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Bait Hole Hiking and Biking Trails

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Network of forested trails on the edge of Elbow Lake and the West Branch Penobscot River. Good destination for spotting wildlife, fishing, trail running, and mountain biking.
Trail Activity
Mountain-biking Hiking
4.20 miles, Network
T3 Indian Purchase Twp
Dirt/Forest Floor, Gravel/Crushed Stone, Grass


Bait Hole Recreation Trails offer easy, wide trails for walking, running, or biking during the summer. The trail network is named after the pond west of the trailhead where bait fish were once kept for fishing in nearby Elbow Lake. Moose and seasonal waterfowl can frequently be seen in this pond and nearby marsh.

The summer trails consist of two stacked loops:

North Twin Dam Loop: (1.6 miles round-trip) This loop follows the Bait Hole Loop as far as the first causeway, then turns right and follows Elbow Lake to the South. The trail makes a sharp turn at a viewpoint with views of Elbow Lake and distant Whitecap and Jo-Mary Mountains. After passing North Twin Dam, the trail follows the West Branch Penobscot River for a short distance before turning back towards the trailhead.

Bait Hole Loop: (3 miles round-trip) This loop heads left from the trailhead towards the Bait Hole Pond, then turns right following Elbow Lake to the North. Katahdin is visible at a couple points from atop causeways bordering the lake. At Three Corners, the trail turns away from Elbow lake and continues back through the woods to the trailhead.

Several other trails in the area are signed and maintained only for ski and snowshoe use during the winter.

Other Information

Due to its recreational use and active timber management, hunting is not allowed on the Bait Hole Recreation Trails.

Email the Northern Timber Cruisers if you are interested in being a volunteer trail maintainer at the Bait Hole Recreation Trails.

You can also visit the Bait Hole Skiing and Snowshoeing trails in winter.

Trail Manager

For more maps and information about the trails, visit Northern Timber Cruisers online or contact:

Northern Timber Cruisers
PO Box 269
Millinocket, ME 044602
Phone: (207) 723-6203
View website

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Tell someone your plan and when you’ll return, just in case.

Trailhead Information

From Millinocket follow ME-11 (Brownville Road) 3 miles south. The Bait Hole parking area is marked on the right with a small sign just before the highway crosses the West Branch Penobscot River.

From Milo follow ME-11 (Brownville Road) 35 miles north. The parking area is marked with a small sign on the left, just after the highway crosses the West Branch Penobscot River.

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