Old Pond Railway Trail

Following a section of the old Maine Shoreline Railroad bed, this trail crosses wetlands that contain valuable habitat for bald eagles, wading birds, waterfowl, migratory shorebirds, and marine species in Youngs Bay.
Trail Activity
Snowshoeing Hiking
Length
2.9 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Moderate
Town
Hancock
Surface
Dirt/Forest Floor
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

This 5 acre site used to be an industrial/railroad site and has now been converted into a 3 mile trail used by hikers, cross country skiers, snowshoers, and dog walkers. Wormers and clammers use the trail to access extensive flats that form around Carrying Place Inlet, Old Pond, and Hills Cove.

Users of the Old Pond Railway Trail most often hike from the East Entrance to the Eagle Scout Bridge across Old Pond and back, which provides exceptional views and bird watching from the old rail road bridge, look for eagles, ducks, and in the fall, migrating warblers.

In the fall of 2009, some local Eagle Scouts worked to create a parking area off of the Point Road, to clear the first half mile of trail leading from this parking area, and to repair the trestle bridge making it safe and usable. Later, a second parking lot was constructed at the western entrance to the trail, on Old Route 1, via Kilkenny Cove, a property acquired by Crabtree Neck Land Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Frenchman Bay Conservancy.

Other Information

LMF Logo

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.

Trail Manager

Visit Crabtree Neck Land Trust or Frenchman Bay Conservancy online for more information, or contact:

Crabtree Neck Land Trust

Crabtree Neck Land Trust
P.O. Box 273
Hancock, ME, 04640
Phone: (207) 781-3085
crabtreenecklandtrust@gmail.com
View website

Frenchman Bay Conservancy

Frenchman Bay Conservancy
71 Tidal Falls Road
PO Box 150
Hancock, ME 04640-0150
info@frenchmanbay.org
View website

Nearby Events

VIEW EVENTS CALENDAR

Trail Tips

Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Respect other trail users and be courteous when passing.
Legend
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Trailhead Information

Eastern access to the trail is from Point Road in Hancock. From US Route 1, head 0.1 miles south on Point Road, and look for the parking lot on the right, across from the Hancock Town Hall.

Western access to the trail is from Old Route One in Hancock. From US Route 1, turn onto Old Route One (western intersection closer to ME Route 182) and drive 0.4 miles to the parking and access on the right.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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mockswede
October 14, 2021
Started from Western End - keep your eyes peeled as you Y off Rte. 1 onto Old Rte. 1; it comes up quickly on the right, but the sign is parallel to the road! The short trail to the rail trail is a goat-trail - lots of lefts and rights. It's lightly traveled, so not always 'obvious' with foot traffic wear, so you need to look for blue marks on trees; there are no 'blue ribbons' left after their construction of this bit about 15 years ago. This bit takes less than 10 minutes, actually, you cross a wooden footbridge to access the rail cut and rail bed. Turn LEFT. This rail bed has been abandoned for over 60-80 years, based on the size of some of the trees in the old wooden sleepers, which are still there, above and just under the trail surface. The trail is not 'rail bed wide' - only single file with all the tree growth since abandonment. Cannot 'get off' the trail trail because it's smooth grade and straight with only gradual curves left or right. Because it is a rail trail, I will call this EASY. The only thing 'moderate' about this is stepping around tree roots and stepping along or between (depending on you leg length and gait) the rotting wooden sleepers. Because this is a railway grade, you can be higher or lower than the existing forest, which is a neat perspective; just like you are traveling in a train car, IMO. But, there are drainage ditches immediately to either side of the rail bed, so these can be breeding grounds for mosquitos, anywhere along its length, when it 'Is That Time of The Season. Walking east, you eventually come to the causeway where the rail trail crosses Old Pond, the only time you are not 'in the trees'. I stopped for a lunch here, looking south over the clam flats, since it was low tide. There is a short iron bridge before walking back into the woods. You do come across an area of concrete on the right where side tracks existed, and, in fact, it's the only place where there is any iron left of the rails. This is not too far from the Eastern End, which terminates across from the Hancock Town Hall and the Village Triangle. The whole walk took me 1-1/2 hours, with stops for photography and talk with other hikers (only three people and one dog, total). I did not do the return, but, rather, hiked back along Rte. 1 to Old Rte. 1, which took only 50 minutes. I spent only about 10-15 on the busy part and enjoyed walking on 'An Old Maine State Road' on a nice fall day. There are two other in-and-out hikes accessed off of Old Rte. 1 - Old Pond and Carrying Place. Lastly, there are two old logging roads and two current residence roads which cut across the rail trail, so if you have any need to cut short your hike, you could take these and 'head toward the road noise' of Rt. 1 to 'orienteer' your way back onto either of those main roads and return to your vehicle.
curtis.libby
August 23, 2014
Excellent hike. Well marked with blue ribbon, easy to follow. Trees and brush make the trail tight, though. Also, be sure to bring bug spray, as the muddy areas along the trail are guarded by plenty of mosquitos.
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