As the Downeast Lakes Community Forest has grown, so has the need for expanding public recreation opportunities for local residents and visitors to the region. DLLT’s all-volunteer Trails Committee and staff members are always working to create new ways to support the traditional economy of outdoor recreation and tourism.
We are thrilled to announce the construction of “Phase 1” of the Pineo Peaks Trail – a new hiking option near the northeastern shore of West Grand Lake. This area is located within the Amazon-Musquash Ecological Reserve and Special Management Area, and contains several unique forested habitats and geological features. When completed, the trailhead will be located along the Pineo Point Road, and will connect to the newly-created Princeton Island Cove campsite.
With its remote location and rugged terrain, we have contracted with the Maine Conservation Corps (MCC) to complete the construction of this trail. MCC has worked with DLLT on several past recreation projects, and the organization has an excellent reputation for trail building and recreational management in Maine. With a six-person team working for three weeks, this year’s crew members have traveled to Maine for the entire summer and early fall from such far-flung places as Arizona, Minnesota, and West Virginia.
Stretching from the Princeton Island Cove campsite along the West Grand Lake, the trail crosses the Pineo Point Road, and climbs high above the lakeshore to a series of granite ledges, glacial erratics, crevasses, and boulders. Here, the trail winds through this rock-strewn maze and creates a small loop that allows hikers to explore different micro-routes amongst the incredible geological features of the area. Future phases of the project will lengthen the eastern portion of the trail over both Pineo Peaks and extend the western portion of the trail from the campsite, up along Oxbrook Stream. When fully completed, this trail will offer hikers a truly remote, lengthy, and challenging trail in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest.
To learn more about recreation opportunities in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest, check out the latest version of DLLT’s Visitor’s Guide, which highlights hiking trails, campsites, boat launches, and much more!