One of Maine's five original state parks, Bradbury Mountain is only 485' high but has over 21 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Most prefer the trails on the west (parking lot) side of Route 9. These trails converge at the summit of Bradbury where one can see Casco Bay, the skyline of Portland, and breathtaking colors during fall foliage. We'll decide which trail(s) to take once we know who is coming.
Springtime hiking can sometimes be muddy. Wear shoes you don't mind getting muddy.
See Bradbury Mountain Photos
Admission: $3.00 for Adult, Free for Seniors 65 or over
Directions: From North and South: Take exit 22 off from 295, follow signs to Bradbury, take left at Pownal Road, follow for 5 miles to stop sign in center of Pownal. Take right on ME Route 9, park entrance will be 1/2 mile up ME Route 9 on your left.
If you want to carpool from Brunswick, let's meet at the Brunswick Station parking lot off Maine Street (at 10 am). Otherwise you can just meetup in the parking lot at the state park.
Trails (See Trail Map):
Northern Loop Trail
The one mile Northern Loop Trail, is a wide gradual ascent to the summit. Along the trail, visitors pass a feldspar quarry, active during the 1920's to mine feldspar used for making plates and cups. Further along the trail, a hiker will come upon a "Cattle Pound". This almost intact cattle pound was used by townspeople in the 1800's to keep stray farm animals that wandered onto other farmer's property. A fee would have to be paid to the "poundkeeper" to retrieve this animal. Many lady slippers, natures' wild orchid, are plentiful along this trail in spring, but please do not pick this rare plant.
The 0.3 mile Terrace Trail, at the base of the Northern Bluff was cultivated for grapes on still visible terraces that were renowned for miles around in the 1800's. In the 1940's, a rope tow pulled skiers to the top of the Northern Bluff for their speedy ascent to the bottom.
The one mile Tote Road offers visitors a longer hike through the interior of the park; wide and fairly flat, this trail is also excellent for cross-country skiing.
The 1.5 mile Boundary Trail is a more challenging trail with some steep descents over rock ledges. This trail will connect to the soon to be opened trails to the Pineland Public Reserved Lands. A large vernal pool is alongside this trail, where users can hear the springtime sounds of hundreds of frogs and salamanders during their annual mating ritual.
South Ridge Trail
The less traveled half mile South Ridge Trail provides views to the south. It is a steep, narrow trail with several staircases leading to its overlook.
The shortest trail, the 0.3 mile Summit Trail is a steep, wide ascent to the summit with some rock staircases and is the most popular trail at the park.
Visitors are also welcome to hike in the eastern half of the park, being aware that these trails are designed and used primarily by mountain bikers.
ABOUT THE PARK
Before the first Europeans arrived, Wabanakis camped on the mountain on trips to the coast. In the early 1800’s, the Cotton family raised grapes on terraces still visible on the mountain. To hold stray cattle, sheep, and pigs, the early settlers built the cattle pound that still stands on Rt. 9 near the Northern Loop Trail. Near the ball field visitors can still see where feldspar was mined in the 1920’s to make crockery and china.
Acquired from the Federal Government in 1939, Bradbury Mountain became one of the five original Maine state parks. In the 1940’s, it offered downhill skiing with a rope tow. In the 1990’s, the park added 250 acres, thanks to the generosity of the Spiegel family, funding from the Lands for Maine’s Future Fund, and the efforts of many people. These groups continue to work on expanding the park to eventually link to the Pineland Public Land parcel in New Gloucester.