Widely known for its hiking, the Rangeley area has many trails throughout the region for hikers of all abilities.

The following hiking trails listed here are some of the most scenic and most popular.

Angel Falls

A easy to moderate (brook crossings) 1.5 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 200 feet and an average hiking time of two hours round trip.

Directions:

Option 1: From Oquossoc, take Rt. 17 south for about 18.5 miles to Houghton.  Turn right onto an unnamed gravel road (adjacent to a large open field).  Immediately cross a bridge over the Swift River, then turn right onto Bemis Road and drive north for about 3.5 miles.  This is a gravel road that can be very rough, use caution.  Look for a small parking area and trail sign on left.

Option 2: From Oquossoc, take Rt. 17 south for 3.7 miles.  Turn right on to Herbie Welch Road (across from South Shore Drive).  Go almost a mile to a four-way intersection.  Turn left onto Bemis Road.  Drive about 11 miles south on Bemis Road.  This is a gravel road that can have some rough spots, use caution.  There is a sign on the right marking the trail.  Park along the road.

Trail Description: Walk, do not drive and follow a dirt road downhill through gravel pit keeping an eye out for red blazes.  Cross Berdeen Stream, the bear left and continue following the trail (red blazed) through the woods to Mountain Brook.  The trail follows the brook up stream and crosses (rock hops) the brook three times before you come to the falls.  Use caution as stream crossings can be slippery and can even be dangerous or impassable during high water.  Angel Falls, with a 90 foot plunge, in one of the most impressive waterfalls in Maine.

Bald Mountain

A two and a half miles round trip  hike with an elevation gain of 900 feet and an average hiking time of three hours round trip.

Directions:  From Rangeley, travel west on Rt.4 for seven miles. Travel through the center of Oquossoc Village heading towards Mooselookmeguntic Lake/Haines Landing.  Approximately one mile turn left onto the Bald Mountain Road.  Go 8/10 of a mile, parking lot is on the left.

Trail Description: The trail (blue blazed) begins with a gradual ascent through forest, and then climbs up rock and ledge to the summit. There are outstanding views from the “hiker’s tower” at the summit.

Sue Downes-Borko

East Kennebago Mountain

Directions:  Ten miles east of Rangeley on Rt. 16 turn left on gravel road. Cross bridge, take right. At fork go left, take second right, park (6 miles total from bridge). A post with many snowmobile trail signs marks trailhead. Look for sign for E. Kennebago.

Description: Trail is good for mountain bikes…less than 6 miles.

Mingo Springs Trail and Bird Walk

Directions:

From the East – From the intersection of ME Routes 4 and 16 in downtown Rangeley, head north on ME Route 4 for 2.2 miles and turn left onto Mingo Loop Road.  Continue 0.4 miles on Mingo Loop Road and turn left onto Alpine Way.  The trailhead parking area is on your left.

From the West- From the intersection of ME Routes 4 and 17 in Oquossoc Village, Rangeley, head south on ME Route 4 approximately 4.5 miles and turn right onto Mingo Loop Road.  (A first entrance to Mingo Loop Road will be on the right at about 1.8 miles from the intersection; proceed past this to the second entrance).  Continue 0.4 miles on Mingo Loop Road and turn left onto Alpine Way.  The trail head parking area is on your left.

Trail Description:  This four seasons trail is a three mile loop around Mingo Springs Golf Course.  The two mile loop around the back nine is marked with red blazes.  The one mile loop around the front nine is marked with blue blazes.  On level to rolling terrain, the trail features a vernal pool, stretches of hardwood forest, a cedar swamp, pastures scattered with spruce and fir and a mature stand of softwoods.  Benches along the trail provide places for rest and reflection.  Mingo Springs Golf Course is a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.  The trail, suitable for all ages, is a great place for viewing wildlife and wildflowers, as well as early morning bird walks.  This is a carry-in, carry-out trail.  Dogs on leashes are permitted; owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.  Trail maps, restrooms, food and beverages are available at Mingo Springs Golf Course Pro Shop mid-May through mid-October.

Mountain Pond

A moderate three mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 600 feet and an average hiking time of three hours round trip.

Directions: From Rangeley follow Rt. 4 south for 4.5 miles.  Turn right onto the Edelheid Road and proceed about a half mile to utility pole #13.  The trail head is on the right.  Park along the road.

Trail Description: The trail (red blazed) begins with a gentle climb, crosses under a power line, and continues up a wooded hillside to a gravel road.  The trail doglegs right for about 100 yards along the logging road then turns left and re-enters the woods again.  Follow the trail up through the woods and into a coniferous forest.  The trail turns right, climbs along a wooded ridge and descends to the shore where there is a nice spot for a “picnic by the pond”.

