Hikers reach the summit of Bradbury Mountain. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Whether you want to kill a couple of hours, fill a whole day or camp overnight, Bradbury Mountain State Park can meet your needs.

Hike up one of its trails to the summit and relish exceptional views of the 800-acre forested park, or take a hint from many of its visitors and bring along a picnic lunch and blanket so you can spend the afternoon relaxing at the top.

A Tentrr campsite in Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal is new this year. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Into the fall, you’ll find folks engaged in different activities, including birdwatching, horseback riding and off-road biking. (The park is the only one in southern Maine that offers shared-use trails for horseback riding and mountain biking.) Come winter, you’ll find lots of trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing.

The creation of a glacier, the mountain was home to the Wabanaki tribe before the first European settlers came. Afterward, families used the area to farm livestock; the remnants of one pen can still be found and explored on Route 9 near the Northern Loop Trail. And you can still see old grape terraces on the mountain, which were used to grow the fruit in the early 1800s.

The state park, established on land purchased from the federal government in 1939, was one of the first five in Maine. Since then, it has served as many things to many different folks. In the ’40s, people came to downhill ski with a rope tow. The Bradbury Mountain Hawk Watch in the spring is popular with birders, who help compile data on the northbound raptor flight for the park. The park is home to about three dozen campsites, including a glamping option, new this year, through Tentrr. The long-term goal for the park is to join up with the Pineland Public Land parcel, and its recreation trails, in New Gloucester.

Entry fees vary: Maine residents 65 and older and children under 5 years old are free; children between 5 and 11 years old are $1. Adult Maine residents are $4. Senior non-Maine residents are $2, and adult non-residents are $6. Campsites are $15 per night for residents, $25 for non-residents. The Tentrr sites cost $100 per night. The park is open year-round, but bathroom facilities are closed during the winter.

Alexandra Hall is a longtime New England lifestyle writer who recently moved to Maine.


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