trail markers only to find after about an hour plus that the trail we were on just seemed to end. There was a white sign with a black arrow pointing to the right so we took that. However, it just went up to an open field of tall grass. There seemed to be no other way to go so our only choice was to backtrack and go ALL the way back from where we had just come from or to try the open field. We opted for the field as we were tired and had a little dog with us that was also beat. In places the trail was hard to follow as there was a lot of brush and fallen trees and no clear indication of where the trail was. After our trek through the tall grass we ended up coming out in the pastures on Morse Rd. and so had another 25 min. walk uphill to 231/Intervale Rd. and then onto Depot Rd. to get back to our car. It was an exhausting walk.

avatar MFarrington80April 28, 2013, 12:43 pm EST

As of April 2013 all parts of the trails have been (or are undergoing) maintenance. The south loop, which is very wet has brand new bridging and crushed stone in some areas. The broken bridges in the north loop have been repaired. Blazing and signage on the trails is adequate (some blue blazes are faded but still noticeable). There have been additional signs posted to prevent hikers from accidentally ending up on private or snowshoe trails.

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Photo courtesy:Maine Division of Parks and Public Lands

The Pineland Public Land Unit offers abundant wildlife and a pleasing landscape of forests over rolling hills. Hikers are invited to explore this hidden property.

Quick Facts

Activity
  • Hiking / Walking
TownGray, New Gloucester, North Yarmouth
DifficultyEasy, Moderate
Length3.2 miles, Network
SurfaceDirt/Forest Floor, Rocks/Ledge
PetsPermitted
FeesNo
Other ActivitiesNone

Current Weather

April 24, 2014
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Scattered Clouds
52°F

Wind:
From the NNW at 28 MPH Gusting to 37 MPH
Humidity:
41%
Dew Point:
28°F

Source:
Weather Underground
5-Day Forecast

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