This foot trail was developed by the Bethel Conservation Commission to increase public awareness of the natural resources and beauty of the Androscoggin River Valley. The section of trail from the trailhead to the North Ledges is in the 115-acre Bethel Town Forest. The Town of Bethel acquired the property in the 1800s and it served as the Town Farm for a number of years. No buildings remain on the property but a field in the southeasterly portion of the land is still maintained for hay production by a local farmer. Timber is harvested periodically by the town. Deer winter on much on the southerly and easterly portions of the property and the harvesting plan protects the large hemlocks that provide cover for the deer.
A number of descriptive signs on the North Ledges Section provide a guide to understanding the natural and logging history of the area.
The overall loop is 3 miles long, moderately strenuous with short steep sections, and typically requires about 2 hours walking time. A shorter hike to the North Ledges only, or to the South Cliffs only, requires about 1.5 hours walking time.
During the end of July and early August, there are plentiful blueberries along the section from the North Ledges to the South Cliffs. The trail is a popular snowshoe trail in winter, although some sections can be dangerously icy, particularly before there is a lot of snow on the ground. Much of the trail is on private land, where continued access depends on respectful use. Please stay on the trail and carry out everything you carry in. General information about the Bethel area and more information about other local trails and area attractions can be found at the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce website.
Visit the Town of Bethel website for more information or contact:
Take US Route 2 east from Bethel Village. About 1.9 miles past the state Riverside Rest Area on the right and Sunday River Brewing Company on the left, there is a parking area on the left directly opposite the Bethel Recycling and Transfer Station.
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