Originally published in Seasonal Guide, September 27, 2012
Five must-visit conservation lands this fall
by Jennifer Plowden, Blue Hill Heritage Trust
One of the most stunning views this fall can be seen from the top of Blue Hill Mountain. Three trails of varying difficulty traverse the mountain to the summit. At the top, hikers are rewarded with panoramic fall colors, scenic views that extend from Blue Hill Bay to Mount Desert Island, and glimpses of Blue Hill’s winding roads and church steeples. The least difficult approach up the mountain starts at the Hayes Field and continues up the Service Trail; a more difficult route continues up the Hayes Trail. Hikers looking for longer round-trip mileage may start their hike on the 1-mile trail behind the post office and continue onto the Osgood Trail after crossing Mountain Road. The Connector Trail links the Osgood and Hayes Trails.
John B. Mountain in Brooksville is a 250-foot mountain on the edge of Eggemoggin Reach. A steep and rocky trail leads hikers to the summit, which boasts an extensive view of the surrounding coves and nearby mountains. A small parking lot and the trailhead are located on the west side of Breezemere Road, 0.8 miles from Route 176. A larger parking lot is located 0.2 miles closer to Route 176. The summit of John B. Mountain is home to a fragile natural community of shrubs, mosses and lichens. Please take extra care to stay on marked trails and leave the land as you found it.
Snow’s Cove Preserve in Sedgwick features interesting topography, beautiful rocks and trees, extensive views of the Bagaduce River and diverse types of fungi. A small parking area is located on the west side of Route 15/Snow’s Cove Road, approximately 1.3 miles south of the junction of Routes 15 and 176.
Kingdom Woods Conservation Area contains over three miles of trails and the entire shore of an undeveloped pond, with abundant opportunities for hiking and wildlife observation. This preserve has many forested acres that include red spruce, balsam fir, red maple, white pine, red oak, white cedar, and fir trees. Visitors should be sure to visit the shore of Fourth Pond. There are a few ways to access the trails at Kingdom Woods. A small parking area is located on Kingdom Road, 1.5 miles from Route 177 in Blue Hill. This trailhead can be used to access a 2.5-mile network of trails.
Cooper Farm on Caterpillar Hill also provides wonderful walking trails through the forest and a lovely view to Eggemoggin Reach, Deer Isle, and beyond. The trailhead and parking area are located on Cooper Farm Road, just off Caterpillar Hill Road in Sedgwick.
Trail maps and directions to these and other conservation properties can also be found online at bluehillheritagetrust.org.