Best Trails in Amherst Mountains Community Forest

4 Reviews
Want to find the best trails in Amherst Mountains Community Forest for an adventurous hike or a family trip? AllTrails has 1 great hiking trails, biking trails, running trails and more. Enjoy hand-curated trail maps, along with reviews and photos from nature lovers like you. Ready for your next hike or bike ride? Explore one of 1 easy hiking trails in Amherst Mountains Community Forest that are great for the whole family. Looking for a more strenuous hike? We've got you covered, with trails ranging from 107 to 107 meters in elevation gain. Whatever you have planned for the day, you can find the perfect trail for your next trip to Amherst Mountains Community Forest.
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Map of trails in Amherst Mountains Community Forest, Maine
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Partridge Pond and Ducktail Pond Loop
#1 - Partridge Pond and Ducktail Pond Loop
Amherst Mountains Community Forest
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Length: 5.5 km • Est. 1h 22m
The loop hike that leads to both Partridge and Ducktail ponds is approximately 3.4 miles long and includes a 0.8-mile stretch of gravel road spanning between two trailheads. The trails are fairly wide and well-marked with blue blazes, but there is a noticeable change in elevation. Rocky terrain adds to the challenge. 1-minute hike: Partridge and Ducktail ponds in Amherst How to get there: From the intersection of Route 9 and Route 181 in Amherst, drive west on Route 9 for 1.5 miles and turn right (north) onto Ducktail Pond Road, which is also known as Ducktail Pond Lane. (This turn is on the left approximately 22 miles from the traffic light at the intersection of Route 9 and State Street in Brewer). A short distance down the gravel Ducktail Pond Road, you will come to a group of three large signs on the right. One of the signs gives the mileage to the different trailheads in Amherst Mountains Community Forest: Partridge Pond Trailhead is in 1.6 miles; Ducktail Pond Trailhead and Indian Camp Stream Day Use Area is in 2.4 miles, and the Bald Bluff Mountain Trailhead is 5.9 miles. For the loop hike that visits both Partridge and Ducktail ponds, you can park at either the Partridge Pond Trailhead or Ducktail Pond Trailhead. Ducktail Pond Road is not plowed in the winter. Snowmobiles use the road. However, skiers and recreationists sometimes park at the end of the road and ski or snowshoe the road to the trails. Ducktail Pond and Partridge Pond are two remote bodies of freshwater that lie in the Amherst Mountains Community Forest, nearly 5,000 acres of state-owned land managed for sustainable forestry, wildlife and outdoor recreation. Both ponds are accessible by blazed trails, which are open to the public for free year round. To visit both ponds, hikers can start from either the Partridge Pond Trailhead or Ducktail Pond Trailhead. For this trail description, start from Partridge Pond Trailhead, which has a small parking area and is marked by a tall trailhead sign. From the Partridge Pond Trailhead, the trail travels through mixed forest and slightly uphill. Long stretches of bog bridging and stepping stones make this part of the hike interesting. The trail is fairly wide and well-marked with blue blazes, but the challenge lies in the rocky terrain. To start, the forest is mostly deciduous (beech trees, mainly), but as you gain elevation, you’ll see more conifers. At approximately 0.8 mile (according to maintrailfinder.com), the trail splits. Veer left to hike to Partridge Pond in 0.3 miles. This short section of trail that leads to the pond is especially interesting. The granite bedrock is exposed in many places and large boulders and strewn throughout the forest. An abundance of moss and lichen growing alongside the trail adds a variety of colors and textures to the scenery as well. At the shore of Partridge Pond, bear right to hike to a primitive campsite, which is free to use. Cross a small, shallow outlet near a granite shelf to reach the campsite, which includes a toilet (basically a toilet seat on top of a vented box set back in the woods) and fire pits. The trail continues past the campsite a short distance. At the end of the trail, you’ll be greeted by an angular boulder as you reach a granite ledge beach. After exploring the area, backtrack the 0.3-mile trail to the intersection, where you turned left to hike to Partridge Pond. This time, turn right (if facing the trail split as if coming from the road) to hike to continue on the loop hike. The trail becomes a bit narrower in this section, as evergreens encroach a bit from either side, but it is well-marked with blue blazes. In about 0.3 mile, reach the shores of Ducktail Pond. Visitors may notice a very narrow trail leading through tall vegetation to the shore of the pond. This is just a side trail. Continue on the blue-blazed trail, along the pond’s southeast edge to reach the campsite, which is free for the public to use and includes fire pits. The trail continues past the campsite and leads to an outlet (deeper than the outlet of Partridge Pond). Look for a place to ford the outlet. Hikers may be able to cross the outlet on rocks without wetting their shoes. A blue blaze on a tree marks the trail on the other side. From the pond, the trail travels downhill to Ducktail Pond Road and the Ducktail Pond Trailhead. When you reach the road, turn right and walk 0.8 miles along the gravel...Show more