I’m developing a list of sites for a western Maine ‘Ice-age Trail’ (Oxford County). There was an emphasis on the Downeast trail for sites to be next to or visible from the road. I’m kicking it up a notch. The sites below are organized by difficulty (EASY meaning you can see them from the car, ADVENTUROUS meaning you will hike or scramble >20 min). This list is a work in progress.
EASY (Visible from your car)
North Pond, Locke Mills, Rt 26 – Whaleback smoothed bedrock island, you will see other outcrops of smoothed bedrock.
Hebron Academy, Rt 119 – Smoothed bedrock
Screw Auger Falls Gorge, Grafton Notch State Park, Rt 26 – These gorges form when the high pressure of an overbearing glacier and high water flows carve slots into the bedrock.
Kezar Five Ponds, Waterford, off Rt 35 – Esker cuts across ponds!
FAMILY FUN (Great trails for walking/hiking with kids)
Daggett Rock, Phillips, off Rt 142 and Wheeler Road (Franklin County, but close) – Largest glacial erratic in Maine
Mt. Cutler, Hiram, Rt 5 and 113 – Hike up the front of the hill, be mindful of steep areas, great view of the town and the Saco River. The trail continues to this second lookout.
Stone Tower, Douglas Mountain, Sebago, off Rt 107 (Cumberland County, but close enough) – Beautiful hike through forest along boyscout trail to large Stone Tower, the view from the top shows you the ocean, Sebago Lake, Mt. Washington, bogs and waterways, Pleasant Mountain, and many other features. After seeing the view from the top of the tower, go down the Ledges Trail to the glacially-smoothed bedrock to look for chatter marks.
Waterways are abundant in and around the Saco River (near Rt 5 and 113). Grab a kayak and a map, and go explore! The Saco River has incredible sandy banks, sand brought by the glaciers and rivers within them.
Table Rock, Grafton Notch State Park, Rt 26 – The trail is a bit steep and boulder-rich in places, but the view is great!
Glacial erratics, many places
ADVENTUROUS (>20 min walk/hike/kayak)
Old Speck, Grafton Notch State Park, Rt 26 – This hike is a bit more challenging, but is beautiful and rewarding. The U-shaped valleys and smoothed bedrock remind us of the glacier’s presence.