Monday, June 24, 2013

Maine Monday: Hike up Bradbury

Shocking as I'm sure this may seem, I am not a nature girl. I'm never going to go camping (voluntarily), or plan a cross country trip in a Winnebago. I'm not a fan of hiking, kayaking, or anything else that features prominently in the L.L. Bean catalogs. But we live in Maine and hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to our state to do just those things. So once in a while I'll put away my city girl sensibilities and head for the trails. But only when Mr. C&G insists we need to get the boys legs ready to tackle the streets and cobblestones of various European cities.

Not far from the outlet mecca of Freeport is Bradbury Mountain State Park. It's a quick ten minute drive to this family friendly hiking spot of gently sloping trails with a rewarding view at the top. There are over 20 trails to choose from of varying difficulties, and a small playground, picnic tables, and bathrooms at the base. If you're up for a picnic, pick up supplies on your way from Old World Gourmet on Route 1 in Freeport, across from the Big Indian. They have plenty of options for the kiddos, with pizza by the slice or build your own sandwiches or paninis. They also have the most amazing chocolate chip cookies, and that's all the motivation I need to lace up my hiking shoes.

The little C&Gs like the easy one mile Northern Loop Trail with a mostly straight shot to the top. A few smaller trails branch off of the main Northern Loop if you need to add a little adventure to your hike. The boys are in charge of keeping us on the right trail so they can practice their navigation skills. Everything is very well marked with slashes of paint on the trees to keep you going in the right direction and you can't really get lost.

At the summit there are plenty of flat granite rocks to scramble over and some shady spots to relax and snack on some treats. If their enthusiasm starts to wane on the adventure, Ben & Jerry's is just a short ten minute drive back into Freeport. Ice cream (in place of gelato) always works as some extra motivation for getting up and back down the mountain.

Bradbury Mountain State Park is at 528 Hallowell Road in Pownal, Maine. Trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horse back riders. Park fees are $3 each for Maine residents 12 and up, $1 for Maine kids ages 5-11. If you're visiting from out of state it's $4.50 for adults and $1.50 for kids. Shopping in nearby Freeport is extra.


  1. I have always wanted to go to Bradbury Mountain but never did... Here is the opportunity. Thank you! :)