Holt Pond Preserve is a 7.2 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Bridgton, Maine that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 7.2 km Elevation Gain: 79 m Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

cross country skiing

hiking

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

lake

wildlife

no dogs

This unique trail system allows visitors to enjoy a variety of wetland and upland habitats in the Holt Pond Nature Preserve. Starting at the parking area off Grist Mill Road, the path takes you through a mixed forest of birch, beech, hemlock, and pine. You cross over a stone wall into a red maple swamp. In the spring, listen for the sounds of returning neo-tropical migrant birds and in the winter, look for the flitting silhouettes of chickadees shivering for warmth. Leaving the red maple swamp you find yourself on one of the several hummocks in the preserve, a nutrient rich glacial deposit where hemlocks have taken root. Venturing out to the Muddy River, a ripple in the water and a loud splash indicates the presence of a territorial beaver. Returning to the trail, you eventually make your way to the place where plants eat insects, moose wallow in the muddy waters, and minks scurry about looking for fish: the Holt Pond Overlook. The Holt Pond Overlook boardwalk crosses over a quaking mat of sphagnum moss. If you bend your knees twice, you will see a slight quaking motion at the end of the boardwalk. This is because the sphagnum moss is floating, colonizing the open water in front of you. The quaking bog is home to pitcher plants, orchids, leatherleaf, swamp rose, and many other unique plants, as it is one of the most diverse natural communities at Holt Pond. Pause at the end of the boardwalk and appreciate the beauty of this spot in every season, when migrant ducks swim about, water lilies dot the surface, reflected red, yellow, orange, and brown leaves shine in the depths, or snow and ice insulate the vibrant life underneath. After the Holt Pond outlook, the trails heads back into a hemlock grove, through red maple low lands and then up to within sight of Grist Mill Road. The trails continues over more dry woodland before returning to a boardwalk through red maple swamp and eventually to another trail head on the Knapp Road off of Fosterville Road. The trail then continues along the south shore of Holt Pond which is dryer but less used then other trail sections. The trail then jogs further south before returning to the pond and then out to Chaplins Mill Road. After walking about 1000 feet on the road, take a left through an old hay field to join back up with the trail for its last leg as it follows the Muddy River. An additional trail leg heads north up and over Grist Mill Road to rocky formations on Byron's Hill.

Beautiful trail but very wet. Many of board walkways have been covered in water and slippery. Bring your waterproof hightop hickers.

hiking
1 month ago

Get trail out in the woods. Very well marked and easy to navigate. Bridges and walkways are amazingly done! Road in was rutted but my Subaru did fine. We love this trail!

hiking
bugs
muddy
1 month ago

Nice trails - great bridge work.

recorded Holt Pond Preserve

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked this trail on 3/7/20 with our dog. It was a beautiful hike by the pond and through the wetlands. A great winter hike! Definitely needed waterproof boots for portions of the trail this time of year because some of the wetland areas had high water levels.

hiking
8 months ago

Great kid friendly hike!

hiking
10 months ago

Have lived in Bridgton for 13 years and today was the first time that my husband and I hiked the whole loop! It was a great day, all the trails have been groomed and cut back from the boardwalks! Also you do not have to walk part of the road like the app shows, trail continues through the woods, all new white marks are on the trees along the trail! Really quiet on the trail!

hiking
muddy
10 months ago

A family favorite, we’ve done this one in the summer and around Thanksgiving, in warm weather and light snow. Sometimes the water is very high and covers pieces of the boardwalk, and it is typically muddy, but always quiet with few people and lovely views of the lake. Well marked and easy to follow, not too long or too strenuous

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
10 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
10 months ago

hiking
snow
Sun Apr 14 2019

walking
Wed Aug 15 2018

The first half of the loop was a great walk through forest and wet-lands, including two points that have great views of the river and pond. Well maintained and marked trails/boardwalks. Really enjoyable. The second half included a severely overgrown boardwalk, a confusing wander through sparse and buggy woods, and some time on a road. There is a canoe launch that had a public canoe which was very cool, we took it for a quick spin and saw some beaver lodges up close. Wear boots as there are muddy/puddley spots along the trails.

hiking
Wed Aug 15 2018

Nice walk, well marked for the first half but quite overgrown and hard to follow for the second half. Very buggy, bring bug spray. Several nice lookout spots for the pond, and even a free canoe you can take out, very cool!

hiking
Sun May 06 2018

The trails are wet (expected this time of year) I love all the wooden bridges through the wet lands. I tracked 5.4 Miles for the loop. The road to the parking lot is a Not maintained road. Bring bug spray!

hiking
Sat Aug 20 2016

This is a wonderful trail around a wetland and pond with lots of varied wildlife. Several geocache can be found here. The road to the entrance is not plowed in winter.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

recorded Holt Pond Preserve

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Showing results 1 - 25 of 36