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Trailhead

Limerick Trailhead: From ME Route 11 in Limerick, turn on to the Emery Corner Road from near the mill. Follow the Emery Corner Road for 2 miles until it ends at the Sawyer Mountain Road. Turn left on the Sawyer Mountain Road and follow it for 1.1 miles down and up hills to the parking lot which is on the right hand side of the road. Past the parking area, the Sawyer Mountain Road rapidly becomes impassible to vehicles.

Limington Trailhead: The trailhead and parking area are located on the west side of ME Route 117 at a sharp turn in the highway. The trailhead is located 2.5 miles south of the junction of ME Routes 25 and 117. The trailhead is located 2.4 miles north of the junction of ME Routes 11 and 117.

Description

From Limerick:

The Smith Trail starts from the back corner of the Limerick parking lot located near the end of the Sawyer Mountain Road. The trail is marked with small wooden plaques, each of which bears a carved yellow turtle. The trail ascends steeply for 0.2 miles then bears to the right across a small depression. The trail continues along an old logging path. Bear left to the base of some cliffs and then follow the trail further to your left keeping the cliffs to your right. At the end of the series of cliffs, first bear right and then left following the marked trail through a small pass. At approximately 0.4 of a mile in, the trail turns left sharply (marked by arrow signs), crosses a break in the stone wall, and levels off. At this point adventurous hikers can take a side trip off of the trail and climb to the height of land above the trail for a rewarding view. Or continue along the trail until it reaches the old Sawyer Mountain Road at the 0.6 mile point marked by a trail sign. On the far side of the Sawyer Mountain Road, look for remains of the house and barns of the Sawyer Family homestead. There is also a Terracache near this point.  Follow the old Sawyer Mountain Road to the right for 0.3 miles until you reach the next sign for the summit. Turn right and follow the trail along the mountain ridge for another 0.3 miles to the summit. The summit is located in Limington just over the Limerick/Limington town line.

Look for the sign that marks the site of the whale oil light that was used for Portland Harbor navigation in the eighteenth century. Sawyer Mountain is visible from the ocean and sailors could line up the light with other points to guide their ships into the harbor. The lighthouse was later replaced with a stone monument which was then destroyed by a lightning strike in 1913.

For variation on the way down, hikers can follow the old Sawyer Mountain Road back to the parking area rather than following the Smith Trail through the woods.

From Limington:

From the back of the Limington parking area located off of ME Route 117, follow the rightmost trail which is the trail closest to the map box. The trail is marked with small wooden plaques, each of which bears a carved yellow turtle. The trail remains straight and level for the first 0.2 miles. At the point where the trail begins to ascend, bear left to the marked foot trail that parallels the old Sawyer Mountain Road. Please note that at this point the road is the Trust boundary and that the land to the right is private property. Please respect our neighbors. One tenth of a mile later, the trail rejoins the old Sawyer Mountain Road and ascends steeply. The old road was the main access to homes and farms on Sawyer Mountain until the road was officially discontinued over 100 years ago. At the top of the rise, note the red historic hunting camp on the right. This camp was built in the 1940’s by the father of Sherwood Libby who was one of the Trust’s founders. A short distance past the camp, the Trust’s property lies on both sides of the old Sawyer Mountain Road. At 0.7 miles in, look for the beaver dam on the right. At 0.8 miles, the trail reaches “The New Road” which was built at the turn of the century to provide access to Sawyer Mountain from the Norton Road. A Trust trail sign marks this junction.

At 0.9 miles, you will pass the Estes Cemetery on the right.

At 1.0 miles, a trust trail sign marks the junction of the trail and the “New Skidway” logging road. The trail to the sign’s left leads to the Town of Limington’s scenic overlook. However, to reach the summit, continue straight. Please note that immediately after the sign, the land to the right of the road is private property. Stay left on the old Sawyer Mountain Road which after a tenth of a mile leaves Trust property. Please stay on the old Sawyer Mountain Road which is a legal Right-Of-Way across private property. On the Right-Of-Way, note the nine-foot deep gullies though which the trail passes. For hundreds of years until the 1980’s, this road was level with the surrounding ground.  Then modern vehicles caused the severe erosion that you see today. Continue up the road on the Right-Of-Way until you again reach Trust property. You might notice red blazes which mark the boundary; this is also the boundary between the Towns of Limington and Limerick. Continue up the trail until you reach the Trust sign for the summit at the 1.5 mile mark. Turn left and continue to the summit along the ridge of the mountain.

