By Lloyd Van Lunen, BTLT Board Vice President
I moved here in 1982 from Dover-Foxcroft, where I had lived for three years and where my opportunities for hiking and cross-country skiing were just about unlimited in every direction from my house, though there was little formal trail development. It took many years after relocating to increase my knowledge of similar opportunities in this area. Certainly some of this knowledge could come from Delorme’s Maine Atlas by visiting the state parks and other features on its maps, but most of it came from word-of-mouth from friends. By the year 2000, I knew of about 25 places I could go to for a hike or to ski including Audubon’s Newman Preserve and Bates’s Morse Mountain Preserve, as well as the state parks. Ironically, one of the first places I discovered was Crystal Spring Farm’s trails to ski on long before BTLT protected this special place.
I joined the BTLT board in 1995 and, among may other things, increased my awareness of land trust work in our area and the hiking outlets land trusts provided. Still there was no single comprehensive source of information for our area. Then, three years ago, I discovered MaineTrailFinder.com and about one year ago MaineByFoot.com and WOW! There were so many new places even a trail seeker like me didn’t know about. Spend some time on these two great resources and you will discover that our area of southern and central midcoast Maine has more hiking opportunities than any other part of the state, except for Acadia National Park. The only major piece missing is the area’s snowmobile trails, which can provide great places for fall walks and for cross-country skiing.
BTLT’s own trails are well covered on these two sites, but so are many more trails provided by other land trusts, town parks, Maine Audubon, the Nature Conservancy, and many others. Check them out and discover even more of what this part of Maine has to offer.