Bradbury-Pineland Corridor

The Bradbury-Pineland Corridor consists of a network of both polished and rough trails that connect Bradbury Mountain State Park (Pownal) to the Pineland Public Reserved Land (Gray, North Yarmouth, New Gloucester). The corridor between Bradbury and Pineland Public Lands is a mix of trails on state-owned land, powerlines, and connector trails owned and managed by the Royal River Conservation Trust and the Town of Pownal.

Bradbury Mountain State Park provides an exceptional mix of camping, recreation, mountain biking, picnic areas, playgrounds, and more.  The Pineland Public Reserved Lands are forests surrounding Pineland Farms, managed for timber harvest and public access. Pineland Public Lands trail systems are entirely separate from — not connected to — the trail systems of Pineland Farms.

More Information

Bradbury Mountain State Park

Bradbury Mountain State Park is an exceptional resource for mountain biking, equestrian trails, picnics, camping, birding, playgrounds, and more.

  • The State of Maine’s website for Bradbury Mountain State Park provides information on trails, rules, events, fees, and more.
  • The State’s trail maps and park maps do not yet show the “Corridor,” managed by Park Rangers, which expands the Park to Tryon Mountain, Tryon Field, and more.   See the “Maps” section below for RRCT maps that show this recent expansion.
  • RRCT’s role in the past — expanding and buffering the park with community energy and charitable resources — is described on this page under “Conservation History.”
  • RRCT’s current role — funding wheelchair access investments with charitable resources  — is described as part of RRCT’s Rain or Shine Fund.

Pineland Public Reserved Lands

The Pineland Public Reserved Lands are forests surrounding Pineland Farms, managed for timber harvest and public access.   Two loop trails provide mountain biking, dog walking, hunters’ access, and more.

Bradbury-Pineland Corridor Trails

The Bradbury-Pineland Corridor consists of a network of both polished and rough trails that connect Bradbury Mountain State Park (Pownal) to the Pineland Public Reserved Land (Gray, North Yarmouth, New Gloucester).  The corridor between Bradbury and Pineland Public Lands is a mix of trails on state-owned land and powerlines.   The state-owned land is managed by state rangers of both Bradbury State Park, and also the State’s Public Lands Unit in Farmington.   The powerlines are owned by Central Maine Power with recreational management only by the local snowmobile club.

Trails in the Bradbury-Pineland network are primarily for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. Especially in Pineland Public Reserved Lands Unit, only narrow planks help hikers and bike riders cross wet spots.  The connector trail on Pineland Public Reserved Land between Route 231 and Chadsey is closed pending clean-up of a large blow-down.   Allowed uses on some trails in some locations along the Corridor also include skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and snowmobiling.

Please note that some of these these trails, especially those snowmobile trails along the CMP powerline corridor, will never meet the expectations of the average hiker or bike rider.  They may be wet, and may not be mowed.  There is a lack signage for easy navigation except when snowmobile tracks are obvious.

Pineland Public Lands trail systems are entirely separate from — not connected to — the trail systems of Pineland Farms.

Trailheads for the Corridor:

  1. Bradbury Mountain State Park is on Route 9 in Pownal, just north of Pownal Village.
  2. A parking area and mid-point trailhead is located on the west side of Lawrence Road 0.9 miles north of Elmwood Road. The GPS address to use is 53 Lawrence Road, Pownal, ME.
  3. Various trails cross various public roads including Elmwood, Chadsey, Sweetser, and more.
  4. The primary trailhead for Pineland Public Reserved Lands Unit is on Depot Road in Gray.

Corridor Trail Overview:

The state’s formally named Bradbury-Pineland Corridor Trail begins at the junction with the Boundary Trail in the northwest corner of Bradbury Mountain State Park. From here, the trail heads west past Thoit’s Brook, and then a spur heads up to the summit of Tryon Mountain where you’ll find old quarries and opportunities to explore for minerals and treasures. As the trail winds through deep woods in state park land known as “The Corridor,” you’ll come across old stone walls and ledges.

Upon reaching the parking area and trailhead at Lawrence Road, the trail then heads west past Tryon Fields, which are maintained for wildlife, scenery, and winter sledding. RRCT Spur trails head north and south parallel to Chandler Brook (no mountain bikes are allowed on these spur trails). The main trail crosses Chandler Brook, which is stocked with brook trout. This is an inviting and accessible section; large bridges provide safe crossings of Thoit’s Brook and Chandler Brook.

At the junction of state park land and the CMP power line corridor, the trail heads south to connect to the Pineland Public Reserved Land. The trails here are suitable for winter uses, but challenging in the summer at two bridge locations and some other wet areas. In many places the trails are CMP service roads; in other cases the trails are variable depending upon the extent of recent mowing and signage. Plan to dismount from bikes or walk carefully on bridges along the power line. Bridges along the powerline do not safely support equestrian traffic. Gates that are open in the winter may be closed in summer even though summer uses are permitted by CMP and Maine BPL.

Soon after crossing the railroad, the trail enters the woods into the Pineland Public Reserved Lands Unit. About 0.4 miles after crossing New Gloucester Road the corridor trail connects to the trail network at Pineland Public Reserved Land. These trails are on state forest in Gray, North Yarmouth, and New Gloucester. They do not connect to nearby Pineland Farms’ extensive private trail networks.

