Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The View from the Top...Bradbury Mountain

Today I just couldn't stay inside any longer! Right after breakfast Bre and I headed for Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal. If you've never been there, it's 6 miles from here and a fairly straight shot. And now that the Pownal Rd is newly paved, it's not only a straight shot but an easy one, too. Although most of the state parks are 'closed' for the season, access to the park is simple. You drive up to the gatehouse, deposit your park fee in the green can and head on in. Of course, paying is on the honor system, but c'mon, you've got 3 bucks, put it in the can!

There are trail maps right there at the gatehouse so be sure to pick one up. There is a large trail map there as well. There is another map at the start of the Northern Loop but I didn't see any other maps after that. All trail intersections were well-marked.
Bre and I took the Northern Loop to the Summit Trail. The Northern Loop is a fairly easy trek in the proper shoes. Not a flip flop trail unless you're 16 years old. If you can walk up Mill Street (the street Yankee Candle is on), you can do this!
Stop along the Northern Loop Trail to check out the feldspar mine (up a steep incline) and the cattle pen (alongside Rt 9). The trail meanders through the woods along Rt 9 for about a half mile, then takes a turn away from the road. I'm looking forward to this trek on snowshoes in the winter.

Stop at the Bluff for a lookout over the treetops, but don't be fooled, this isn't the TOP. You've still got another .4 miles to go. And you definitely want to go to the top! This is where the far view gives onto Casco Bay. You can even see Portland from this vantage point.

Bre and I decided to take the Summit Trail back to the parking lot. OK, this is not a trail you want a dog to pull you along! It's pretty much straight down and only levels off as you near the bottom!

This was a great mile or so hike in the autumn woods. And I can see where it will be fun in the winter on snowshoes or x-c skis.

Hope to see you there!

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