One of Maine's five original state parks, Bradbury Mountain has miles of trails offering hikers a wide variety throughout the year, and is only park that offers opportunities for shared use on most trails which include mountain bikes, equestrians, and hikers. Most hikers prefer the trails on the west (parking lot) side of Route 9. These trails converge at the summit of Bradbury where one can see Casco Bay, the skyline of Portland, and breathe taking colors during fall foliage.
Northern Loop Trail: The one mile Northern Loop Trail, is a wide gradual ascent to the summit. Along the trail, visitors pass a feldspar quarry, active during the 1920's to mine feldspar used for making plates and cups. Further along the trail, a hiker will come upon a "Cattle Pound". This almost intact cattle pound was used by townspeople in the 1800's to keep stray farm animals that wandered onto other farmer's property. A fee would have to be paid to the "poundkeeper" to retrieve this animal. Many lady slippers, natures' wild orchid, are plentiful along this trail in spring, but please do not pick this rare plant.
Terrace Trail: The 0.3 mile Terrace Trail, at the base of the Northern Bluff was cultivated for grapes on still visible terraces that were renowned for miles around in the 1800's. In the 1940's, a rope tow pulled skiers to the top of the Northern Bluff for their speedy ascent to the bottom.
Tote Road: The one mile Tote Road offers visitors a longer hike through the interior of the park; wide and fairly flat, this trail is also excellent for cross-country skiing.
Boundary Trail: The 1.5 mile Boundary Trail is a more challenging trail with some steep descents over rock ledges. This trail will connect to the soon to be opened trails to the Pineland Public Reserved Lands. A large vernal pool is alongside this trail, where users can hear the springtime sounds of hundreds of frogs and salamanders during their annual mating ritual.
South Ridge Trail: The less traveled half mile South Ridge Trail provides views to the south. It is a steep, narrow trail with several staircases leading to its overlook.
Summit Trail: The shortest trail, the 0.3 mile Summit Trail is a steep, wide ascent to the summit with some rock staircases and is the most popular trail at the park.
Visitors are also welcome to hike in the eastern half of the park, being aware that these trails are designed and used primarily by mountain bikers.
View the Bradbury State Park page on BPL's website.
Bradbury Mountain State Park is the only park that offers opportunities for shared use on most trails which include mountain bikes, equestrians, and hikers. Although the trails on the east side are used mainly by bikers, the 1 mile Knight Woods Trail has several interpretive panels describing the history of the land, forests and animals. Please remember that these trails are shared with horses and bikers and to abide by the proper trail etiquette to assure a safe and enjoyable visit by all.
During the spring, the summit of Bradbury is an excellent area to view the annual migration of several species of hawks. On a clear day with strong, southerly winds, there have been over a 1000 hawks seen migrating over the top of Bradbury Mountain.
Natural Heritage Hikes is a project of the Maine Natural Areas Program in partnership with Maine Trail Finder. View the "Bradbury Mountain State Park - Summit Trail, Northern Loop Trail, Bluff Trail, and Ski Trail" guide online here.
This trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage.
Visit Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands online for more information and a printable map or contact:
Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Bradbury Mountain State Park
From North and South: Take exit 22 off from 295, follow signs to Bradbury, take left at Pownal Road, follow for 5 miles to stop sign in center of Pownal. Take right on ME Route 9, park entrance will be 1/2 mile up ME Route 9 on your left.
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They are a bit farther away, but we'd also recommend backpacking along the AT (Appalachian Trail) or IAT (International Appalachian Trail), where there are designated campsites.
Best, Kasey Marsters www.foxtrickadventures.com