Rangeley Lakes Trails Center

Directions: From Rangeley, travel south on Rt. 4 for approximately one mile and take a left onto Dallas Hill Road.  Travel the Dallas Hill Road for seven miles and take a right onto the Saddleback Mountain Road.  The Rangeley Lakes Trail Center is 2.5 miles up, on the left.

Trail Description; Rangeley’s premiere cross-country ski center offers seven miles of hiking trails for mountain biking, hiking, strolling and nature watching,

Saddleback Mountain

Directions:  From Rangeley head south on Rt. 4 for approximately one mile and take a left onto Dallas Hill Road.  Travel seven miles and take a left onto the Saddleback Mountain Road for approximately four miles.  Base lodge is on the left.

Trail Description:  The hike to the summit of Saddleback Mountain begins at the Base Lodge and follows the road up the Wheeler Slope to the Gray Ghost and Tri Color trails. Tri Color will bring you to the top of the Kennebago Quad, where a short, narrow trail behind the upper building leads to Saddleback’s summit. Note: Temperatures at the summit are significantly cooler.  Please check at the Base Lodge for additional hiking trails

Stephanie

Smalls’ Falls

Directions: From Rangeley travel south on Rt. 4 for 12 miles.  Area is on the right.

Trail Description: Picnic area, scenic spot. Cross footbridge. Trail goes along stream to other falls. Children love this area.

Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Spencer Pond

An easy, one mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 300 feet and average hiking time of one hour round trip.

Directions: From Oquossoc follow Rt. 17 south for 12.7 miles (9.1 miles south from the State Park Road/South Shore Drive).  The trailhead is on the left, where there is a small parking area.

Trail Description: The trail (red blazed) is a gentle climb along a wide, grassy, old woods road.  After about a half mile the trail joins a gravel road.  Keep to the right and follow the red blazes.  Shortly, a metal gate blocks the road.  Do not open the gate.  Walk around the gate and continue a short way, then take a right down to the shore of the pond where the trail ends.

Wilhelm Reich Museum Walking Trails

Directions: From Rangeley travel on Rt. 4 for 3.6 miles.  Take a right onto Dodge Pond Road.  Museum entrance is approximate 4/10th of a mile on the left.

Trail Description: The trails are open year-round, but please call ahead for weekend use. Trails are a series of interconnecting loops featuring self-guided nature trail, bird watching area, and educational stations. Picnic tables

CONSERVATION LAND HIKING TRAILS

Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust (www.rlht.org) maintains traditional public access and uses of the land for recreation, education, and scientific study. We offer free public access to 35 miles of recreational trails, superb recreational fishing, hunting, hiking, and snowmobiling as well as multiple picnic & landing sites on our 26 separate parcels. Enjoy your visit and please do your part to keep our trails free of these trails by all – practice Leave No Trace and Pack-in/Pack-out. If you need further information please contact Shelby Rousseau, Stewardship Director at 864-7311 x 4 or [email protected]

Hunter Cove Wildlife Sanctuary

This trail system winds through 100 acres of forested land on a beautiful ½ mile section of “Hunter Cove” on Rangeley Lake.  The property provides habitat for a host of song birds, wading birds, and amphibians, and features a critically important deer wintering area. The property was originally donated to the Maine Audubon Society in 1974 as a sanctuary for wildlife, and in 2004 Audubon donated the property to Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust to ensure its sustainable stewardship.

Location: Town of Rangeley

Directions: Route 4, 4.5 miles north of Rangeley, or 3 miles south of Oquossoc

Trail Description: Two miles of easy, flat trails with several “loop” options. This is a great area for families, bird watching, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing and photography.  Accessible by foot or via canoe from Hunter Cove.

Tips: The Outer trail extends to the shore of Hunter Cove. There are several low-lying wet areas that feature extensive sections of bog bridging.  Prepare for muddy conditions and wet feet, particularly in April, May and June.   There are a number of picnic tables at the edge of the parking lot and along the shorefront.

Rangeley River Corridor

RLHT purchased this 150-acre property in Oquossoc from Union Water Power Company in 1995.  Union Water Power owned the property for more than a century after buying it from Squire Rangeley, the Town’s namesake in 1878.     Squire Rangeley had built the dam in 1836 to power his gristmill.   The dam is still used today to control water levels in Rangeley Lake.  The old rail bed that runs through the property was part of the Rangeley Lakes and Sandy River Narrow Gauge Railroad, which crossed the dam from Oquossoc and ran up to Kennebago Lake.  The property has a long history of recreational use, including fishing, hunting, and biking.    The popular ITS 84 snowmobile trail runs through this property and connects riders to the village of Oquossoc.

