Massabesic Experimental Forest - Clayton Carl Trail and Atlantic White Cedar Loop

Great for families, dogs, mountain bikes, snowshoes, cross-country skis, and horses - the trail network in the Massabesic Experimental Forest of Alfred is worth visiting time and time again. Please stay on designated trails.
Trail Activity
1.6 miles, Round Trip
Dirt/Forest Floor


The Clayton Carl Trail is an easy, even-terrain jaunt into the forest leading out towards wetlands. Continue along to the Atlantic White Cedar Loop and spot boulders, swamps and massive (record setting) Atlantic white cedar trees. Two great trails for admiring fall foliage and snowshoeing.

Leaving from the gated region of the unpaved Ida Jim Road in Alfred, the Clayton Carl Trail and adjoining Atlantic White Cedar Loop exit Ida Jim on the eastern side of the dirt road. The Clayton Carl trail is an out-and-back, with the Atlantic White Cedar Loop leaving from its eastern-most end. Some of the large white pines you see were unharmed during the fire of 1947.

Massabesic holds one of the state’s largest Atlantic White Cedar Swamps, which Maine Natural Areas Program has designated as on of its Rare and Exemplary Natural Communities. This type of forested wetland provides valuable habitat to many species; it is vulnerable due to its dependence on disturbance such as fire, and its susceptibility to damage from water quality degradation. Insects can be quite prevalent during the wet periods of the year.

Other Information

This trail is dedicated to Clayton Carl, a Research Forester who served on the Alfred Conservation Commission from 1999 to 2013. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in forestry from the University of Maine, and his master of forestry degree from Duke University. Although the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, where Clayton worked, is in Durham, NH -- he regularly traveled to Alfred, ME in stewardship of the Massabesic Forest. Clayton’s participation on the Alfred Conservation Commission provided ongoing communication between the Durham Research office and the Town Commission regarding all Massabesic Forest issues. He was instrumental to the creation and maintenance of the trails.

Trail Manager

Visit the Town of Alfred online for more information or contact:

Alfred Conservation Commission

Alfred Conservation Commission
P.O. Box 850
16 Saco Road
Alfred, ME 04002
View website

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Avoid hypothermia, even in warm weather, by limiting your sweat and exposure to cold water. Bring warm and dry clothes in case the shivers set in.
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Trailhead Information

From Alfred village center, head southeast on Kennebunk Road towards ME-111. Cross over 111 and continue on Kennebunk Road for another mile, and then veer right onto Mouse Lane. Watch for Ida Jim Road (dirt road) on your left, where Mouse Lane makes a ninety-degree curve to the right. Turn left onto Ida Jim Road and continue 0.7 miles along the dirt road to a small parking area on your left, just outside the gate. It is 0.7 miles from here to the start of the Clayton Carl Trail. 

Alternatively, park outside the gate on the southern end of Ida Jim Road (where it intersects with Whichers Mills) and head north through the gate and into the Experimental Forest. It is 0.3 miles from here to the start of the Clayton Carl Trail. 

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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