Bradbury Mountain
  • Location: Southern Maine, east of Freeport
  • Access: From I-295 near Freeport, take exit 22 and head west on Mallet Rd (Mallet Rd also heads east into Freeport and intersects Route 1 in town at a stoplight). At the T-intersection, take a left and head south on Durham Rd, follow that to another T-intersection, and head west on Pownal Rd about 5 miles to Route 9. Turn right and head north on Route 9 about a half mile, and watch for signs to the state park. Turn left into the state park and stop at the entrance booth to pay your entrance fee.
  • Maps: USGS quad: North Pownal, West Side trail mapEast side trail map
  • Trailhead: UTM NAD83 zone 19 405325e 4861492n, 287 ASL
  • Trail: We hiked a loop that takes in the summit by following the Northern Loop Trail to Terrace Trail to summit, and down via the Summit Trail, a distance of 1.2 miles with 200 elevation gain.
  • Fees: Day-use fee = $3/resident $4.50/non-resident (senior and child rates lower)
  • Dogs: Must be leashed
  • Weather: National Weather Service Forecast


October 12, 2009

It was the busiest state park Ive ever seen. We pulled into the park entrance, and both sides of the road were lined with cars and pedestrians in all shades of bright outdoor clothing. Two uniformed park attendants at the front booth stopped us, and one of them asked me if I was out of state, apparently meaning it would cost me more if we were. Finding it hard to hide the New Hampshire plates, I affirmed, and we paid $4.50 each to get in. Another uniform up ahead waved at us and pointed out a free parking spot, an apparent rarity. 

Mom, Andra and I hopped out the car and began walking along the paved road towards the Northern Loop trailhead. The sun was shining through a clear blue sky, highlighting the red, yellow and brown leaves on all the oaks and maples, creating a very pleasant atmosphere. We caught the Northern Loop Trail, and headed north along a wide path lined with forest. Route 9 closely parallels the trail, and the occasional car zooming by could be seen through the leaves. I was surprised by how many people were walking this trail. Very popular place, apparently. 

We took the turnoff for the Terrace Trail, which looked more like a footpath and less like a carriage road, and followed the path uphill through more golden forest essentially without any other hikers on the trail. It appears that most hikers remain on the longer, but more gradually-ascending Northern Loop to reach the mountain summit. This was confirmed when we reached the Northern Loop again just shy of the summit and encountered a parade of hikers heading up, which we joined in for the last 200 meters to the bald summit. More than 50 people lounged on the rock at the summit, overlooking a sea of fall-colored forest leading out towards the coves and bays of the Atlantic coast beyond Freeport, all of us savoring these last days of warm fall sunshine. 

We stayed a while enjoying the open view, and after snapping a few photographs, we began descending on the Summit Trail, a short and steep run that heads straight back to the parking lot. If time had allowed, Id have preferred to take the South Ridge trail back down, or perhaps even explored what I imagine to be a relatively lightly-used Boundary Trail, but we had schedules to keep, and so we headed on south. 

Bradbury Mountain, Maine
Bradbury Mountain, Maine
Bradbury Mountain, Maine

Bradbury Mountain, Maine
Bradbury Mountain, Maine
Bradbury Mountain, Maine
Bradbury Mountain, Maine
Bradbury Mountain, Maine
Bradbury Mountain, Maine
Bradbury Mountain, Maine
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Page created 1-3-09
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