Location: Oquossoc Village in the Town of Rangeley

Directions: Access by Hatchery Road (behind Oquossoc Grocery)

Trail Description: One mile of easy trail suitable for walking, running, skiing, snowshoeing, biking, snowmobiling

Tips: This trail provides access for anglers, bikers and snowmobilers and features 2 streamside picnic tables

Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Hatchery Brook Trail

The Hatchery Brook Trail is located on the outskirts of Rangeley village. It features 50 acres of   forested land and a ½ mile of frontage on Rangeley Lake.  A network of shoreline and forested wetlands provide critical wildlife habitat.   Bog walkways provide low-impact travel across the wetlands and minimizes impact to sensitive plants and soils. The dock we installed in 2009 and three picnic sites on Russell Cove provide water access for boaters while affording views of Town Park.

Location:  Town of Rangeley

Directions:  By Car: From the Town of Rangeley, take Route 4 North.  Approximately 1/2 mile north of town, turn left onto Manor Road.  Drive another 1/4 mile; the parking lot is on the right, and the trail head is on the left.  By Boat:  From Town Cove, paddle/boat to the right away from the cove; go around a point, and into the second cove.  Hatchery Brook is on the west shore of the cove.

Trail Description: Easy hike on a flat 1 mile loop trail.

Tips: Bring a pack-in/pack-out lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables on the shore of the lake.  Paddle over from Town Park to enjoy a nice hike.

Cascade Stream Gorge

In 1978 Cascade Stream Gorge was listed in the Maine State Planning Office’s Register of Critical Areas because of its unique natural, scenic and geological features.  The showstopper is a stunning gorge that drops 90 feet into the stream.  With 50-acres of steep forested land and over ½ mile of frontage on Cascade Stream, this is a popular hike for summer visitors seeking a refreshing spray of cool air or lunch at a one of the two picnic sites.  Cascade Stream flows out of City Pond, which is just to the east of the property and was once a public drinking water supply for the Town of Rangeley.

Location:  Sandy River Plantation

Directions: From downtown Rangeley, drive south on Route 4 for approximately 4 miles to Sandy River Plantation.  At the intersection of South Shore Drive and Town Hall Road, take a left.  Drive 100 yards to intersection (Town Hall is straight ahead), take a left, and then an immediate right (look for marker in trees).    Go up a steep driveway and bear to the right along a gravel road that leads to parking area and trail head.

Trail Description: 1.5 miles, predominately along the bedrock shores of the gorge.

Tips: This hike provides excellent opportunities for photographing wildlife, the scenic falls, and a host of plants.  Sturdy, non-slip footwear and special attention to small children are a must for this hike!

Forest Legacy Trail

The Forest Legacy Trail is located on a 1,200 acre parcel that lies on the western shores of Mooselookmeguntic and Cupsuptic Lakes.  Accessed easily by car or boat, it offers 6+ miles of interconnecting trails of that range from easy to difficult.  It also offers four lakefront campsites that are managed by the Stephen Phillips Memorial Preserve.  Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust acquired the property from a large timber company in 1994 utilizing federal conservation funds from the Forest Legacy Program.    Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is proud to provide local timber and forest product jobs that arise from the sustainable management of this working forest.

Location: Adamstown

Directions:  By Car: Take Route 16 West from Oquossoc.  Drive 9.1 miles and take a left onto Mud Pond Road.  Drive .5 miles and park in the designated lot; the trail head is across the road.  By Boat: From Haines Landing (end of Route 4), boat directly across the lake.  The trail head is marked by a boat dock.

Trail Description: The property includes over 6 miles of interconnecting hiking trails with a maximum elevation of 2,100 feet.  The trails consist of gently sloping hills and interesting outcrops as well as several steep passes that require time and energy. A moderate 4 mile loop hike provides good views of Cupsuptic Lake.  The length of this hike can be cut in half by taking a designated drop-down trail.

Tips: Follow trail markers.   Reservations for camping can be made by calling the Stephens Phillips Memorial Preserve at 207-864-2003.

Bonney point conservation lands

RLHT purchased this 280-acre property in 2001.  It consists of primarily forested land interspersed with rolling fields and meadows.  Evidence of its agricultural history can still be found in the form of stone walls, wire fencing and crumbling livestock watering wells.  With over ½ mile of frontage on Rangeley Lake, the property provides diverse habitat for song birds, wading birds, amphibians, beaver, bear, deer and moose.  In late summer, the fields produce wildflowers and berries enjoyed by hikers and many types of wildlife.

