Pownalborough Court House
Photo of Trail



Come Hike The New Pownalborough Trail System. Across the road (Rte 128) from the Court House entrance are 75 acres of woods, now home to two miles of new trail. The physical location and route are superimposed on a satellite map on the MAINE TRAIL FINDER WEBSITE. Maps will also be available at a new kiosk next to the trailhead by the summer of 2012. The trails are open to walking, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing only. No ATVs or bicycles are allowed.

The Pownalborough trail system was developed by expanding and upgrading an existing trail. The result is a truly beautuful and hikable system that was completed in 2011 through a Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands grant. This grant provided materials and Maine Conservation Corps labor for trail work and the construction of sturdy bridges. The most remarkable aspect of the system is a ravine with dells and unusually tall trees.

Trails Description Located on the western flank of the ridge that divides the Eastern and Kennebec Rivers, the system contains a number of unique features that make it an appealing and distinctive destination for recreational users. A stream runs through a steep, densely wooded ravine containing several small dells. As a result the terrain is sheltered and the trees have grown to great height. Much of the trail system traverses these mostly mature woodlands - comprised principally of white pine and groves of eastern hemlock - while following a route that provides views of the stream, its dells and the fern meadows below.

The trail system also includes a trail that arcs through a long slope dropping from east to west through a hardwood stand that extends above an old stone wall. This stone wall, the Cross Road and the old Range Way all hint at the mid 18th century settlement of the original community of Pownalborough, established in 1761 and overseen by the Kennebec Proprietors, as part of Lincoln County—then part of the Royal Massachusetts Bay Colony. They comprise part of the physical evidence documenting the settlement, transportation routes and the history of what is now the Town of Dresden.

Amenities Parking for trail users is at the Court House, which also has restroom facilties for visitors during the summer. There are picnic tables on the Court House lawns and a short dirt road leads to the Goodwin family cemetery. The Court House itself is open for tours during the summer (see MUSEUM HOURS). For shorter walks, a scenic “Nature Trail” leads to the banks of the Kennebec River below the Court House.