River Pond Nature Trails
From Millinocket, follow the Baxter Park Road toward Baxter State Park. After about 13 miles, turn left on Pockwockamus Road (immediately before the painted Pockwockamus Rock). After less than a mile, turn right on the Golden Road. Less than a mile later, the River Pond Nature Trail is down a short, marked access road on the left. The primary trailhead is about a quarter mile from the Golden Road and accessible to most vehicles. A second trailhead can be reached with high-centered vehicles by following the access road for another mile.
Please note: the Golden Road is a private logging road; all visitors must yield to log trucks.
The River Pond Nature Trail is a small network of trails wandering through mixed hardwood forests and actively managed timber lands. The terrain is mostly flat with a narrow winding trail suitable for most hikers. Moose Point is a highlight of the trail, with wide views of River Pond and Mt. Katahdin looming across the lake.
River Pond Nature Trail can be enjoyed in less than an hour by a quick walk down the Tenderfoot Trail or on a longer loop. The area is best seen on the 4-mile loop that begins from the primary trailhead and connects the Tenderfoot Trail, Timber Cruisers Trail, and the Foresters Trail. A shorter loop can be made from the secondary trailhead using just the Timber Cruisers Trail and the Bluebird Trail.
Tenderfoot Trail: This is the easiest trail and best option for hikers short on time. The trail starts at the primary trailhead and weaves back and forth next to River Pond for about 0.75 miles before meeting the Bluebird Trail and Timber Cruiser Trail. Keep an eye out for moose from the couple of viewpoints overlooking River Pond.
Timber Cruisers Trail: This trail makes a 1.3 mile arc on the northwest side of the network, connecting with the Tenderfoot Trail by River Pond, the Foresters Trail by the Penobscot, and the Bluebird Trail on both ends. Moose Point is definitely the highlight for the whole area with wide views of River Pond and Mt. Katahdin. Large, halfway submerged rocks on the point make a great lunch spot.
Foresters Trail: This 1.7-mile trail meanders from the Timber Cruisers Trail back to the primary trailhead. Take note of changes in forest cover and species here as the trail goes back and forth between a conservation easement and actively managed timber land.
Bluebird Trail: This trail connects the secondary trailhead to other trails to the north and south.
River Drivers Trail: This is a short, 0.25-mile side trail to the West Branch Penobscot River from the Foresters Trail. The trail passes between a couple of large erratic boulders along the way.
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.
Check for nearby geocaches to River Pond Nature Trails.
Leave No Trace Principle
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.