During this lean ski season, I spent most of my days at Maine’s snowmaking powerhouse, Sunday River. Driving up from the Portland area, my route took me alongside South Pond in Greenwood, along the scenic Greenwood Road. All winter I was intrigued by the sign for Maggie’s Nature Park, which hangs beside a small parking lot and dual trailheads about two miles south of the Mt. Abram access road. After a short late-season day at Sunday River, I stopped by to explore this park.

Maggie’s Nature Park was established in 2005, when Greenwood resident Maggie Ring granted ownership of the 83-acre property to the town, and gave a conservation easement to the local Mahoosuc Land Trust. As Ring told the MLT in 2005, “I gave the land so my grandchildren and everyone else’s grandchildren can enjoy these woods. I want them to enjoy some of God’s good earth.” The network of trails at the Nature Park was developed and mapped by Blaine Mills, a local resident and volunteer.

The network at Maggie’s consists of six trails, which cover a little over three miles in total. Despite their short length, the trails cover some not-insignificant vertical, and rise to the tops of ledges and bluffs that overlook North, South and Twitchell ponds. Mills laid out the trails in a low-impact and sustainable manner, which means the climbs are characterized by switchbacks rather than a steep, sustained climb.

In the parking lot, two trailheads greet hikers. The entrance to the Loop Trail sits beside a wooden sign that shows the trail network – a network that has so grown that an additional, smaller wooden sign has been bolted atop to show the farthest trails. Hikers looking for the best views from the Nature Park should head out on the southernmost trailhead, which leads to the Peaked Mountain Trail.

Climbing the yellow-blazed Peaked Trail, a left onto the red blazes of Harriet’s Path leads to a ledge overlooking South Pond. From there the path reconnects to the Peaked Mountain Trail and climbs to that peak. Bearing left where that trail splits leads along open bluffs, eventually to a view of Twitchell Pond. Heading back down the Peaked Mountain Trail, a left (following orange blazes) leads to the summit of Ring Hill and another beautiful view, this time of the nearby Mt. Abram ski area. All told, a loop around the outer edge of the Maggie’s trails is a bit more than three miles.

Looking across South Pond from Harriet’s Path, a few other scenic ledges and bluffs are visible. A bit of research revealed that those are Buck’s and Lapham ledges. Both are easily accessible from a trailhead on Route 26.

At the intersection of Route 26 and Mills Road, an inconspicuous sign marks the trailhead for the ledges. The majority of the hike follows a gravel logging road, which has a metal gate (presumably to block unauthorized vehicles). While the gate was open, I parked at the bottom of the road at the advice of other hikers. It turned out to be the right decision; the road was in rough shape, and I didn’t have much confidence even my Subaru could tackle the washed-out surface.

About half a mile up the gentle slope of the logging road, a trail blazed with orange caution tape cuts to the right. This winding trail leads, after another half mile, to Lapham Ledge. The open ledge provides clear views to the south and east, with Bryant Pond and Peaked Mountain most prominently featured. Through breaks in the trees, the remaining snow on Mt. Abram was also visible.

Backtracking to the gravel logging road, the Buck’s Ledge trail leaves the road after another half-mile. The trail climbs steeply to the eponymous ledge, a long, exposed stretch with views of the surrounding area (and the White Mountains). From here, hikers can either backtrack to the logging road and their vehicle, or continue along the trail for a loop. The trail steeply drops to Mann Road, which runs along North Pond. Following the road south leads back to Route 26, intersecting a quarter-mile from the trailhead.

DIRECTIONS: Maggie’s Nature Park is on the Greenwood Road in Greenwood. The clearly marked parking lot is 14 miles north of where the road meets Route 118 in Norway, or 1.4 miles south of where the Greenwood Road meets Route 26 in Greenwood.

The trailhead for Buck’s and Lapham ledges is on Route 26 in Bryant Pond, at the northern intersection of Mills Road.

Josh Christie is a freelance writer and lifetime outdoors enthusiast. He shares column space in Outdoors with his father, John Christie. Josh can be contacted at:

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