Exploring BTLT’s Trails this Winter

With winter on it’s way, snow will soon be starting to coat our yards, roads, and trails! All of BTLT’s trail are open year-round for low-impact recreation, but please note that not all parking areas are plowed or accessible when there is snow and ice*. Read on to find out more about visiting your favorite local trails this winter and a few friendly reminders to help you prepare for winter adventure.

Wintertime Reminders

  • Not all parking areas will be plowed immediately after a storm, so plan appropriately if you arrive before the plow has and visit another nearby preserve rather than parking along the roadside, which can be dangerous in the wintertime with narrow shoulders and roads also being plowed.  
  • Remember to consult the trail map before heading out and look for trail blazes along the way so that you always stay on the trail while snowshoeing or cross-country skiing during the winter, unless otherwise directed by signage, to respect sensitive areas and landowners’ privacy as well as that of nearby neighbors.
  • Trails are likely to be icy and contain slipping hazards, particularly after a light dusting of snow, so be cautious and bring micro spikes or crawlers with you just in case.
  • Share the trail! Many trails are great for both cross country skiing and snowshoeing/walking, so please try not to walk in tracks to keep them usable for others. A reminder that dogs must be leashed and to keep our four-legged friends off of ski tracks too. 

Androscoggin Woods – This beautiful riverside property is only open for low-impact recreation during the warmer weather months when the ground is clear due to unsafe and steep driveway conditions during winter weather. No parking is allowed along Route 196 due to fast-moving traffic and snowplowing, so please plan to visit between the spring and fall instead!

Bradley Pond Farm – The trail system is open year-round and the parking area is plowed during the winter months. If you’re snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, remember you must stay on marked trails at all times to respect the landowners’ privacy. 

Cathance River Nature Preserve – Reminder that Hiker Parking is permanently closed, and visitors must park in the Ecology Center parking area, which is plowed during the winter. Notoriously icy the past few winters, be sure to plan your visit appropriately and keep a pair of ice spikes in the car should you need them!

Chase Reserve – The trails are open year-round, and the parking area is plowed during the winter for wintertime exploration! Bunganuc Road has a very narrow shoulder that quickly drops off, so if the parking area is full, please plan to visit another time rather than parking alongside the road and potentially getting stuck.

Crystal Spring Farm – A beloved place to snowshoe and cross-country ski in the winter, remember to share the trail and try to keep ski tracks on one side of the pathway and snowshoes and boots on the other! Please stick to the edge of the woods if you are exploring the fields so that crop beds underneath do not get damaged when there is thin snow cover or rapid freeze thaw taking place. Both the Community Garden parking area and Farmers’ Market parking area are plowed during the winter, but please note the only a portion of the Farmers’ Market parking area is plowed.

Head of Tide Park – The Park and Cathance River Trail are both open year-round, but please note that the gate is closed north of Cathance Road during the wintertime and visitors must park in the other parking lot across the bridge, which is plowed during the winter.

*Skolfield Preserve – Please note that while the trails are open, the grassy parking area is not plowed or maintained during the winter and should only be attempted by 4-wheel drive vehicles during appropriate winter weather conditions.

Smart – The Town Landing Trail that crosses over the Smart property remains open during the winter and is accessible on foot only.

Maquoit Bay Conservation Lands – Views of Maquoit Bay can be enjoyed from this property year-round and the parking area is plowed throughout the winter.

Neptune Woods – These trails are used year-round by hikers and bikers alike – bikers should remember to pay attention to trail conditions during times of thaw to prevent trail erosion. Visitors are allowed to park along the plowed shoulder of Neptune Drive during the winter.

Tarbox Preserve – Enjoy views of the Cathance River from Tarbox Preserve this winter! The parking area off of Middlesex Road is plowed during the winter. 

Woodward Cove – This property is open year-round for low-impact recreation as well as access to the working waterfront. Please note that only a portion of the parking area is plowed during the winter.

Woodward Point – Owned by Maine Coast Heritage Trust and co-managed with BTLT, Woodward Point is open year-round, and the parking lot is plowed. Please observe all boundary signage when cross country skiing and respect abutting neighbors’ privacy. A fantastic place to cross-country ski but be sure to get out there soon after snowfall as this coastal property is often the first place to lose its snow!