Prong Pond one of many new trails in Moosehead Lake region
The Forest Society of Maine (FSM) is responsible for monitoring the Moosehead Region Conservation Easement (MRCE), 359,000 acres of permanently conserved working forestlands located east and west of Moosehead Lake. When the MRCE was put in place in 2012, a related effort was launched to identify 121 acres, within the MRCE boundaries, where non-motorized trails should be constructed or improved, and made permanent with trail easements. Decisions about trail locations were largely driven by a local committee, of which FSM Executive Director Karin Tilberg was a member.
“We spent a lot of time getting public input. We considered many different kinds of trails and trail locations, and what potential they had to benefit local businesses and communities,” Tilberg recalls.
Trails in the Moosehead Lake region that resulted from this process, which are now managed by the state of Maine, include the improved portage trail at Demo Bridge; the new Blue Ridge Trail, east of Rum Pond; the improved trail up Number 4 Mountain and the new trail that continues on to the summit of Baker; the re-routed Eagle Rock Trail; a re-routed trail up Williams Mountain; the new Vaughn Stream Trail off the KI Road and the new Prong Pond Trail. All of the trails are free to use, and with time many will feature state-managed, primitive campsites — creating more opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy all the Moosehead Lake region has to offer.
On Saturday, May 18, a group of volunteers from Moosehead Trails put near-finishing touches on a new footpath to the north shore of Prong Pond. The trail is fairly short (just under one mile, one-way) and, when opened, will be perfect for families and others looking for a moderate walk in the woods. Along the way, a ledge provides views across the pond toward Big Moose Mountain.
The work at Prong Pond is just one example of how every day, across the region, regular people are stepping up, collaborating, and giving their time and energy to a shared vision: Moosehead Lake as an international destination for outdoor recreation.
The Forest Society of Maine is incredibly grateful to the region’s forward-looking landowners, land-managers, and local volunteers — including Appalachian Mountain Club, Weyerhaeuser, snowmobile and ATV clubs, the state of Maine, and others — for their commitment to conservation and to creating and preserving public access to a growing network of motorized and non-motorized trails. Whatever the season, whether you want to paddle, walk, or ride, the Moosehead Lake region has a trail for you — and the foundation for it all are our forever-conserved woods, waters, and mountains.
Dubois grew up in Dover-Foxcroft and works as forestland steward for the Forest Society of Maine, www.fsmaine.org.