The trail crosses back into Limington where the summit is located 0.3 miles later. Look for the sign that marks the site of the whale oil light that was used for Portland Harbor navigation in the eighteenth century. Sawyer Mountain is visible from the ocean and sailors could line up the light with other points to guide their ships into the harbor. The lighthouse was later replaced with a stone monument which was then destroyed by a lightning strike in 1913.

Other Information

Hikers are welcome to leave the trail and explore FSHT property. However if you are leaving the trail, it is easy to get turned around in the many ridges and valleys in this wild area. If you are going to leave the trail, you should bring a map and compass and optionally a GPS device. This remote area is one of the few places where a hiker can still get lost yet be so close to civilization.

FSHT land is surrounded by private property so please be considerate of our neighbors. Hunting is allowed on FSHT lands so dress appropriately during hunting season. Please keep you pet under control as there are many wild animals in the area.

Natural Heritage HikesNatural Heritage Hikes is a project of the Maine Natural Areas Program in partnership with Maine Trail FinderView the Sawyer Mountain - Smith Trail Natural Heritage Hike Guide.

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 the Francis Small Heritage Trust online for more information or contact:

Francis Small Heritage Trust
PO Box 414
Limerick, ME 04048
Phone: (207) 221-0853
mail@fsht.org

Comments

phan June 20, 2018, 9:04 pm EDT

Today’s hike in the Sawyer Mountain Highlands was wonderful! We went to the trailhead at Limington (117), got a map, and decided to go up the Sawyer Mountain Road. We saw the sign for the Sherwood Libby Trail, but most reviews we read were for the former, so we opted for that. The trail is so interesting! There are cabins and homes right on the road, as well as numerous cemeteries and side trails. We stayed on the main trail and with a few stops for breathing and water, made it to the top with no problems. The bugs (after spraying ourselves with bug spray) were minimal, although we had to reapply later in the hike. Glad we wear hiking boots-can't imagine trying to do this in sneakers! We descended via the Sherwood Libby Trail, which proved to be a beautiful, winding meander through the woods, up and down several “hills”. There are some steep areas, but nothing too taxing. Amazing rock walls for property boundaries made us appreciate the hard work the early settlers must have endured. The whole trip took us just under 3 ½ hours (4.9 miles). Lots of stops for water, pictures and trail mix! Saw two owls and the usual number of squirrels. Everything was well-marked and easy to follow. We understand the Sherwood Libby Trail is new…great job! We will definitely go back. You get two types of trails in this one hike-rocky and steep, and woodland roots and pine needles! Both are well-worth the effort. (Since we read other posts, we were not expecting a "view" at the top.)

iceflame May 31, 2018, 12:35 am EDT

I went 5/27/18, up the Limerick (West) side. The trail was pretty well marked, and I saw several dozen ladyslippers on my way up littered all around the trail. It was a good quick hike, though as other comments have mentioned, summit views are mostly blocked by trees.One thing to keep in mind- I was coming from East, and my GPS had me actually taking Sawyer Mountain Road to the Limerick trailhead, which is not possible. I saw the Limington trailhead (5 cars were there on a Sunday) but Sawyer Mountain Road discontinues for vehicles shortly after and becomes impassable/the hiking trail.

sammismith@yahoo.com April 30, 2017, 8:18 am EDT

I went in from the Limington side, up and back from 117. Nice enough walk through the woods, and the old cemeteries and homestead foundation are interesting. But the views are mostly blocked and unspectacular. Decent walk to get some exercise, but I wouldn't recommend it, at least from the Limington side.

the cone August 29, 2015, 10:02 pm EDT

...but view from summit is worth the hike...nice place to sit & have a lunch too.

the cone August 29, 2015, 10:01 pm EDT

Not sure about climbing the height of land for a 'rewarding view"...i did & there really isnt a view, trees block it....

tonerspill May 08, 2014, 9:52 pm EDT

A good Summer hike, I can't believe they used a hill this far inland as an aid to ship navigation, an interesting history.

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