Corridor Rules & Regulations:

  • Because of multiple ownerships, please always refer to specific ownership sites (State Park, eg) as primary sources of rules.   These notes below touch on some frequent questions.
  • The state-managed “Corridor” trails are open for hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and bicycles and equestrian uses.
  • Dogs are welcome, but on leash or voice control, with strict attention to pet waste removal. Due to deer wintering, the State asks that dogs be on leash during periods of deep snow; deer struggle to maintain energy during the winter; dogs and humans cause them to expend this precious energy. Please also remove horse waste as well. Pet waste is a significant factor in the water quality of fishing brooks like Chandler Brook. Trails on Pineland Public Reserved Lands allow dogs and are open to the public at no charge. Nearby well-managed Pineland Farms trails do not allow dogs and require payment.
  • Please respect various postings on abutting land; Some of the Corridor is private land, with public deeded rights. Please comply with any and all posted rules or signs along the trail, especially respecting private property postings.  Please stay on marked trails, and respect the many private landowners who both host marked trails and ask that their private trails, fields, and forests be respected.  Some private landowners allow special public events or snowmobile usage on their trails upon request, but do not allow general public access.
  • Hunting is allowed near many trails in The Corridor, but prohibited in some sections of Bradbury State Park. Hunters and trail users should always use caution and wear orange;  trail users should consider using other trails during hunting season. Trails on Pineland Public Reserved Lands allow hunting and are open to the public at no charge.

RRCT Trails Connecting to the Corridor in Pownal
  • Please refer to the “Maps” section.
  • RRCT manages a new two-mile “bridle path” between a trailhead at GPS address 854 Elmwood Road, and a trailhead at the Sweetser Road bridge in Pownal, running along Chandler Brook and connecting to the state’s Corridor trail.
  • The path is a series of trail easements across four private landowners;  please respect all trail postings and recognize that the land on both sides of the path is private.  Bikes are not allowed on this path.  Horses, runners, hikers, and dogs under strict control are welcome.
  • RRCT & You:  RRCT relies heavily on volunteers and help from trail users like you. You may know more recent information about trail and Preserve conditions than we do. We invite you to be a thoughtful steward by acting as a respectful visitor, adhering to posted rules, and following Leave No Trace practices. RRCT’s small staff is able to inspect and maintain RRCT Preserves infrequently; we ask you to report to us any issues you observe that you cannot address yourself, and especially to update us on any safety or public safety issues.  Please help us on your visits with litter, pet waste, and minor trail issues.  We also invite any information on needed or suggested updates to this webpage.  Reach out in any way, most simply with an email to info@RRCT.org
  • South of RRCT’s trailhead at GPS address 854 Elmwood Road, a parcel of land owned by the Town of Pownal provides limited connectivity; an infrequently maintained trail leaves a town-owned Public Works fill area off Elmwood, and later connects to the CMP power line.

Maps

The Corridor has not yet been mapped by the State of Maine.  Stay tuned for new maps in future years.

RRCT Trail Map of Pownal Segments of the Bradbury-Pineland Corridor and RRCT connecting trails– Downloadable PDF

RRCT Trail Map of Gray/North Yarmouth Segments of the Bradbury-Pineland Corridor – Downloadable PDF

Other mappers (2018) are beginning to map the full Corridor.  Wending Maps & Wayfinding provides good current free mountain biking maps and guides at LL Bean, Freeport Bike & Ski, other bike shops, and kiosks.

Conservation History and Stewardship

In total, the State Parks & Lands ownership creating the Bradbury-Pineland matrix and corridor transitioned from 300 acres in 1970, to 2,085 acres by 2010, including 300 acres of Royal River Conservation Trust conservation easements and trail rights. Various expansions of both Bradbury State Park and the Pineland Public Reserved Lands (PRL)  Unit were among the first projects of both the Royal River Conservation Trust (then known as the Pownal Land Trust) and the then-new  Land for Maine’s Future program.

Today, the Pineland PRL is 600 acres in Gray, North Yarmouth, Pownal, and New Gloucester.   The PRL’s history includes:

  • 1974 creation of the Pineland PRL
  • 1994 expansion of Pineland PRL
  • 1996 adjacent Pownal State School closed its doors
  • 1999 expansion of Pineland PRL
  • 2000 Libra Foundation acquisition of Pownal State School campus
  • 2000 Libra transfer-expansion of land to the PRL.
  • 2003 – 2007 Expansion to include park-managed PRL in Pownal (the Corridor and Tryon), with help from Land for Maine’s Future and Pownal Land Trust (now RRCT).

Five park expansions — many aligned with the larger Corridor project, illustrate the relationship of RRCT and Bradbury State Park.  Through a mix of funding, partnerships and networks, RRCT helped expand the park five times:

  • 1990:  Knight expansion (100 acres) with Land for Maine’s Future funding
  • 1996:  Spiegel-Marshall expansion (153 acres) adjacent to Knight
  • 2003: Ginn expansion (88 acres)
  • 2004: Ragan expansion (16 acres)
  • 2007: McMahon expansion (9 acres)

RRCT conservation easements and trail parcels or easements buffer or connect to the park and the corridor.  In addition to three trail deeds, 300 acres of RRCT conservation easement buffers exist off Elmwood, Lawrence, Sweeter, Chadsey, and Fieldstone Drive, including the iconic Knight’s Farm (now Bradbury Mountain Berry Farm) and two miles of trails along Chandler Brook in Pownal.

This history of the Pownal Land Trust (now Royal River Conservation Trust), Bradbury Mountain State Park, Pineland Public Reserved Land, and conservation land in Pownal is richly detailed in a 2008 book, “On Pownal Time, One Hundred Years in a Rural Maine Town, 1908-2008,” as well as State management planning documents.

Future Plans

The Royal River Conservation Trust is working with the Town of Pownal and Bradbury Mountain State Park to develop and publish maps of additional trail connections in 2019 or later. Contact us for more information on our plans.