Formerly known as Lebanon State Forest, visitors are greeted by the fresh scent of pines. Today's forested acres are a strong contrast to the barren, cleared land that existed in the 1800s. The Lebanon Glass Works was established in 1851 and was successful until 1867, when it shut down after depleting the supply of wood necessary for the furnace to operate. Today, hikers can follow the sandy trails and roads that crisscross the forest, sometimes passing near the remains of stone or brick structures or where large depressions indicate the location of what was once a bustling town. Pure, iron-rich streams flow through acres of swampy land covered with dense stands of Atlantic white cedar.
The trail mentioned here is called "Mount Misery Trail" (white blazes) it is 8.5 miles and to make a loop you have to complete the trail using the Cranberry Trail (red blazes) adding 1 mile making the loop 9.5 miles. It is a good hike with little in the way of difficulty; a few wet spots, some loose sandy soil, and some roots that make one spot a little hard on the ankles. But if you can handle the distance, this is a fairly easy hike. There are also other options for shorter hikes from the same place. You can pickup a trail map at the Park Office to the left of the front door, (outside the door).
I enjoyed a nice ride from the office parking lot, along the Cranberry Trail to Pakim Pond, where I picked up the Mt. Misery Trail. I waited till a cold fall day, to avoid the dreaded chiggers and ticks that plague this area. The trails were mostly nice for riding, though there were several sandy sections. Overall these were few. Leaves and pine needles covered much of the sand. Some sections were very closed in with branches and vines, but this didn't last long. There are no hills, despite the name Mt. Misery. Once you get deep into the forest, it feels very lonely and secluded. Overall a nice woods ride, not many obstacles. If you start/end where I did, it's about 12.5 miles.
We parked in the lot at the park office and took the blue connector trail to the Batona. We then took the Batona to Pakim Pond where we got on the white Mt. Misery Trail. We were going with someone that has never hiked before so decided to use orange (road) bike path to cut across to the end of the Mt Misery trail. Met up with the Cranberry Trail and took that back to the lot. Was a fantastic trail, absolutely beautiful, pretty easy but you can cover some good mileage.
Robert S. on Pakim Pond Loop Trail (Mt. Misery Trail)
Great for riding on pavement, gravel/dirt combo, or sand. All skills levels will find their riding niche. In the summer you will have to contend with the insects and it can be distracting, but the rest of the year is more than acceptable. Weekends will find more competition from motorized bikers so take that into consideration. I have found all of the drivers to be courteous. One constant...there is always some new.area to explore!