- MUD SEASON ALERT! If the gate is closed on Don Fish road, it means the road is soft and will be damaged by vehicle traffic. Please park at the Hatchery and walk in.
- All mountain bike trails are closed to all users until the ground firms up (including Capstone, Upper Capstone, Connector South climbing trail). These trails will be damaged by use while they are wet.
- No bikes or horses on the Hillside trail north (new) section until further notice. It is also very wet and easily damaged. Thank you for your help keeping the trails sustainable!
- Observe social distancing when parking as well as on the trail. See recommendations for safely enjoying the outdoors in winter.
- Please stay on the trail or on bare rock. The mosses and low growth on the ledges of Great Pond Mountain and other peaks are fragile and easily killed.
- With nights often dipping below freezing, many sections of the trails may still be icy. Bring creepers.
- Please keep your pets leashed for the benefit of users and wildlife.
- The North and South Gates are closed for the season – stay tuned for updates for summer 2021
Alternative Hikes in the Wildlands
Been up Great Pond Mountain more than 5 times? Is the Mountain Trailhead parking lot full? Try these hikes, which all cover great terrain and have great views. Times are round trip and approximate: From the North Gate: Flying Moose Mountain (2 hours): Walk down the Valley Road about 1.5 miles. Just after the Baker Brook bridge, go sharply left on the Flying Moose gravel road and climb gradually about .5 miles, until the road levels off. Turn left at the sign and follow the narrowing trail to the summit (about .4 miles). Enjoy the views from the ledges, including fine views of the Mount Desert Island mountains. Birches Path (2.5 hours): Walk down the Valley Road about 1.5 miles. Just after the Baker Brook bridge, go sharply left on the Flying Moose gravel road and climb gradually about .5 miles. The road levels off and continues to a bench with great views of the Wildlands . The trail continues as Birches Path, traversing under the summit of Flag Hill, with views of Great Pond Mountain and the Hothole Valley. Birches Path ends at Mountain View Road, where you turn right and follow it gradually down back to Valley Road. Turn right to go back to the North Gate. From the South Gate: Oak Hill (2 hours): Walk in on the Valley Road a short distance and at the sign, take Esker Trail, which follows a glacial esker past beaver ponds, through the woods about 1.2 miles to its end. Turn right on the Hillside Trail. After about .4 miles, turn right on Oak Hill Trail. You will soon reach the summit with several views of Hothole Valley and beyond. On your way back, you can take Hillside Trail down to the Valley Road and then back to the South Gate. Mead Mountain Loop (3 hours): Walk in on the Valley Road 1.5 miles to Mead Mountain Road on your left. Follow the road over the bridge (large beaver house on the left) to its end. Follow the footpath to the top and then to the right down to ledges and a fine view of Hothole Valley. Care is needed here if the ledges are wet. Continue back downhill on the north side of the loop trail. After you rock-hop across Hothole Stream you will come back out on the Valley Road. Head back to the right to the South Gate. Maps and more information