Carson Hinckley

East Madrid – Driving out to East Madrid for a hike at Perham Stream Birding Trail you probably aren’t expecting to meet Carson Hinkley, a seventh-generation resident of the East Madrid settlement. Carson grew up and lives today in the farmhouse across from the trailhead.

For years, he maintained the two miles of trails that make up the trail system on his own time and dollars keeping them open to the public year-round for walking, birding, snowshoeing, or sledding; all non-motorized recreation.

He’s documented the flora and fauna daily following in the footsteps of of his mother and grandmother, who journaled about the changes of the seasons and the happenings in the settlement.

An ongoing archaeological dig at the trailhead has unearthed some unique treasures, which will one day be on display at the Perham Stream Settlement Museum, located in Carson’s barn. Already on display are artifacts from the farming done historically on site.

“The trail is always open, and if the barn door is open then the Perham Stream Settlement Museum is too,” says Hinkley.

In 2021, the High Peaks Alliance (HPA) purchased the 80-acre property, with its miles of trails, half a mile of frontage on Perham Stream, and spectacular views of Saddleback Mountain and Mount Abraham from Carson. It was our first property.


Today, Carson continues to greet visitors, maintain the trails, and document the natural world. He “prioritized his family’s legacy, the local environment, and public access,” says Lloyd Griscom, HPA Board President.

We encourage you to cruise out to the Perham Stream Birding Trail. It’s nestled in the valley between Saddleback, The Horn, and Mt. Abraham with easy walking trails and endless views. Carson will be there filling the bird feeders, mowing the trails, and greeting visitors.

High Peaks Alliance

Maine’s High Peaks region is home to breathtaking mountains, thousands of acres of working forest, and rich wildlife habitats. Through advocacy and conservation, the High Peaks Alliance works to conserve land and access for future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Join them and learn more at

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