During the winter months the Bait Hole Recreation Trails offer easy to moderate groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. 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 trail network consists of 2 primary loops with a few additional connecting trails and short-cuts:
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.
No-Wind Way: A narrow, single-track detour around the east side of the Bait Hole Pond. This route allows skiers to bypass the exposed causeways on the Bait Hole Loop during high wind conditions.
Center Trail: A narrow, single-track trail through the woods directly from the trailhead to No-Wind Way.
3-Hills Bypass Trail: A detour around 3 small hills on the Bait Hole Loop. Recommended for beginner or cautious skiers.
Super Loop: (1.4 mile round-trip) Occasionally maintained, unsigned loop leaving from the Four Points Junction on the Bait Hole Trail. This trail is not recommended for beginning skiers, or people unfamiliar with the area.
Due to its recreational use and active timber management, hunting is not allowed on the Bait Hole Recreation Trails.
Dogs frequently, inadvertently damage track-set ski trails, increasing trail maintenance needs. Dogs are not allowed on the Bait Hole Trails during the winter, but are welcome on the hiking and biking trails during the summer.
Email the Northern Timber Cruisers if you are interested in being a volunteer groomer at the Bait Hole Recreation Trails.
You can also visit the Bait Hole Hiking and Biking Trails in the warmer months.
For more maps and information about the trails, visit Northern Timber Cruisers online or contact:Northern Timber Cruisers
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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