Sebago Lake Land Reserve

EASY 15 reviews

Sebago Lake Land Reserve is a 2.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Standish, 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
246 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cross country skiing

horseback riding

lake

river

The 1,700 acre Sebago Lake Land Reserve is a managed forest intended to protect Sebago Lake, our local drinking water supply. Sebago Lake provides drinking water to 200,000 people in the greater Portland region. Many features of the Land Reserve, sharp elevation changes in particular, were shaped by glacial movement 13,000 years ago. The steep slope that runs between Bobcat Trail and Horsetail Trail is called a kame slope and was formed by glacial deposits. This stark contrast in elevation results in markedly different plant communities. A maze of springs, streams, and wetlands borders the Horsetail Trail, which can be found at the bottom of the kame slope. A comparison of plant communities between the bottom and the top of the kame slope may reveal the hidden story of soil and hydrology underfoot. The Otter Ponds are a testament to previous glacial activity and are a type of kettlehole depression. Kettlehole depressions were formed from glacial ice that became trapped in layers of sand and gravel that, once melted, left rounded, steep-sided depressions. The Otter Ponds (the collection of Half Moon Pond, Otter Ponds, and Snake Pond) are spring-fed ponds known as kettlehole lakes. These ponds are a popular destination for brook trout, largemouth bass, pickerel, and hornpout anglers and are accessible along Mallard Trail. The Otter Ponds are bordered by a set of trails that provide contrasting settings of a predominantly dense White Pine tree community along the Acadia Loop and the sun flecked Oak-dominated tree community along the Snake View and Pond View Trails. Sightings of cicadas, Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers, Cedar Waxwings, snakes, several butterfly and moth species, and frogs near the Otter Ponds add to the appeal of these trails. The Otter Ponds are not the only place to spot wildlife. Vernal pools and their amphibian inhabitants are scattered throughout the land reserve. These seasonally filled pools assist in reducing erosion and polluted runoff by holding water from spring rains and slowly releasing it back into the ground. Additionally, vernal pools provide a safe habitat for breeding amphibians that rely on fishless waterbodies to lay their eggs. Several species, including the spotted salamander, blue spotted salamander, wood frog, and fairy shrimp, all rely on vernal pools exclusively to raise their broods. The animals that call these unique habitats home are food for many other animals like the Barred Owl, raccoons, foxes, and hawks. The Wetland Loop offers excellent views of such a habitat and is the perfect length for children.

hiking
22 days ago

Also mixed feelings about these trails/area in general for hiking. There are a lot of opportunities to explore, but the area was a little confusing at first. I started on a trail that went downhill behind a kiosk, it led to some railroad tracks and I pretty much made it up from there! Some trails venture off from that area, but I didn't get a chance to check them out. The railroad track trail led to the YMCA Otter Pond Campgrounds. It was a nice adventure, good place for fishing and exploring with kids and dogs. Don't forget to fill out a land use permit!

mountain biking
1 month ago

walking
1 month ago

I love bringing my dog to this trail for walks. Unfortunately, not all dog owners keep their dogs on a leash. We only had a close call once, most other dogs are good when off their leash. They have been doing a lot of work lately in creating new trails, their is plenty of tree coverage in the summer and nice wide trails.

2 months ago

I have mixed feelings about these trails. They are wide, well maintained, and available for a variety of activities. They aren't particularly picturesque though as there has been a lot of equipment in clearing areas out. It is possible to hear traffic as well from the busy roads surrounding it. If you like to listen to music, this won't be a problem. Also, the wetlands boardwalk is currently being repaired so you will be unable to use it.

3 months ago

I attended Otter Pond camp as a kid so its fun to visit now. Easy trails. Fun to bike in from Westbrook along the Sebago to Sea trail too.

walking
4 months ago

perfect place for a bike ride...next time! new cuttings of big pines and trail work where equipment has been. benches placed about as well. very nice to have this intricate trail system to enjoy.

walking
4 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Very well marked network of trails. Some trails are more like roads which, to me, is less appealing. Road noise and ongoing nearby semiautomatic gunshots diminished the experience of communing with nature. When you arrive you need to fill out a permit form at the kiosk. Trail starts by going downhill behind kiosk and following the tracks down toward your left. From there you'll start to see trail signs.

walking
Thursday, August 25, 2016

backpacking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

Sunday, August 07, 2016

You could wander all day on these trails. Beautifully kept, they meander through the woods and surprise you with sudden gems like vernal ponds and so many critters and birds. Trails are well maintained and marked. Trail map is clear and easy to read. Best part is it's right around the corner from my house :)

trail running
Thursday, April 14, 2016

hiking
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

hiking
Thursday, October 15, 2015

This is a well defined, well marked series of trails. Easy walking with occasional benches for breaks. Good for all seasons and all trail activities.