Bradbury Mountain State Park is a wonderful place to spend a day or afternoon exploring trails, taking in the magnificent view from the summit, or enjoying a picnic under a canopy of trees. One of the original five state parks, Bradbury Mountain was acquired by the Federal government in 1939. Situated on Route 9 about halfway between Portland and Lewiston-Auburn, the park attracts visitors who enjoy picnicking, hiking and camping on its 800 acres of forested land. Bradbury Mountain is the only state park in southern Maine to offer shared-use trails for horseback riders, mountain bikers and snowmobilers. Snow shoe rentals are available. Sculpted by a glacier, Bradbury Mountain is the park's most outstanding natural feature. Today the park's forest is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Fall is a busy time at the park when visitors watch migrating hawks and eagles ride the thermals and enjoy the views of fall foliage from the summit. (Spring is best time to watch hawk migration, fall much less so.)
We set out for Bradbury Mountain State Park, which is located just north of Freeport right off I-95. This was our first Maine hiking experience ($5 fee) and only a short 1.5mi. loop. The first part of the trail was fairly steep, but only half a mile to the rocky outcrop with a view. Even though it was hot and hazy, and while not spectacular, there was a refreshing breeze blowing at the top with a 180-degree view. Knowing that it was all downhill from there, we hiked back the ski slope trail and Northern Loop trail. We passed another so-so view at North Bluff, then by the cattle pen and feldspar mine to the parking lot.
I have been out on these trails for geocaching and geocaching events. Depending on which side of the road you go on, you can go for the flat hikes or the uphill trail hikes. Not a good place to be off leash for the dog because of heavy use. Quietest on the flat hike side. Geocaching bonus