MADRID TOWNSHIP — In Madrid’s Intervale, the low-lying area between Saddleback, Saddleback Junior and Mt. Abraham, Carson Hinckley, owner and proprietor of the Perham Stream Birding Trail, invites the community to use the Perham Stream Birding Trail and Museum.

Open year-round, free to visitors, the 2.2-mile trail network winds nature enthusiasts through five birding subhabitats, offers panoramas of the valley and unique opportunities to view the history of one of Maine’s many unorganized townships. The trail is wide and maintained with a mower biweekly, is easy to navigate and is suitable for all ages. Pets are welcome but must be leashed.

Though teeming with history, the valley is mostly barren of homesteads. Once home to 68 buildings, only a few stand today. A cemetery, maintained by Hinckley, speaks to the generations who built their lives in the Intervale, where there was no store and bartering was the way of life.

The museum hosts a collected of historical farming equipment that was used in the Intervale until as recent as the last decade. Hinckley has been collecting and sharing his collection with visitors for many years. As he says, “If the barn door is open, the museum is open.”

To visit the Perham Stream Birding Trail, travel north on Route 4 to Phillips, turning right onto Route 142 in Phillips. Following Route 142 for 2.5 miles, visitors will turn left onto the East Madrid Road. The trail is 4.7 miles from the turn, stay straight through the intersection, cross over Perham Stream, arriving at 658 East Madrid Road, a red farmhouse. The trailhead and kiosk are on the left.

Birders from the first annual Rangeley Birding Festival visit Perham Stream Birding Trail.

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