One great thing about Cape Elizabeth, Maine (my hometown and also the same town where you can find Portland Headlight) is it’s wealth of nature reserves. Apart from the annual summer camping trips to Sebago Lake with my parents, I attribute most of my love of the outdoors to having easy access beautiful nature trails in a state with four distinct and breath-taking seasons.
This particular post is from a piece of land near Great Pond (Google Maps here) which is part of the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust (CELT). Groups like CELT have my gratitude. As their web site will tell you, they are a small group of residents who aim is “to help preserve natural areas of scenic beauty for future residents and visitors to explore and appreciate.” Since their formation in 1985, they’ve permanently protected over 560 acres. Most of these lands have lush trails from which you can view wildlife and generally get in touch with your inner granola.
Starting today with the Great Pond Trail, I’ll be exploring many of the trails listed on the CELT web site and posting the best shots from the excursion. I love the CELT trail page because it lists not only CELT owned but also Greenbelt and town owned trails. So far, it’s the best place on the net I’ve found that clearly lists the nature trails in Cape Elizabeth.
Great Pond Trail
Here is what the CELT web site says about the Great Pond Trail:
Length: 0.7 miles
(CELT and Greenbelt Trails)
Description: Great Pond represents the largest fresh water body in Cape Elizabeth. Accessible only by trails, Great Pond provides exceptional walking trails to an undeveloped pond inhabited by abundant wildlife and wild strawberries only minutes from Route 77. The Great Pond trail provides a varied walking experience through fields, woodland and wetland marsh, and includes an overlook of Great Pond. Great Pond itself is home to pickerel and large mouth bass and is locally populated by canoeists in the summer and ice skaters and skiers in the winter. Over the past several years faculty and students of Southern Maine Community College have been stocking the pond with alewives in hopes that they can recreate the historic runs of times past. The marshlands and forests surrounding Great Pond provide excellent wildlife habitat for wading birds, ducks, geese, deer and the occasional moose.
Access: Parking is available at the Kettle Cove Dairy (only those spots fronting Rte. 77) and on Fenway Road (off of Fowler Road). Please note that both trails continue onto private property; the public access trails do not connect.