Located in: Town of Rangeley

Directions: From Rangeley, take Route 4 five miles north of town, take a left on the Bonney Point Road, and ravel approximately ¾ mile.  The parking area is on left.

Trail Description:  2 mile loop, easy hiking

Tips: There is a beaver dam at Smith Cove that floods parts of the loop during high water.  Pay attention to trail markers and don’t forget to bring a camera!

South Bog conservation lands

This site consists of 1,000 acres of primarily forested uplands surrounding South Bog stream.  It includes extensive bog wetlands and also features ledge outcrops that afford expansive views of Rangeley Lake.  The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust purchased the property in 2004 to protect its natural resource values and to continue the long history as a “working forest” that supports local jobs.  An interpretive trail was constructed in 2009 providing users the opportunity to learn about the natural resources significant to the property and throughout the Rangeley Lakes region.  Improvements in 2012 extended the trail system to Rangeley Lake and created a perfect place to enjoy a picnic!

Location:  Rangeley Plantation

Directions: 5 miles south on Rte 17 from Oquossoc Village, take a left onto South Shore Drive.  Go 4 miles, parking area on left just after South Bog Stream Bridge.

Trail Description:  Easy interpretive trail that provides information about the stream restoration efforts conducted by the Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and areas of special natural resource interest.

Height of Land / Bemis Stream

This 512 acre- parcel has been conserved by RLHT to forever ensure that this spectacular vista remains unspoiled.  Located along the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway and bordering the Maine Bureau of Public Lands, the Appalachian Trail, Mooselookmeguntic Lake and Bemis Stream, the “Height of Land” parcel is identified on virtually every map, tour guide, brochure and web site that focuses on the Rangeley Lakes region. With stunning views of Mooselookmeguntic Lake, the Richardson Lakes and the White Mountains, this forested lake landscape provides the perfect setting for artists, visitors and all who appreciate spectacular scenery.  RLHT purchased the 512-acre property in 2008 from a large timber company and is currently engaged in a fundraising campaign to complete the acquisition.

Location:  Township D

Directions:  12 miles south on Rte 17 from Oquossoc Village

Trail Description: 2.2 mile roundtrip (hike down along the AT from HOL and then return on the same trail)

Tips: The first 300 yards are quite steep and hikers should use caution on this portion of the AT. But then a less rigorous grade descends through verdant forest and passes clear freshets to the banks of Bemis Stream. Excellent opportunities to see wildlife and a variety of plant species.  To learn more about Height of Land efforts, visit www.heightofland.org

Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

RLHT is proud to provide permanent public access to these cherished trails and we hope you enjoy your visit.  And please feel free to call if you have any questions or comments regarding our trails – Shelby Rousseau, Stewardship Director 864-7311 x 4 or [email protected]

Here are some additional tips for protecting both yourself and the environment:

·         Remember that even if you are planning a short trip, wear proper footwear, pack plenty of water, food and extra clothes.

·         It is wise to always make sure to let someone know of your plans! The weather can change quite quickly and as with all excursions it is always best to be over prepared.

Carry In, Carry Out – Not only is litter unsightly, it attracts nuisance wildlife and contributes to unsafe human and wildlife interactions.
Stay on marked trail – Stay off shoreline grasses, plants and trees. Vegetation stabilizes the soils and prevents siltation that increases the nutrient loads and impacts fish and wildlife habitats.
For your own safety – Please drink bottled, boiled or filtered water. Though the water is considered clean, it is not safe for human consumption.
Human and pet waste – is a significant source of water pollution. “Solid“ waste contributes to increased phosphorus production and high fecal coli form counts. Please utilize the outhouses and immediately clean up after your pet. When an outhouse is not available, dig a “trench” 6-8” deep and cover it when you are done.
Camp in designated areas only – and never start a campfire without fire permit and landowner permission. Use a portable stove for cooking trailside.

CONSIDER JOINING A T.R.A.C. OUTING!

If you hesitate to go it alone, you might want to join the local T.R.A.C. group for one of their bi-weekly outings. Depending on the day and the destination, the group consists of year round locals, summer residents and of course the occasional vacationer. The group of hiking enthusiasts meet on Tuesdays and Fridays of each week and always welcomes newcomers. Although most of the outings are strictly hiking, some outings might include biking or kayaking.

On Tuesdays they meet at the Rangeley Chamber parking lot and on Fridays they meet up at the Oquossoc kiosk parking lot.  After that the group can head out together. If you are interested you should definitely check with group president Jeff Zapolsky to see if this is a good fit for you by emailing him at [email protected] You may also check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TrailsforRangeleyAreaCoalition/

T.R.A.C. group seen here at Piazza Rock during their first hike this season.

 


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